Is Joining Group Fitness Right For You Right Now?
It’s no secret that summer can be a particularly busy time for fitness businesses. The fresh start tends to promote new found motivation for self care and fitness goals, *and this time it’s serious*. Statistically though, not many of us stick to our New Year’s Resolutions.
Signing up for group exercise classes can increase motivation, help you to work harder, improve your social life and overall health to name just a few benefits! It can be more appealing as there is generally less cost involved to participants too.
I built my business originally on group fitness, in particular the formats of Metafit, MetaPWR and Barre. I had some impressive results personally training Metafit, it got me out of a plateau with my running, strength and body composition at the time. There’s a key reason for this that didn’t click with me at the time, which I’ll explain later.
I’ve since expanded my knowledge in the areas of training adaptations and fat loss/health (including becoming a certified Nutritionist) and have continued to improve my offerings to better meet the needs of clients who are increasingly finding less time to dedicate to working out due to demands of work and home.
Traditionally group fitness classes such as bootcamps, circuits, boxing, dance/aerobics based and Pilates and Yoga require you to dedicate large amounts of time for the desired results.
That being said, I have many clients who get and keep their amazing results training my group fitness sessions only, in around 1.5-2 hrs maximum training per week, which is fantastic. But again, the key element I will mention applies.
While many fitness business will be pushing group fitness to increase profit margins in the Summer months, what I’ve learnt over the years, is the reality of signing up for group fitness classes to address a health or fitness goal for some, can be quite risky.
So who is suited to Group Fitness?
As almost any group fitness session involves key elements such as: squat, jump, run, lunge, plank, burpees, push ups etc, and may include equipment AND requires commitment, it’s crucial that you:
- Are fairly healthy in that you don’t have any major concerns with a moderate amount of exertion (think: climbing flights of stairs, light jogging, getting down and up with relative ease). Depending on the format, such as High Intensity Interval Training, you might be up for much more “stress”, so it’s important to understand what you’re signing up for.
- Are not suffering with breathing, or blood pressure issues.
- Your joints are in good working order and pain free/able to move through their intended range of movement
- Are fairly self motivated in getting yourself to sessions regularly
- Feel comfortable and confident to ask questions or request guidance in a group setting
Who should seek alternative options?
If you answered no to more than one of the above points, have not done organised and consistent training/exercise in a year or more (very de-conditioned) or have any limitations in the standard movement patterns mentioned.
It’s not all bad news!
Just because group fitness may not be a great start point for you, it is not the ONLY way to get things done, despite what you may believe.
My #1 criteria in signing someone up for group classes is that they will be SUCCESSFUL. If the answer is no, a more individual approach is required so that these things can become achievable in future. This is a process, not a matter of just showing up and “sucking it up”, gritting though the pain until you get fitter. If you have any of the concerns mentioned, you WILL almost certainly injure yourself, get sick, or sick and tired of doing group classes.
Which leads me to:
The secret of successfully making change with Metafit (or any group fitness).
DRUMROLL…… turning up and doing it an average of 3 or more times per week, with an appropriate level of intensity, for multiple consecutive months. Commonly referred to as “being consistent”.
If you are not suited to the method, you will not maintain consistency for long enough to see the change.
That being said, there are multiple other factors that feed into the success of a training plan based on group classes, however we’ll not be covering them this particular blog – it’s very individual!
So what can I do then?
Speak to your coach about any concerns you have that may prevent you from consistently sticking to your classes. They should ideally offer you a customised training programme to address this, and build your capability over a period of time.
There is ALWAYS a way to improve anyone’s health and fitness, it shouldn’t be a choice of fitness this way, or nothing – at worst, the opposite – poor health, which should always be prevented and avoided where possible.