Trying to find an exercise class that is the right fit for you? Looking for something that is both challenging and motivating? If you are looking to get in a good workout without the work of creating your own routine, group exercises classes might be right for you. As someone who prefers to do their exercising in a group exercise class, I’ve spent many hours sampling different gyms and a variety of classes and have found a few critical things to consider when evaluating if a class is right for you.
The energy of an instructor can make any class exciting. This is one of the reasons I started going to group exercise classes; an instructor’s enthusiasm motivated me to push myself in ways that I wouldn’t if I were working out by myself. The instructor sets the tone for a class. If they are leading or modelling the routines and moves with you but also taking the time to walk around, this is a good indicator that the instructor is dedicated to checking in with all the class members and making sure everyone feels comfortable while pushing themselves to get the most out of their workout.
Good instructors will also give you feedback or encouragement in some way throughout a class. We think we want to be anonymous in a fitness class but honestly most of us want some recognition for the hard work we are doing. A smile or a quick format fix shows me that the instructor is paying attention and cares about me doing my best.
You want a class that is going to push you to your personal best without making you feel like you can barely keep up. Many instructors will offer a variety of options within their class targeted to engage attendees at their fitness level. Whether it’s changing up the weight or the cardio level, it gives you the option to choose what fits your needs for that day. Every day is different and every person is different in a fitness class. While it is important physically and mentally to challenge yourself, you never want to walk out of a class feeling absolutely defeated. Find the right balance in every class you take.
When I first started regularly attending cardio kickboxing classes, what kept me coming back every week was the music. It was upbeat and I looked forward to the songs and routines. I enjoy a lot of different kinds of music, so it was easy for me to fall into classes like spin and high energy conditioning classes. Whether it is hip hop, dance music or another motivating genre, find a class that plays music you can groove to. Upbeat music in addition to a thoughtful arrangement of the class routine is really important to me since that is what keeps me moving.
After taking a class, ask yourself, is this something I can commit to regularly? That can be weekly or monthly. The important thing is that you see yourself doing this on a somewhat regular basis. Finding the right class helped me stay honest about my workouts since they were on a particular night, at a set time, only further contributing to my scheduled life. I scheduled my fun around these nights but made a point to prioritize working out.
Since I prioritize both fitness and fun, I like to schedule fitness dates with friends when I can. Finding friends who will try a new class with you are perfect for keeping your fitness consistent and manageable. And, its always more fun when you work out with friends!
Does this gym or plan fit into your budget? If the answer is no, then don’t try to make it fit. If you absolutely love it, do a drop in class now and then; there are plenty of affordable gyms and plans out there. Most gyms will also let you try the classes at a discounted rate the first time you go. Maybe you cannot commit to a monthly membership there, but you could commit to one class a month. There are also some companies out there that sponsor a variety of gyms and allow you to attend some of their classes each month like ClassPass.
In this end, this is all about you! Discovering the right fitness class for you can make a huge difference in the way you think about group exercise. Have fun exploring!