Are Fitness Classes Effective or a Waste of Your Time?
Fitness classes come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes in modern workout culture. Gyms have them going on pretty much all day every day, and they are growing in popularity all the time. They cover a massive range of different kinds of training, from aqua aerobics through to mixed martial arts and hardcore spin classes. There’s generally something appealing to everyone.
But does their growing popularity actually reflect how effective they are? One important factor to look at before you shape your workout plan around fitness classes is how effective they will be to you on a personal level. Different things work for different people, of course, but here’s a breakdown.
One of the biggest pros that fitness classes really have going for them is their motivational benefits. In more ways than one, too. If you’re not sure about what to do, or you’re new to exercising in general, they can be a great way to find your feet and catch the fitness bug as you are guided through a workout. They push you to your limits and help you get the best workout you can. Awesome!
Following on from motivation, fitness classes are also a great way to show you the kind of thing you can be doing. They’ll generally run through a series of different ways to exercise in one workout. If you’re not sure what to do, or you just want to spice thing up a bit, you’ll be getting a guided workout. Your technique will be better, you’ll have the chance to learn from others, and hopefully, you’ll improve your performance.
Classes, of course, have a social benefit too. You’re in a room full of people, all in the same boat, all doing the same thing. You have more than enough chances to talk to someone else there and work together, making friends and supporting each other. You may even find yourself motivating others as well as yourself, which is invaluable in itself!
Everything does have downsides of course. That’s how most things in life work. Fitness classes are all well and good on paper, and as a group activity, they are fun, useful, and they can be a great way to kick things off. Long term though, you may find you need to home in on your own goals. This is where the issues begin to arise.
Generic and impersonal
Fitness classes are of course full of people. That’s the whole point. They are a group activity where you are all doing the same thing following along with the instructor. The problem is, you might now be working toward your own personal goals in the best way that you can. Having a workout plan tailored to just you may be all the difference. You can manage your time better and really focus on you, rather than the instructor and the class as a whole. Your fitness is unique to you, after all.
Efficiency isn’t always at its best in classes either. Although you’re pushing to your limits in what you’re doing, it might not be the right thing for you. Classes tend to cater to a huge range of people, rather than people on one skill level. This means that certain classes might not be challenging enough for you. On top of that, things can go the other way too. The class may be too difficult, which could have a negative impact on your training. Feeling like you’re lagging or struggling to keep up can be seriously detrimental to your motivation!
All in all, fitness classes do what they need to. They guide you through one specific workout in a high intensity and instructed course. They force you to push yourself, and you can make some good friends too. They are likely a good stepping stone, but depending on your goals, they may not be the best thing for you in the long run. Train your own way and do what’s best for you. Your fitness needs to be enjoyable and sustainable at the end of the day, and you need to progress at your own level, not others. Find what you enjoy, and what works best for you. Variety is always a good call after all.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.