Last week we talked about some of the reason why someone should choose Personal Training, and to follow that theme, today we are going to be looking at Group Classes!
When we started our studio, Group Classes were the jewel in our crown. In fact, there wasn't even a crown - there was just the jewel! These days we have a more comprehensive system for helping people with their health and fitness, but I say this to point out that we have a strong background in group training. We've always prided ourselves on being able to manage multiple skill levels in a group, and tailoring our class content on the fly, all while delivering a fun and engaging experience.
I think it's important to note that terms like "Group Classes" or "Group Fitness Classes" are very broadly defined in that they all share the characteristic of training in a group, but not all group classes are created equal by any means. You should always try to find classes that YOU enjoy. Don't write off group training because of one bad experience.
Progress. Growth. Gains. All come from consistency. And you're more likely to be consistent if you're doing something you love with people you like - life is too short to do it any other way :)
With that aside, here are 8 reasons, why Group Classes might be the right fit for you.
Relatively Flexible Schedule
If you've got a flexible schedule, Group Classes can be a great option for you. Class times are generally fixed (or don't change often) so if you have the flexibility to change your schedule to fit a class timetable - great!
Motivated by training with others
If you love being around people and find it inspiring to see what other people can do, then Group Classes are definitely for you!
Motivation can be tricky, and what's motivating for one person (being around other people doing things you feel you can only dream of) can be completely demoralising and demotivating for someone else. Recognise who you are, and what works for YOU and plan your training accordingly.
History of Team Sports
This is a similar point to the one above, but I'm adding it separately because I think it's worth mentioning. If you've had a really positive experience with Team sports in the past, it's probably a good sign that you'll prefer training in a group. While not a 1 to 1 comparison, that camaraderie and connection you get in team sports is similar to some group classes, and is worth seeking out. If you find a good group of people, it can really elevate the experience of training, but you need to go out looking for them - they aren't going to come to you!
Have lots of different goals
If there are loads of different things you enjoy/are interested in, you have two choices: prioritise, narrow your focus, and pursue these things one at a time (the best approach if success means a lot to you) or alternatively, embrace your varied nature and do a variety of different things to maintain your enjoyment. Remember CONSISTENCY IS KEY so if focusing is going to make things unpleasant, it may be better to keep things light and enjoyable and play the "long game", and Group Classes are perfect for that!
Aside paying for access to equipment (which is essentially open gym time), Group Fitness is one of the most cost effective ways to train. So, if you're on a budget, group classes are a great option. Always bear in mind though, if those classes aren't serving you (you don't enjoy them, they aren't getting you closer to your goals etc) then it doesn't matter how cheap they are, they are a waste of your time and money, get out there and find a class you love!
This is an interesting one, because it cuts both ways. IF you're really experienced, sometimes you're actually better placed to get more out of classes. You'll be able to progress/regress your own exercises etc and you'll know what it feels like to push yourself, so you don't necessarily need someone holding your hand the entire time. The downside to all that, is as you get more experienced, sometimes you goals become more specific, which might require more attention from a coach, and more focus on the specific things you need to work on for results - something you're not going to get in a class.
Conversely, if you're a beginner, it's kind of the same - the inference can sometimes be, "Well, if I'm a beginner I don't need specialised coaching, I just need to move!". And for some people that is absolutely the case, but for most beginners these days I recommend starting with PT first for 1-3 months, as it's the best way to give you loads of support when you need it the most. Once you're over that initial hump, then you'll be able to get so much more out of your group classes.
Don't know what you like
If you've been out of the fitness scene for a while (or maybe it's never been something you were into), then it can be truly eye opening to see all the different ways people keep fit. If you have no idea what you like or what's out there, Group Classes are a great way to experience different things.
My advice to anyone taking this approach is give it a proper shot for 3 months, AND THEN look back, see how you feel, notice the people you've met, the things you can do. If you're happy with what you're doing - continue! OR if you aren't, move to the next thing - but you want to have a strong opinion either way, and doing a class a week, will often just stay hard, and your progress will be slow. You don't want to look back and say "Oh yeah, I tried rock climbing... I did one class, wasn't really for me..."
Commit. Give it a proper shot, and then make a decision.
You've started your Journey
Group Classes, by their nature need to service a wide range of people, and sometimes, you won't fall into those buckets... but most of the time you will :) While we are all unique, more often than not, you'll find your goals will intersect with others, or even fall within the mainstream and when it does, this is a great time to do classes!
So there you have it! 8 reasons why Group Training might be a good fit for you! As I said in the PT article, these reasons aren't binary; these aren't finite, irrefutable laws. These are factors we consider when making a plan. And if you're having trouble making a plan or need an outside perspective, book in for an Intro with us (it's free!) and we can help you out :)