Updated: Jul 6, 2020
How to Tell if That Group Fitness Class is a Good Fit for You.
There's power in group fitness, community, and accountability. Group fitness is something that can’t be replaced. The energy, the music, the push to go past your comfort zone, and so much more. It has been proven that participants in a group fitness class will push their intensity harder and longer just because they can’t pack up their stuff and quit so easily. The FUN factor is a lot higher in a group fitness class as well, and that makes exercise less like torture. And finally, the comrade and team support of the other members is comparable to none.
All the research on motivation, willpower, and behavior change has pointed to the benefits of community support with behavior change, and we can even see it throughout human history: groups have always outperformed individuals trying to change their behavior.
But as great as the right group is, the wrong group can really set back your efforts to make lasting behavior change.
How does this work when your workouts are virtual?
Virtual workouts act just the same, if you select properly. You can easily do a google search, uncover a fitness person sharing a workout and press play. BUT, there's POWER in working out as a community, even online. What that looks like is following a program and inviting others to do it with you. Joining a community like Group Fitness Live, and joining in scheduled live class. Showing up Live will create more of an appointment, accountability, and structure of habit for your success.
Oddly enough, when you show up live, even if the instructor can't physically see you, they "see" you, feel your energy, and are right there with you.
Here's some tips on how to choose the best classes that will motivate and work for you:
Doable (even if it’s challenging). The order of exercises, form and technique, and more importantly modifications are critical to a group fitness class success. EVERY group fitness class, including virtual classes, should be possible no matter your fitness level. If the instructor is a GOOD instructor, they will know how to handle a brand new reconditioned participant down to the most athletically trained member. The goal for the instructor should be to help everyone feel successful throughout the entire class. It is NOT the instructors shining moment to show off their skills, intensity, and sergeant mentality of “do it or get out.”
Connected. You should feel connected to the format, type of exercise, music, and feel confident that this class is going to benefit you, not hurt you.
You connect with the instructor. Putting your trust in your instructor with your workout but also body is an important decision. The format may fit your need, but the instructor may not be up your alley. If you find yourself rolling your eyes, watching the clock wishing for the class to be over, annoyed with their motivation, instruction, mannerisms, then this is a clear sign this class or instructor is not for you.
Avoid firm hard rules on how you should complete the class. Intensity levels, health history, conditioning, goals, are just a few of the variables with each participant. As an instructor, they shouldn’t label or put firm hard rules on how you should complete the class, under their intensity, restriction, longevity, form, etc. We are all on a different fitness journey and an instructor should allow various levels of work, intensity, and achievement with all of the workout.
The exercises don’t make sense. A good instructor stays on top of their game. They are educated, stay with fitness trends, and has a good routine that flows nicely. If you keep wondering the effectiveness of the majority of the exercises, hurt yourself, don’t feel the intensity, over do intensity, as well as if you keep questioning the effectiveness of the class, this class and/or instructor is not for you. This is why at Group Fitness Live, we have some of the best trainers available to you with years of experience and credentials.
Use these general tips to try out a new class and instructor. Use your gut instincts but don’t give up too quickly, especially if it's hard or you just don't get the choreography perfectly the first day. Truth is, everything new is new. You have to learn the flow of the class, what equipment is normal, and how the instructor leads. It may not be exactly how you have done things in the past or how “Suzie” your old favorite instructor use to do them. BUT keep an open mind and be open to training differently.