One of the difficult things that comes with moving is finding your new “locations”. By locations I mean places you would go to on a regular basis such as the place you get groceries, where you get your cup of coffee, your favorite place to get froyo after a stressful day (I’ve already found my place even in this freezing weather!), and one of the ones that I thought was going to be even more difficult, where to go to do your workouts.
This is how I spent one of my days off after one of my workout classes. Just sitting in a froyo place down in Columbus Circle, eating salted caramel froyo with granola, sliced almonds, and crushed Twix bars (TO DIE FOR!), and reading my book while people watching. It was one of the most relaxing afternoons!
This last part can be difficult because you want to work out somewhere where you feel comfortable the moment you walk through the door and where you can find encouragement and the opportunity to seek growth in your fitness and through yourself. After that many other factors come into play. Is the price right? Is it in a convenient location and do the hours fit your schedule? Do they have enough equipment to suit your needs and do they offer classes you like?
These are all important factors when trying to either find a new place to workout or when finding your very first place to begin your transition to living an active lifestyle. Today I want to focus on group fitness classes and how to try out new classes since this can be intimidating when moving to a new fitness club or when you’re in the beginning of stage of starting a fitness plan for the first time.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to either mix up the same old workout or how to make working out fun is by taking a group fitness class.
Benefits of taking group exercise classes
1. Being in a group, whether it’s a club you join or a class you take, provides high energy and encouragement to help you reach that next level in your fitness plan.
2. By being in a class, you know you are “stuck” in that room for the given amount of time that the exercise lasts. That being said, it’s more difficult to walk away in a group setting once the class has started and you’re more likely to push yourself and go the full hour or however long the class lasts.
3. By switching up workout routines and essentially putting your muscles to shock with each new experience, exercising doesn’t get old or boring and I find I am always challenged in one way or another. There’s an incredible mix of diversity through fitness classes now a days and something for everyone from dance, spin, yoga, combat, circuit, water activities, and everything in between. This also makes working out fun so you’re more likely to stick to it.
That last part is incredibly important, because if you don’t enjoy your workout you aren’t going to stick with it. That being said, what’s the best way to go about starting a new fitness class or trying it for your first time? Not to go all Nike on you, but “just do it”! Even though it can be intimidating or nerve wrecking, everyone is a first time gym goer or has had a first time in a new fitness class.
How to overcome the “First Day Jitters”
1.Look up your gym’s class schedule and ask the employees about what instructors they would suggest based on your fitness level or preference.
2. Do a little research on the classes.The internet is an amazing resource which allows you to see what other people are saying about that specific class or instructor or about classes similar to the one you’ll be taking.
3. Wear something you’re comfortable in that will allow for movement and will also keep you cool. Also make sure you know ahead of time what you’ll need going into the class. Most facilities will provide the weights, bars, bands, and mats necessary but you may need to bring your own gloves to a kickboxing class or your own mat to a yoga session. This way you’ll feel prepared.
4. Try going with a friend. Something about knowing that someone else is there trying the class with you is very encouraging and can make you feel more at ease with trying something new.
The last couple of weeks I made it a personal goal to try a new class every week. I already talked about my love of “Whipped!” last week. But this last week, oh my lanta. I was humbled as I reconfigured my idea as to what a true challenging workout is. Along with that, I’m going to try a new fitness class about once a week. This week’s challenge and one of my favorite classes of all time is Omar Sandoval’s “Titan Methods”.
This is the overall rating of Titan Methods on rateyourburn.com
I’d say that’s pretty accurate! Only I would give the music 3 music notes because I thought it was a great mix of high energy and motivating beats.
The class is a 60 minute conditioning class in which the instructor combines a high intensity muscle workout with the endurance of extreme cardio conditioning. You use light to medium weights as you go between lunges, overhead presses, abdominal swings, planks, burpees, pushups, and a variety of other exercises until by the end of the class you are doing burpees and pushups in a puddle of your own sweat. Or maybe it’s even the sweat from the guy next to you since the class is absolutely packed. The class went reasonably quick since the instructor had blasted some high energy beats and also participated in the workout himself. That’s another thing that I enjoy about a good class, knowing that the instructor not only designed it but they are also going through the same challenge you are.
For this week’s new class I’m debating between a conditioning class that combines the coordination of ballet movements and cardio to tone muscles I never knew existed (according to reviews on this class) and another cardio conditioning class.
What are some tips you have for mixing up workouts? Are there any classes you absolutely love and would recommend to others?