exercise · Uncategorized

Group Exercise Classes – Reviews

I’ve taken pretty much every class my gym offers. So I thought it was time to do a round-up of each one I’ve tried. If you’re like me, you like to know what to expect. I was very intimidated when I started attending group classes because I was big and out of shape. But I quickly found that there was a wide range of fitness levels represented and that I was not the only person who was uncoordinated and out of shape.

You can see videos of all of these classes on YouTube and other places online. I like to take a look and see what kind of moves will be involved so I don’t feel completely lost. That helps me feel more comfortable. But also realize, everyone struggles to some degree in the first class. If you keep taking it, you will learn to anticipate what’s coming and it will get simpler to follow.

Classes I Have Tried at My Gym (24 Hour Fitness)

  • Power Sculpt: This was the first class I tried when I became very bored with the elliptical. It’s a combination of some light weight lifting, calisthenics and a little bit of step. I liked this class and did it weekly for several months. I was relatively out of shape at this point and the class definitely pushed me, got my heart rate up and taught me how to do a lot of exercises I can do at home or on my own at the gym.
  • Body Pump: My absolute favorite. This class works wonders and because it is a barbell class, you can keep adding weight to keep it challenging. I credit a lot of my body shaping to this class. It takes you through a full body workout in 10 tracks: Warm-Up, Squats, Chest, Back, Triceps, Biceps, Lunges, Shoulders, Abs, and Stretching. I have visible shoulder and back muscles due to this class. Highly, highly recommend this one to anybody.
  • Yoga: The only class I only attended once. I just can’t get into the right state of mind for yoga at the gym. It is too loud and gym-y. I guess I wasn’t too fond of the instructor either. Eh. Win some lose some.
  • PiYo: This is a combination of Pilates and Yoga. It’s relaxing. I can tell it’s a struggle for some of the less in shape people, so I think this would be a good one to do even at a lower fitness level. Personally, I find it a little too easy, but I like it. I will continue with it and see how I feel about it.
  • Turbo Kick: Kick-boxing/ dance cardio class. This is a tough cardio workout if you give it your all. There are options for decreasing the intensity, but I give it all I can and sweat like mad in this class. Good music and fun.
  • Zumba: I love this even though I am bad at it and not at all graceful when I “dance”. It’s latin-inspired dance/cardio. It can be hard to follow for someone like me with two left feet, but I love the party atmosphere and I especially love the instructor. I get a good sweat because when I’m lost I don’t just stand there, I jump up and down. As long as you put energy into it, it’s a fun effective workout.
  • Boot Camp: My gym has this once in awhile. It’s usually a circuit training thing. I’m not a huge fan of it because it seems a little too thrown together for me and it isn’t really to music. I like the classes that are choreographed to music best because the time goes by.
  • My advice? You won’t know unless you try it. So if your gym offers group classes, give them a shot. I recommend trying it twice before passing judgement, unless you just can’t stand it.

    Tips on attending group exercise classes:

    1. Get there early. Late-comers typically end up piled on top of each other in the back row. Classes that require equipment need more time than those that don’t. You need a good 5-10 minutes to set up for Body Pump and be in set position and ready to go when it starts.
    2. Talk to the instructors. It’s nice to develop a relationship with them. If you have a question or concern, don’t be afraid to ask after class. It’s typically too Go Go Go! to ask during class. I’m even Facebook friends with some of my group exercise instructors.
    3. Stand in the front. I know many people want to hide in the back, but you sell yourself short. Stand where you can clearly see the instructor (another great reason to show up early) and because most people will be elbowing each other for the back row, you’ll have plenty of space. You’ll also be able to see yourself in the mirror and this will help you emulate the instructors. You will also be able to observe the changes in your physical appearance as you lose weight and tone up. This is incredibly rewarding.
    4. Pay attention to form. Listen. Good instructors repeat form advice throughout the class. Always use these reminders to reset your form for maximum benefit and minimum injury.
    5. Have fun! If you can get a friend to go with you, even better. I swear, my friends and I laugh for the entire hour of Zumba. There is no better stress reliever.

    Finally, I just want to give a quick word of thanks to all the instructors who teach. You change people’s lives! So thank you, Brenda, Kim, Laurie, Robyn, Nikki, Tony and Margoe. You have helped me immensely and continue to do so. Love It!

    One thought on “Group Exercise Classes – Reviews

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s