Have you always been a lone gym goer who prefers to workout in their own company? If this is you, then the thought of group exercise might send shivers down your spine, but we’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
Something we hear a lot when asking why someone hasn’t tried group exercise before is “I will start doing classes when I’m fitter!” But why? The fantastic thing about group-ex is that it is for everyone and every fitness level. Group exercise offers a variety of benefits you may miss out on if you choose to work out on your own.
Did you know, people who take part in group exercise stay motivated for longer and a higher percentage of participants achieve their personal health and fitness goals. Instructors (and fellow class attendees) encouragement and support surrounds you with inspiration to dig deeper and push harder. You also tend to get a complete workout in class, as opposed to in the gym, where working out on your own makes it easier to skip exercises. Group-ex classes encourage you to carry on going to the end without cutting corners.
- Sociable & fun
If you like to be around others, you will probably enjoy the social aspect of group-ex classes. These fun sessions provide you with the opportunity to meet new people and form new friendship and an added benefit is an opportunity to share workout tips and nutritional advice. Working out with others ensures you are more committed to attend each session.
- Safe & effective structure
An appropriately designed class includes a warm up, cool down and flexibility in addition to the main class content. When people exercise on their own they often skip important elements of their workout, such as flexibility and cooling down, which may result in injury. With an instructor on hand in every class, they can ensure every move is executed properly (and in the right order of course!) Proper form is vital to ensure you get the best workout for your muscles and body to reap the rewards of taking part, but is also hugely important to prevent injury.
What class should I choose?
It is an over-used cliché but when it comes to group-ex, there really is something out there to suit all ages, abilities and tastes. The best advise we can give you is get out there and try as many classes as you can to see which ones you enjoy the most. You may also be surprised by how much you enjoy a class that maybe didn’t tickle your fancy on first impressions. Generally speaking though, sessions such as Body Conditioning, Body Pump, BLT, Zumba, Clubbercise or Spin type classes seem to be popular with those new to exercise, with participants starting off at a lower intensity or using lower weights and slowly progressing.
For those looking for a more ‘intense’ experience, classes designed to increase the body’s metabolic rate such as Insanity and H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) are great. Instructors usually offer adaptions for exercises and alternative work/rest ratios as an individual progresses.
Another fantastic option for group exercise that we simply cannot go without mentioning is the H1VE Boutique Fitness Studio (situated at Life Leisure Stockport Sports Village in Woodley). H1VE sessions take on more of a group personal training structure and incorporate a large range of equipment and training styles into each session. You can expect to use dumbbells, kettle bells, rowing machines, assault bikes, battle ropes, prowlers and more! So it’s much more of a home-from-home for the regular gym goer.
However, if you prefer a less intense class and a calmer approach to exercise, classes such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi might be your thing. These classes bring mind and body together, improving posture, strength and flexibility. PiYo combines both Pilates and Yoga and will take a participants training to the next level in terms of core strength and flexibility.
To conclude, there are many benefits of group exercise both for the seasoned athlete and complete beginner. We can’t rave about it enough and highly recommend mixing up your exercise regime with a class or two thrown in. If H1VE peaked your interest, you can find out more on their website here: https://www.h1ve.co.uk/