Picture this –
Someone who’s always avoided stepping into a gym decides “Enough is ENOUGH!” She’s going to join a gym, work her butt off and get the body of her dreams!
So, she joins a gym. It’s her first day there and as she starts navigating the floor, she realizes that she’s completely at sea! She can’t seem to work the machines, the free weights section barely has any place to stand in, and why are those pesky trainers following her everywhere??
As she looks around for a place to hide, she notices a brightly lit, glass-walled room in the corner. Girls, women and even a few men are standing on their mats and rotating their arms. There’s a trainer on the stage in front of them and he’s guiding them through the movements. Curious, she walks in and starts following his instructions.
After about a minute, the trainer walks over to the sound system and a fast-paced techno beat starts blaring from the speakers. Welcome to Group Functional Training!
An hour later, she’s soaked to the skin, out of breath and very, very happy. She’s found something she can actually do at the gym!
Group Classes: Yay or Nay?
Power Yoga, Zumba, Functional Training and – everyone’s favourite – Spinning: group batches are a staple in most gyms today. And for good reason – there’s a lot of demand for them.
For a minute, let’s leave aside whether or not Belly Dancing moves are good for fat loss and examine why these group classes are so popular and if they are of any actual help:
Connections – Emotional Engagement helps bring about Physical Improvements
A study published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association found that people who participated in group classes at the gym were happier than those who chose to work out alone or not at all.
For a noob, this could be a good way to make new connections at the gym. After all, humans are social animals. If you know you have friends and people you’re familiar with, then you’d be less likely to miss a scheduled class.
Do Away With Guesswork
Group classes follow a fixed schedule. So you always know when the next Power Yoga class is – day, date and time. Unlike a gym session which requires internal discipline to just step into those sneakers and drag yourself to the venue, here, you’re either there or you’ve missed the bus. And this is a fun bus you don’t want to miss!
Knowing what to expect at the gym before you’ve even stepped inside takes out the guesswork and the sense of the unknown from your workouts. Someone who’s already demotivated is less likely to suddenly start looking forward to the next workout.
But if you join a group class, you can take it one session at a time. And before you know it, you’ve been going to the gym for a whole week, then a month, then three! Congratulations, you’re officially a groupie!
Group classes are led by an instructor or trainer who takes the guesswork out of your workout. All you have to do is turn up for the class and follow the trainer’s instructions. Someone who is new to exercise or hates working out would certainly benefit from this kind of hand-holding.
So here’s the final word. If you’ve tried and failed at being regular with exercise and workouts, a group class may be just what the doctor ordered! It’s fun, it’s social, you know what to expect and you don’t need to worry about what other people think – they’re too busy looking at the instructor, trying to get their own moves right! So drop your inhibitions, kiss your excuses goodbye and sign up for the next group class. Who knows, it may break down your resistance and help you break your habit of avoiding the gym!
Author Credits – Jaideep Bhide