Group. Fitness. Classes. Put those three words together in a phrase—now read them out loud. Did images of spandex leotards, leg warmers, and Olivia Newton John-style workouts pop into your head? I honestly can’t blame you if they did; the decade of “Let’s Get Physical” still has some pull more than twenty years later. However, it’s important that group fitness be associated with something else. Sure, hefting weights on the gym-room floor and hitting the treadmill are popular workouts for a reason, but ask yourself:
- Are you new to working out/strength training?
- Is your progress or motivation flagging?
- Do you have signs of muscular imbalances?
If you answered yes to even one of the above questions, you could be… totally normal! And someone who could benefit from a weekly group fitness class or two.
As a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and bikini competitor, I know the goal-hitting advantages of cross-training between lifting sessions. Sure that spin class isn’t for you or that you’ll never get hang of that Pilates reformer machine? That’s OK. There are more options for classes than there are gym tanks in your closet, and some classes will meet your needs and fit your style more than others. If you set goals and are willing to give 100 percent effort, group classes can help you succeed faster and better than you might have thought possible. Check out the reasons how below.
YOU’LL RECEIVE GUIDANCE FROM A PRO
When training at home, one daunting question of self-doubt has no doubt come into your head: “Am I doing this right?” Well, it’s hard to know how good your squat is if you don’t have a giant mirror and no one is there to check your form! Of course, you can always pay extra for a personal trainer, but group fitness classes can be very helpful—and the price is often included in most gym memberships.
YOU CAN PREVENT OR CORRECT MUSCLE IMBALANCES
Muscle imbalances can come about in many ways, from suffering an injury to simply having a more dominant side. Over time, muscular imbalances can create serious issues. Hamstring imbalances, for example, can cause tightness and pain in your lower back. Sometimes, working with machines or doing exercises that don’t challenge muscles individually can exacerbate the problem by allowing the dominant side to, well, dominate.