During the COVID quarantine I struggled with my own personal workouts because I missed the group fitness environment. It wasn’t just the workout part, it was that I missed my team of people working toward a common goal: to get healthier. It’s not about a calorie burn; it’s the accountability, motivation, determination, inspiration, discipline, and energy that the group atmosphere provides. In the fitness world, group fitness is like a team sport. The coach (trainer/instructor) teaches form, sets the drills and rules, motivates the group to keep going and even calls out his/her players when they take a break.
While some people prefer to work out on their own, there are a ton of folks who have discovered the magic of working out with others. I polled some of my fellow group fitness fans and asked them, “What’s the best thing about group fitness?”
“Motivation, accountability and friendships. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone to try group fitness, but now I’ll never do anything else.” – Lauren
“Not having to come up with your own workout at the gym; the trainers do it for you!” – Hannah
“For me it’s the competition. I push myself so much harder when I’m trying to beat or keep up with someone else. I’ll quit a lot quicker on an at-home workout!” – Jessica
“The people… 100% hands down, the motivation, encouragement, and love that you feel from the people going through exactly what you are going through in that point in time.” – Ashleigh
“Signing up for a class so my mind doesn’t talk me out of doing my workout.” – Sommer
“It’s motivating to see others bettering themselves. So when my mind comes up with excuses to quit, I see the person next to me continuing to move their body, and their determination pushes me to do the same.” – Lisa
“Pushing yourself because you’re in a group and don’t want to look like a slacker.” – Olivia
“The instructors: you can go to a lot of group fitness classes and have a mediocre instructor and think it’s what group fitness really is, but when you have a superior instructor it takes it to a whole new level.” – Laura
How To Take Full Advantage
• The best use of your time and money is to find a workout class close to you.
• Look for an appropriate class: low impact if you’re just starting out, or advanced if you’re an experienced fitness enthusiast looking for a challenge.
• Pay in advance for a class at a specific time. You don’t have to spend long hours making your own workout plan, or hire an expensive personal trainer. Just show up.
• Introduce yourself to others in the class. They’ll help you get the right equipment needed for that class. And as you make friends, they may even hold your favorite spot in class.
• Trust the instructor. They know what they’re doing with the exercises.
• You will leave feeling totally spent, exhausted, and miserable. But you will live through it. Your body will hate you in that first week, but keep showing up. Each class will get easier. The soreness will fade. You’ll be stronger, and proud of yourself.
Tips for starting a new workout class:
Show up to class five to ten minutes early. Your new instructor will appreciate it because class can get started on time and they can go over what to expect.
Greet and introduce yourself to the instructor. Making that connection sends the message that you are open to encouragement and feedback. This is a good time to communicate any exercise modifications you might need.
If you loved the workout, tell the trainer—trainers are people too, and they need encouragement!
Stick With It
Once you find the right team, aka group fitness gym for you, keep it up! I want to stress the importance of sticking with it. Give yourself 90 days of consistent exercise. In 30 days, your clothes will fit better. In 60 days, those closest to you will notice the change in your body. Everyone else will notice in 90 days.
Whatever it takes, stay consistent. Application is everything. Stay strong!