Need some motivation? Crunched on time? Like to play with friends? Group exercise might be for you! If you’ve been watching the trends of fitness in the more recent years, group exercise is king! It used to be you could only go to a class at a large gym like 24 Hour Fitness or Crunch. Nowadays there are smaller group fitness facilities popping up all over the place! Gyms that offer spin, barre, yoga, and circuit training are growing year after year. They are taking these formats of exercise and adding their own spin to them, making them more fun and exciting!
Now the question is… Is a group exercise class for you?
Group training is nothing new but it is growing and with growth, comes innovation! According to the IHRSA Health Club Report, 43% of health club consumers participate in Group Exercise. Needless to say… It is here to stay!
Group X has it’s pro’s and con’s. I think it is very important you see both sides!
- Since you were a child you have enjoyed playing with friends. Group Exercise is playtime for adults! Try searching for local boot camps in your area!
- Competition: if you have a competitive spirit some places actually have you compete against each other. One place I have seen use this to its full potential is Full Psycle (http://www.fullpsycle.com) where they have everyone on a screen and you have different races throughout class!
- Motivation, Motivation, Motivation! There is nothing like the atmosphere in a great class! If you want that little extra push, they can give it to you!
- They are becoming more science based which means, better results! OrangeTheory Fitness uses heart rate monitors to track and monitor the intensity of the workout. They are a circuit training class that combines High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and strength training. (http://www.orangetheoryfitness.com )
- Cardio vs. Strength: What is your goal? Most classes are cardio based which is great for getting your heart rate up and burning calories, but not so great for building strength or muscle. Strength comes with a lower number of reps and heavier weight and most classes do not offer this. They focus more on higher reps and full body exercises to torch calories.
o Fun Fact: Every pound of muscle gained, you will burn 50 more calories a day.
- Form: some classes get so full that the instructor does not have time to walk the class to check proper form.
o My suggestion: If you are new to exercise, hire a trainer for a few sessions and tell them what class you would like to do. They will teach you how to do the exercises properly!
- Overtraining: Most classes do not vary what part of the body that is worked each day which means, if you go daily, most of the time you are working the same muscle groups. This can over fatigue that muscle and overtime cause more harm than good.
o My suggestion: Find multiple classes you like and mix it up! Also, check out the schedule. Some studios do break it up and that’s a win/win!
So the question stands: Is Group Exercise right for you? If it is, find a class that fits your goals and one that you like! If not, there are always plenty of other options out there!