The first time I took a group fitness class I was in college. I walked into a dark spin room with twelve bikes that sat very closely together and I remember thinking to myself, why in the heck is this room so small?
The instructor came in, asked if this was my first time and if I needed any help getting set up. I said yes, even though I really wanted to act as if I knew what I was doing, but I could not fake it. I had only exercised on a stationary bike at the gym while reading the latest issue of Essence Magazine. Of course, I needed help. She proceeded to show me how to clip into the pedals and how to add more or less resistance through the weighted wheel and I was good to go. As all twelve people filed into the class, the door closed, the lights went off, the room became exceptionally hot and there I was about to take a ride in a hot box.
The music started and she talked us through a warm up ride to get the blood flowing. “Get the blood flowing,” I thought. What was happening? I was already out of breath and this was just the warm up. As the ride went on, the room got hotter, the music got better, and I was sweating like I was in a Turkish sauna. I knew at the end of class I would be back for more. One year later, I was a certified instructor.
Over the years, I didn’t just fall in love with spinning, I fell in love with all types of group fitness classes. From cardio kickboxing, step aerobics and now boot camp, I believe these classes are partly the reason why I have been able to maintain my weight loss over time. The dynamic you find in group classes is like no other and can beat a solo work out any day. Here are my top five reasons why I believe group fitness classes should be in your fitness mix.
Many people choose not to make their fitness regimen a priority because they believe it to be too expensive to work out and actually live life at the same time. Depending on your fitness goals, hiring a personal trainer can be costly and may not be a good fit for your personality. But, group classes take away the pressure to put all of your eggs in one basket by trying new things until you find what suits you. Most national and local fitness centers incorporate group classes into the price of many membership packages and offer a wide variety of classes to choose from throughout the day. And if you are lucky enough to find a place that offers an unlimited class package, you have hit the lottery!
I love when I miss days in the gym and one of my friends texts or calls me to see why I have been missing from class. Life happen;, we travel, we have work or family commitments that cannot be missed, we become ill and need to rest and recover, but, no one wants to respond by saying that they were at home chilling on the couch eating Doritos. The more you go to class, the more you will become familiar with those around you and they will become familiar with you. Just as you want them to hit their goals, they too are rooting for you.
Local fitness centers usually create within them a family and community culture. During the holiday season, many gym owners and their members organize community service projects that bring members together to serve a higher cause and give back to the community. They may also host themed parties and events for its members to get to know one another outside of the offered classes. If you have recently moved to a new area or are looking to switch up your social scene, the gym might be a great place to start.
We all have bad days and sometimes we just don’t feel like giving it our all in life let alone the gym. But, who really wants to walk into a group fitness class and look like the bump on the log? Standing next to other people who are sweating and giving it their all should motivate you to keep going and kick it up a notch. Use the person in front or next to you as fuel to dig a little deeper and push through to the next song or sequence. The harder you push, the better the results will be, and everybody likes results.
People’s energy and the booming bass of the music is quite electrifying at times. And depending on the instructor, they can offer you just the hard-core motivation you need to reach your goals. No one wants to take an hour out of their day only to be bored out their minds or waste time pussyfooting around in the gym waiting on equipment. Group classes are designed to be high energy, high impact and high on FUN!
What are you waiting on, let’s get moving!