Maybe you are brand new to fitness, or maybe you have been involved in some sort of physical activity your entire life. Whatever the case, group fitness can be a fun, relationship building activity.
What is group fitness?
Group fitness is simply like minded people getting together to enjoy the same type of fitness/fitness program. Some of the most well known are Zumba, F45, Pilates, Yoga, Barre, multiple types of martial arts, and of course CrossFit.
Group fitness is usually highly structured when compared to the lone gym goer doing their own thing, and is slightly different from hiring a personal trainer. There are start and end times, the workout is usually programmed before you arrive, the class generally has a schedule that is followed by all members of the group. Hopefully the coach/trainer goes over expectations, demonstrates movements, corrections, and is motivating. As far as the “personality” of the class, that is dependent on the program. A Barre or Yoga class will have a very different feel than a CrossFit or martial arts class.
Will I like group fitness?
It depends! If you like coaching, community, accountability, structure, camaraderie, and are even slightly competitive then group fitness is probably a great fit. It isn’t for everyone though, and that’s okay. In my opinion one of the best things about group fitness is the accountability and community.
Even before opening Buffalo Nickel I really enjoyed getting to know the coaches, and members. Finally, fitness had become more than just working out to stay in shape, it became my hobby; and the people I met were who I spent my time with.
I loved it. I could show up, have an entire hour planned out for me, work hard in what reminded me of a team practice (there was a coach, you have others there to help push you, and you did the same for them). Afterwards we could usually just talk and hangout, or if we were too exhausted we could might sit and watch while others went through the same torture we just finished.
What about pricing?
Every place is different but to get an idea we can use a spectrum. On one end is a typical ‘globo-gym’(Gold’s, Lifetime, Genesis, Planet Fitness), usually these are on the less expensive side. They range in cost from $10/month and up depending on what your membership includes. On the other end of the spectrum is personal training, personal trainers generally price their services around $60/hour. We are calling this expensive because if a person hires a personal trainer 3 days a week at that cost they will be spending at least $720 a month.
Group fitness cost’s fall pretty much anywhere in between. Since I know CrossFit it is the only one I feel comfortable pricing, and prices usually range from $80 to $250+ per month. Factors on price include location, how many classes a week you want to attend, what equipment is available, and if you want extra’s (nutrition coaching, open gym options, PT sessions, etc.)
What is the best group fitness program?
Easy. Whatever one you enjoy. There is no way that I or anyone else can tell you which is best for you, that is 100% your choice. But here are some tips.
- Decide what your goals are: If you want to learn how to box, CrossFit probably won’t help. Visa versa for olympic lifting or learning a muscle up. While both will help you be more fit, they each concentrate on different areas of fitness.
- Find one that fits you: If you walk in and it feels like home, that’s a pretty good sign. This is one of those “I knew right away” things, so pay attention to what your gut is telling you.
- Ask questions and look around: Look to see if equipment is organized, surfaces are clean, ask those who are already members questions, what they like, if there is anything they don’t like, do they get coached, is there something they wish was different, etc.
- Pick the one you feel is the best fit: I might learn pilates from the #1 pilates instructor in the world, and I am sure I would learn a ton of stuff. But it probably would not make me want to do pilates regularly. On the flip side, I could go to a CrossFit box that had only brand name equipment and is super cheap, but if the coach doesn’t actually coach then I don’t care what the cost is or how great the equipment. You know what is important to you, whatever program you are interested in, pick the place that suits you and your interest best.
Group or no group:
If you are the slightest bit interested in group fitness, then go try some places. The worst that happens is you exercise in a way you don’t usually. Life is about trying new things. So go take a chance!
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