We have Jane Fonda, Patricia Lewis and Richard Simmons to thank for that. Luckily we’ve come a long way. Time is precious and you want to get the absolute most out of your workout. If you thought fitness classes weren’t a way to do that, think again. These exercise classes are all about optimisation – it’s a proper workout. Studies show there is a wealth to be gained from group training, even for the seasoned fitness fanatic. Let us use our boundless charm (and also science) to show you why you should bring your big boy pants and give group training a go.
1. Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it
Let’s just say that thinking certain things are only for men and other things are only for women is a bit outyds don’t you reckon? If you think fitness classes aren’t for guys, guess again. We’re not just talking light aerobics here, these classes are all about getting you results. There are many scientifically-proven reasons why trying something different, is good not only for your fitness, but also for your overall health and well-being. You already know that doing the exact same workout every day is not going to do much for your fitness, that’s why fitness programmes are designed to incrementally increase in intensity. As explained by shape.com, your muscles will benefit even more from a complementary fitness class that they will from increasing the reps or intensity of an existing workout. So don’t let preconceptions stop you from trying something that could take your fitness to the next level, just because you think it’s not for you.
2. There’s strength in numbers
It’s fun to do stuff together, why do you think women go to the bathroom together? It’s not because they skipped leg day and need to assume the Alpha Formation. But it’s not just fun, there really is strength in numbers, the shared energy in the room can help motivate and push beyond what you think your limitations are. Sciencedaily.com cites a study where researchers found a 24.8 percent improvement in physical performance in group exercise participants compared to individual fitness participants. The same group also saw a 26.2 reduction in perceived stress levels, so fitness classes are not only an amazing functional workout that provides real physical results, it also increases the stress-reduction benefits you’d get during an individual workout.
We’re pack animals; we’re wired to sleep, eat and hunt together. When you extend the strength in numbers concept to pack mentality, it’s no surprise that working towards a singular goal within the context of a larger group improves the performance of the individual. This also seems to be the natural evolution in the fitness industry as seen in the meteoric rise of crossfit training. Talking to nbcnews.com crossfit pioneer, Rob McGillivary calls this phenomenon “tribe mentality” and says “I believe it to be a key indicator that working out in a motivational pack or using it as a tool to enhance internal or external competitive performance is fast becoming the preferred form of exercise.”
While it’s taking the fitness world by storm, this phenomenon is not exactly new to most of us. Think back to playing team sports at school, there was a natural impulse to motivate each other and a high from the camaraderie of challenging yourself against a common rival. In the fitness classes, the common rival isn’t an opposing team, but the weaker version of ourselves and we’re all pushing each other to beat that guy.
Sadly, not all of us can commit to team sports, and some of us just plain old don’t have one of choice or a suitable team near them, so group fitness classes like bootcamp can give you that pack drive, without the strict schedule.
Also don’t discount the power of a healthy ego. The Köhler Group Motivation Gain principle demonstrates that no one wants to the weakest link in the team, so each individual pushes themselves harder to avoid being the weakest. This is turn, raises the collective level of performance of the group and each individual within the group. So next time someone tells you to check your ego at the door, hit them with some science.
4. It’s the stuff of pros
Not only is the class designed by a pro, it’s lead by a pro. Even if you know a thing or two about fitness and are a regular at the gym, it’s probably not your nine to five. Group class instructors do this on the daily, they’ve had complete a certification and most have a background in some form of anatomy studies, physiotherapy or kinesiology. They’re far better equipped than the average Joe, or his gym buddy, Jakob at movement optimisation and injury prevention. Not only is the instructor at hand to help, but you know the workout has been created off the back of education and experience to give you the best possible results.
5. Goal achievement: get fit AF
It’s totally understandable that most of want to be ripped, because muscles and six packs and tight-ass t-shirts and Jason Momoa. Momoa-ville muscles are a great goal and we’ll touch more on that later, but it can’t be your only goal. Huffing and puffing after one flight of stairs is not a good look for anyone, no matter how jacked they are.
Time is money (and knowledge and power and pizza) and we want to achieve as much with our time as possible, so how do we this? We combine several elements into one class. With a boxing class for example, you combine fitness and endurance training, while still aiding muscle definition with strength training. Here we’re making big strides towards your fitness goal, while still optimizing your time by incorporating several elements into your workout.
6. It’s a bonding experience
You’ve almost definitely come across the term high-intensity interval training (HIIT), it’s Sparta-level stuff.
In a worldwide survey, HIIT was the third largest trend in fitness in 2017. In case you’ve spent the last year or so in hibernation (omg the guy from The Apprentice is the leader of the free world, wtf), HIIT is comprised of short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest and typically lasts about 30 minutes per session. Most gyms offer great HIIT classes and they’re perfect for weight loss. Compared to traditional steady-state endurance workouts, HIIT classes result in 6-15% more calories being burned during the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) period, which is when most of your exercise-related fat burning takes place. In keeping with our theme of multi-element workout optimisation, HIIT classes also help keep you jacked as the avoidance of steady state cardio aids in the prevention of muscle fibre breakdown.
7. Goal achievement: build muscle
Speaking of being getting jacked, don’t think your muscle building journey limits you endlessly haunting the weight wracks. You should take yourself on over to those pilates or yoga classes (we know, bare with us). Want to do better squat lifts? Strengthen your core. Want to help prevent lifting injuries? Strengthen your core. Want a leaner back? Strengthen your core. Want to improve your lifting posture? Strengthen your core. Ok, we’ve probably made our point that core strength is hella important for building muscle. One of the most effective ways if strengthening your core? Yoga and pilates. Enough said.
So gym classes will help vary and optimise your workout program, motivate you, improve your performance and wellbeing, help you get fit, burn fat and build muscle. It’s a lot to benefit from something that lasts less than an hour. So where do you start to reap these benefits? How do you know which class is right for you? You use our class finder tool! It’s been specifically designed to give you a tailored list of the best possible classes that match your personal fitness goals and fitness level. Whether you want to challenge yourself or ease in, bulk up, or slim down, you’re guaranteed to find something that works.