Exercise Classes – Should I Bother?

Exercise classes? Why should you bother? One of the most important factors to include in your training regime is the ability to keep going back for more. So many people (we included) get bored of what they are doing at the gym and decide that it isn’t what they want and before you know it you’ve not been to the gym in weeks! Easily done, but even easier to avoid with a little bit of bravery and willingness. There are exercise classes at most gyms nowadays and even sessions that you can do in your own front rooms that can take away all of the boredom from training. These are things that you can get training buddies to get involved with, someone to push you that little bit further. Equally, it can be something that you can go to on your own with a room full of strangers.

Exercise classes are available to suit your needs regardless of your long term aims, strength training, fitness building, fat loss, toning – you name it and there is something there for you. The biggest thing, like we mentioned, is getting over the daunting feeling of walking into a gym hall not knowing what to expect. It is something that we have toyed with at GP, we have tried a range of exercise classes aimed at targeting all areas and have had mixed results. The major thing is looking at the types of class that will match what you want to achieve. Here’s a little overview on a couple of the popular variants – spinning and different circuit training.

When you put the concept down on paper it sounds pretty silly… drive to a gym, sits on a stationary bike, bike as hard as you can…and stay still?! And yet, so many people wake up bright and early to get a spin session done before work, and this workout technique has taken the nation by storm. If you haven’t tried it, for whatever reason (including the fact that the bike’s look scary!) then give it go, you’ll be surprised how much of a good, fun workout it is and how well it pushes you. Using simple manual resistance against a spinning wheel you work at maintaining a set level of revolutions per minute to achieve a certain work effort which means you work on muscle strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness all at once. There are even some spin sessions now that include upper body work (you don’t need to wear a helmet don’t worry) so it really is the full package. Give it a go and see what you think.

As for circuit training, this can fall into a similar category to HIIT which we talked about last month, it is about high-intensity blocks with small rest periods in between. Often circuit sessions focus on one style of workout and can vary each session, most gyms will put block bookings in and change style every week – one week it might be muscle strength, the next toning and perhaps even a fat loss slant. The focus is to include exercises for the whole body and works for approximately 1-2 mins on that area for example legs, then switch to a different area such as shoulders, whilst the next muscle group is working, the first is recovering, and ready to go in the next set. Working at a high intensity but regularly changing muscle group almost tricks the body into working at this high level for longer periods than normal.

As always, just advice on some of the popular topics out there in the world of health and nutrition, no instructions, just suggestions. We hope you enjoy trying out some of the new exercise classes – be brave! Enjoy!