At the Health Club
- Published on Tuesday, 27 October 2009 20:14
- Written by Giles Howard
It’s difficult to stay motivated at the gym especially when your goals are weeks and months away. If you have a problem with motivation or you just want a change of pace in your exercise routine, you might want to consider participating in group classes at your gym.
If you decide to participate in group classes, it’s important that you choose the ones that are right for you and will help you meet your fitness goals. Gyms offer a variety of classes but they tend to fall into one of five categories: indoor cycling, boot camps, yoga/Pilates, aerobic and strength training.
The first type of class to consider is an indoor cycling class. Indoor cycling classes make use of stationary bicycles with weighted flywheels, adjustable resistance and modified handlebars. The machines are built to simulate outdoor bicycling and the classes do this by increasing and decreasing difficulty to simulate inclines or flat stretches.
Indoor cycling classes are great cardio exercises and perfect for individuals working out to lose weight. Knee and back injuries are most common and are most often caused by improper use of the equipment and failure to adjust the equipment properly.
The second class to consider is a boot camp style class. These have become fairly popular in the last few years to the point where most gyms over them as a class focused on weight loss and strength training. The class is designed to push participants more than they would push themselves and also provide them with a routine workout.
It’s a good class for people trying to lose weight and tone muscles. It isn’t necessarily appropriate for someone trying to bulk up but it would teach anyone good techniques and improve motivation.
Boot camp classes are a relatively new fad but yoga and Pilates have been around for hundreds of years. Yoga and Pilates both focus on mental as well as physical fitness and are less about weight loss or strength training than they are about increasing flexibility and control over the body. These classes are a fixture of American gyms and are frequently not covered by gym memberships but instead cost a nominal per class fee.
Yoga and Pilates are great classes for people seeking intense relaxation, concentration and greater control over their bodies. These classes won’t significantly contribute to your attempts to lose weight or build muscle but they can help you gain greater control over your body.
Gyms also offer a variety of generic aerobic exercise classes. Many such classes involve dance moves, kickboxing, stepping and a number of other physical movements borrowed from everyday life and other athletic disciplines. While indoor cycling classes are grueling and endurance based, generic aerobic classes are less demanding. They’re also less specialized and generally don’t require special equipment the way advanced indoor cycling does. General Aerobics classes are ideal for individuals working on losing weight but not as effective as indoor cycling. These classes offer no benefits for individuals working out to build muscle.
The final category of group classes is strength training classes. Primarily geared toward women, strength training classes involve high rep, low weight exercises designed to help participants tone muscles and lose weight. Importantly, such classes are also great places to learn technique when starting out and they’re cheaper than personal training sessions.
Strength training classes are a great way to lose weight quickly and tone muscles. They’re primarily designed for women but can benefit men when they’re just starting out.
These five categories describe the bulk of group classes offered in gyms across the country. Such classes are ideal for individuals seeking to lose weight who have problems with motivating themselves.