Does getting in shape top your list of back to school resolutions? Know how important strength training is to changing your body but unsure of where to start? Intimidated by gyms and weight rooms?
Look no further; group fitness classes are a great place to begin your strength training journey.
No longer just a place to get a good, choreographed, cardiovascular workout, aerobic studios are THE place for women looking to learn about strength training in a supportive, non-judgmental, primarily female environment!
In addition to grape vines and step touches, today’s group fitness classes often include weight training, core conditioning and functional exercises. With names like Body Sculpt, Power Core and Athletic Training, these classes can help you get leaner, stronger, more defined and yes, build great guns!
Benefits of participating in group fitness classes over starting out in the weight room?
- Groups have great energy
- The music is uplifting and regulates the speed of the workout
- Classes tend to be primarily female
- You’ll learn to properly use a variety of strength training tools
- Every class will be different (this is important; ‘muscle confusion’ leads to results)
- You’ll meet like-minded people who will become your new friends and training buddies
Ultimately, the quality of the class (and the speed with which your guns will appear), depends on who’s teaching it.
Ideally, your group strength training instructor will;
- Be knowledgable about weight training
- Demonstrate a variety of levels or progressions for each exercise
- Tell you how the workout will be structured, allowing you to choose the right weight for the number of repetitions and sets she expects you to perform
- Be safety-conscious, with respect to both equipment and exercise form
- Spend most of the class coaching and correcting participants’ form, rather than focusing on her own workout
And most important, when she sees that you’re ready to step into the weight room (I promise, you’ll get there), she’ll celebrate your decision to leave the comfort of the class and venture out on your own!
Do you participate in group fitness classes?
What are your favourite types of class?
NB. This essay originally appeared on the Skinny Ms. blog but was inadvertently left out of the archives during the website’s re-design. I’m re-posting it here because (1) I think it’s a good read 🙂 and (b) it needs a permanent home!