It’s Personal: Know Your Body, Know Its Limits, Know What’s Best For You
There are so many ways that a person can try to achieve their fitness goals. I feel the growing trend over the past few years people are flocking to in an attempt to achieve their fitness goals are group fitness classes and studios.
I have gone to many group fitness classes over the years including Pilates, yoga, spin/cardio, CrossFit, and many more. I will say that the main reason I went to these classes was because there was a great instructor and/or the group of people made me want to go over and over again. I feel this is the main driver of these classes. In each of these I had a great experience and enjoyed the people I was around.
The main thing missing from group fitness classes, no matter what kind of class, is that it is tailored to the group and not the individual. What I mean by this is that each human body is different and reacts or responds to things differently that someone else. For example, some people cannot tolerate a lot of carbohydrates in their diet, while others flourish with more carbohydrates; one pair of jeans fits great on one person, while they don’t fit at all on another. Exercise is similar – every person’s body is different and has different abilities. It’s these abilities or inabilities that make a personal assessment and customized exercise plan so crucial.
For instance, in our Ortho-Kinetics® Assessment, a person’s lack of motion or flexibility is assessed at every joint in their body. The information taken from the assessment is used to help omit or qualify specific exercises for an individual based on their goals and needs. The goals of the individual drive the type of program created. If the goal of the program is hypertrophy, there are specific training principles that create that adaptation. If the goal is endurance, the program is written with those principles in mind as well. This is done to decrease and/or slow down the wear on a person’s joints and improve their flexibility, as well as create the specific adaptations stated from the individual’s goals.
When I have gone into a group class, the instructors tried their best to accommodate and create a safe class, but there is no way that an instructor can see and modify for each and every person in class, especially if the class is very popular. Group fitness classes are also pre-planned by the instructor to give a very good workout and experience. This isn’t a bad thing if that’s the only reason for someone to go to the class, which is okay. But, if you are trying to create specific changes in your body, you need to do specific things to create that change.
So, is group fitness bad? NO! Group fitness has gotten so many people off the couch and into exercise and weight loss, but ultimately, I do believe that every person should get some one-on-one instruction from their instructor to make sure they are doing what they need to do in order to achieve their goals as well as stay injury free.