Why You Need Group Fitness Classes if You’re a Newbie at the Gym
Are you wondering whether group fitness classes might suit you? Are the fitness classes effective at all?
What are group fitness classes?
The purpose of group fitness classes is to create a community of engaged people who do fitness together. It’s almost like working out with a group of friends, but usually people you’ve never met before. As a beginner, you might consider joining a group fitness class at your gym or online and here is why:
1. Group workouts gives you a sense of community
Going to the gym alone can seem scary. I used to feel like everyone was looking at me and laughing when I walked into the gym by myself, but the truth is no one cares. Seriously.
So, if you feel alone or a friend ditched you last minute (which happened to me a lot of the times) be excited to still take the class, because you will still have a good time with the other people taking the classes.
A little tip: You can make friends if you come a bit early before the class starts and talk to the person next to you. It might also be their first time trying the class and you can bond over that.
Or maybe they are a regular and they can show you the ropes and tell you how the class works so that you can get a sense of it before it starts.
You can form new friendships here and make friends who will always be down to go to the gym with you. It’s a win-win.
2. The group fitness Instructor motivates you
Let’s be real. Sometimes we don’t feel motivated to workout. We sometimes hold ourselves back from reaching our max because we’re scared, we won’t be able to make it. Somehow, we convince ourselves that the exercise is just too hard which is why we can’t do it.
We think it’s for other people and not us. Well, wrong. You can achieve your highest level, but you have to believe in yourself. And sometimes, we don’t— which is why having an instructor who pushes you is like the spice in the sauce.
Someone who tells us we can when we have reached our last straw. This is what makes group fitness an amazing place to start. It is a great advantage for beginners.
This is also a great alternative if you cannot invest in a personal trainer. You still have someone motivating you, to push you past your limit.
3. Ease into exercise at the gym
Starting off at the gym can be intimidating. You don’t know where to go, how the machine works, who to trust and who to turn to and all of this can be overwhelming at first.
Although I am a fan of jumping with both feet into something new, it is also important to practice easing into a new routine. Attending group fitness classes means that you don’t have to do it alone. It’s a class, so the instructor teaches you how to use the equipment.
If all the gym equipment scares you, a fitness class will make it easier for you to use it. It will also give you ideas on how to use scary other gym equipment.
4. Gives you some exercise you can try on your own
I remember when I first started, I had no idea how to use a resistance band nor the proper way to lift a barbell bar for example. I couldn’t afford a personal trainer either. So, I signed up for a class that used barbell bars and dumbbells. That’s how I learned to lift weights.
The instructor shows the class the proper way to do it and you learned through it. It also gave you a lot of exercise idea that you could actually incorporate in your workout routine in case you can’t go to the gym or attend a fitness class.
This is better than looking up free workouts online because the instructor is qualified to tell you how the exercise works and how it is supposed to feel in your body. This is why a lot of people do exercise wrong and injure themselves: often because they follow every free workout available without checking if they have the proper form nor if the exercise is right for their level.
5. You’re more likely to show up (accountability)
Being part of a class, you attend regularly will make you feel part of a family. You usually see the same people in the same classes and that gives you confidence. Because of those familiar faces, you are more likely to come back again.
It’s almost like you know that they are expecting you. They will probably wonder why you are not there if you miss a day. So you try hard to show up as much as possible. Your “classmates” become your tribe. Especially for someone starting out, it’s extremely important to find a place where you fit when you are new at the gym.
It’s also a great option if you like blending with the crowd instead of having all attention on you such as personal training does.
But be careful not to compare yourself to people next to you. Remember, everyone is on their own journey. Focus on having fun and you’re going to have a blast!
6. Lots of fun
Did I mention group workouts are LOADS of fun? Indeed, it is! No matter what format you take it in. The music, the beat, the motivation, the people, the atmosphere— it is just magical. Group fitness classes are judgment free zones.
You are celebrated even on the smallest wins and you get to move with purpose. Working out in a supportive group is always better than working out alone.
How often should I take fitness classes?
This depends on your schedule. Luckily group fitness classes tend to run at almost every hour of the day. Whatever window of time you have, you can include it in your schedule. But for a start, two times per week is a great way to start. You want to set realistic goals with yourself if you’re just getting started.
Try out what sounds interesting. Read the description of the class and just show up! Even if it’s a format that intimidates you, it is the best place to start because you will know what you like and what you don’t like.
If it’s something you’ve always wanted to try like Zumba, go at it! You will never regret doing a good workout.
Of course, in time, you can add more fitness classes and switch up to have a variety. But make sure to stick to one class format as you’re starting out so that you can grow in your confidence and get adjusted to it.