Group fitness has become all the rage – and it’s been all the rage for years. From classes like water aerobics, zumba, kickboxing and bootcamp classes. It’s an easy way to get a workout in and sweat with other people. From a participation standpoint – classes do incredibly well for a few reasons
– There’s something to be said for being tortured together. Misery loves company and all that.
– We’re social creates, we’re more likely to do things with others vs. alone (generally speaking of course).
– They tend to go by quickly.
– They’re usually pretty flexible as far as scheduling.
But while they’re wildly popular, they have some big limitations.
Now – you’re probably thinking this is going to be a rag piece tearing apart group classes. It’s not – it’s just shedding light on some of the limits that exist (unlike in math where the limit doesn’t exist).
I offer group classes at my gym – so clearly I don’t think they’re all bad. And there’s absolutely a best way to offer them. But I would be remise if I didn’t explain the limitations of them. Some are minor, and some are bigger. So lets dive into them!
Individuality say what?
One of the biggest problems with group classes is that they’re not individualized. As in, they often lack considerations like injuries, individual starting points, and hated exercises (i’m looking at you burpees). Some facilities are great about offering modifications and knowing their clients. But often times – that’s not the case, and you’re made to fit the mold vs. the mold being pliable. Which can lead to:
– feeling like you don’t fit in
Just to name a few.
Progress? Progress? Progress, anyone?
When you first start doing a group class – you’ll likely see progress pretty quickly. Especially if you’re fairly new to working out. Unfortunately however, that progress will have a cap. You’ll plateau and won’t be able to go above a certain weight, or rep count due to not enough rest times, or time in the class to effectively do a solid progressive workout. Depending on the goal – this isn’t a bad thing. Some people just want a good sweat and stay pretty level. If the goal is to progress and get stronger and stronger though, then this is a pretty big limitation. And you’ll likely need something on top, or another option in general. Looking into small group training or private/semi-private training can be a really great option to progress, but still be in a type of group setting if you really like that group atmosphere.
Umm.. am I doing this right?!
Often times group classes are BIG. I’m talking 15+ people. And while that’s great for the gyms profits, it’s not so great for it’s members. As a coach – it’s incredibly tough to effectively coach that many people on form and ensure everyone is getting the most out of the movement. Not impossible – I know some phenomenal coaches that have hawk eyes. But it’s still REALLY hard.
Are you even koalafied?
Some facilities don’t require the coaches to be certified. Which from a gym
owners standpoint is just a straight up liability. But it also really does members a disservice. You’re not providing an accredited coach, and this can lead to injuries. Usually gyms that hire people without certifications are just looking for bodies to service their classes – meaning they don’t actually care about members, they care about their bottom lines. And sometimes, even if a coach is certified – it doesnt mean that they’re very knowledgeable. I’m not saying to not give green coaches a shot – we all have starting points. But be mindful of the places that ONLY have green coaches.
This is not an exhaustive list – i’m sure I could discuss the limitations until I’m blue in the face. But again – they’re not bad. They just have limits. Like all things. If you REALLY love group classes – that’s fine. It’s a great way to sweat together and get a sense of community. If you feel you want to expand more though, and you’re feeling stuck. Maybe look into those other options to either supplement or switch to.
And if you’re in the Bonney Lake, Washington area – check us out for our small group training!