This is the image that comes into most males’ heads when you mention the word group exercise. In the past, this may have been the case (google Jane Fonda and you’ll see what I’m talking about), however times have changed…my oh my have they changed.
Group exercise is no longer only for cohorts of over-excited sorority girls, middle aged divas and overly camp instructors. Nowadays classes are filled with every type of person imaginable, from 80 year old Nanny Iris to the 21 year old super powerful Adonis, with everything in between.
Here are my top 5 reasons why:
There is almost an endless amount of variety
Yes, you can still do the 80s style aerobics classes, which is awesome if that’s your thing. But if it isn’t the choice available to you is absolutely HUGE! There are classes such as BodyPump (a class based around lifting weights, no aerobics involved), RPM/Spin (sat on an indoor bike pedaling fast/slow to different resistances), classes based around martial arts such as BodyCombat, yoga, Pilates, the list just goes on and on.
The key to this is that if you try enough classes out, you will find one that you absolutely love, and will come back to time and time again. You’ll also more than likely try some classes out that you don’t like so much, and that’s all good, at least you’ll know.
2. You don’t have to be good at ‘timing’
Some classes rely on you to being a move to a ‘beat’, whether that be with your arms or legs (or both). But not every class is like that. Les Mills Grit Series, for example, is entirely done at your own pace, with the music being more a motivational tool than anything else. There are also plenty of circuit style classes which are the same.
3. The coaching you’ll receive will be awesome
You know that guy in the gym…the one who insists on telling you what you’re doing wrong, and why you should do it ‘this way’ or ‘that way’. If you haven’t experienced this person, you’re lucky.
Well the great thing about group exercise is that the instructor is most definitely qualified to be giving you advice (and fully insured if you break yourself). They are also giving you that advice because they think you will benefit from it, which is generally a long way away from the gym advisers, so more often than not are stroking their own egos by telling you you’re doing it wrong.
Group exercise instructors are also, on the most part, trained coaches. They have been taught not just the science that underlies the moves that you are doing, but the soft skills around how to give advice, when to give it and how much of it to give.
4. Classes will motivate you way more than you ever thought
Research has shown that people are far more likely to exercise harder, longer and have less chance of falling off the wagon when they train in groups. Fact.
5. You’ll meet some crazy people, some of whom will turn out to be your best mates
Humans are instinctively social creatures. We seek, whether consciously or not, to form bonds with our peers and develop relationships. This is a great thing about group exercise!
It is social, but not in an overt way. You have the option of interacting, chatting, pushing each other etc., but it is not compulsory. You would not be frowned upon, or looked at any differently if you want to stay the back of a class and do your own thing in your own zone.
Give it a go, you have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain!
‘throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’