April 11, 2016
Group exercise classes have been a mainstay of the gym environment since the leotard and spandex wearing Aerobics craze of the ‘80’s. According to recent research, however, more and more men are getting into what used to be a female dominated activity. If you haven’t experienced the thrill of successfully making it through a group class, it’s about time you did. Here are 10 reasons why group exercise deserves to be a part of your fitness program:
Working out on your own can be a drag. Sometimes you need an external motivator. Group classes offer it in spades. Firstly, you’ve got the instructor to encourage you to push to the limit. Then there are the people around you. Just seeing them pushing themselves is a great motivator in itself. And if one of them happens to whisper, “Keep going, you can do it,” then that’s priceless. The variety that you find a group class is an extra motivator that will keep your body guessing and your mind fresh.
The number one reason that people who regularly train at a gym don’t get the results they want is that they don’t challenge themselves enough. In other words, their workouts are too easy. You won’t get that in a group exercise class. So long as you choose the right class for your level, you will be challenged to work harder. And you will definitely want to make sure that you keep up with the rest of the class.
Group fitness classes today offer a huge variety of training options to add fun and specialized focus to your workouts. Group classes are available both indoors and outdoors, and you can focus on everything from boxing to Pilates, Bootcamp to Bosu. Of course, each class comes with it’s own certified expert to guide you along.
Knowing how to properly structure your workout takes knowledge and skill. Many people who are let loose on the gym floor simply don’t know what they’re doing. As a result, they end up performing workouts that are less than ideal. At best they are wasting valuable workout time, at worst they are risking serious injury. But, when you join a group class, all the planning has been done for you. A certified expert trainer has meticulously structured the workout to provide your body with the warm-up, progressive intensity and warm-down that it needs to work safely at its best.
A lot of gym goers develop sloppy exercise form. Yet, when you’re in a group fitness class there’s nowhere to hide. The instructor is usually on a raised platform in front of you. Her eyes are going to be upon you because her job is to ensure that you perform the movement the correct way. If you don’t, she’ll guide you so that you get it right.
The key to fitness is regularity. Show up, day in and day out, and you will get results. When you become a member of group fitness community, you are noticed. And so is your absence. Often this will provide enough of a push to get you out the front door on days when you just feel like staying in bed. This in-built accountability is a major reason that group fitness class members stick with their fitness regime longer than gym goers who train solely on the gym floor.
If you are going to stick at an activity, you want it to be enjoyable. Group classes provide all of the elements that combine to make your workout enjoyable – mixing with like minded peers, engaging activities, an inspiring leader, and sweat!
Juggling your time to get in your workout is one of the biggest challenges faced by gym-goers. Even when they do manage to get through the gym door, they are often watching the clock as they go through their routine, not really focused on the workout at hand. With group exercise classes, that’s all a thing of the past. Group classes are offered at all sorts of hours designed to suit busy lifestyles. While you may have never considered turning up at the gym for a 6:30am workout, a scheduled class at that time can be enough motivation to overcome mind over mattress syndrome and allow you to get more out of your day.
It’s amazing, too, how quickly the time goes by when you are in a class. The classes are carefully paced to make the time fun. You’ll be too engaged to watch the clock.
The benefits of working with a certified personal fitness trainer cannot be overstated. Personal training is a great option, but many people simply can’t afford it. Group fitness classes offer a cost effective way to benefit from the expertise of a certified trainer. You will learn new exercises, techniques and form through the process of going through the workout that the instructor has put together. In the process you will learn how to work your body properly. This will benefit you when you go back to the gym floor and put together your own training sessions.
When you are sweating alongside a person in a group fitness class you have an instant connection with them. The shared experience of getting through the challenge of the workout creates a bond with a like-minded person who, like you, cares about their body and is motivated enough to do something about it. This may lead to the development of a friendship outside of the gym setting but, even it doesn’t, the bond you form can be a motivator for you to do your best and to show up regularly.