Group Exercise Classes - Do you take them and why?! Just gathering opinions and misconceptions



  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,230 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I do yoga and OTF classes and really enjoy them. In the past I've also taken classes at the standard gym chain and ended up stopping pretty quickly. So here are the things I like about my current classes and disliked about the other ones.

    1. Classes should have a max attendance and advance signup with a wait list. I've been in classes where there were so many people in the room for the one evening step class that it was no longer safe. There should have been a class limit and signup sheet. They easily had enough attendees to split the class and have two full classes per night.

    2. There should a focus per class and some change up. I like how the OTF classes have different focus on different days, both in type of cardio and in muscle focus for the weight portion. My yoga classes rotate through different routines based on season. Having practically the same routine every week until the instructor decides to make a new play list sucks.

    3. Be available and talk. Just walking in to fiddle with equipment and then start is bad. Hanging out to greet people as they walk in gives them the chance to privately tell you about their needs that day (injury, illness, etc). Also focus the group by review what is being done that day and welcome the group.

    4. My ears shouldn't be hurting at the end of class. It shouldn't be a battle between the raising volumes of the instructor's headset and the music volume. If you can't be heard over the music, turn it down. If you are loud, don't turn up the music. I shouldn't want to wear earplugs.

    5. Get out of the instructor invisible box and walk around. OTF instructors are constantly walking around and helping. The studio assistants come by and refill your water bottle. Yoga instructors circulate. Enough people should be there who can follow verbal cues alone that you shouldn't need to "demonstrate" all the way through class. I'm not paying to watch you workout.

    Well said!!

    My best yoga instructor was one who took the time to get to know us and what we did when we weren't in yoga class.

    When she found out I was a cyclist, and was a typical cyclist who has shortened hamstrings and no flexibility to speak of, she was able to give me modifications to the poses that would work for me, while still increasing my flexibility ... without embarrassing me. At the end of 2 years with her, I was the most flexible I have ever been! And I kept going back to her because she seemed to understand and didn't make me feel like an idiot because I couldn't touch my toes.

  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,230 Member
    Ed_Zilla wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    I go to spin classes during the winter.
    They can be motivating and I can get a good workout.
    There's a bit of a social aspect and maybe a hint of "peer pressure" to push me harder than I might do on my own.
    But ... the instructor has to be really good and should cycle outside as well.
    I've encountered a few who have never been outside on a bicycle and make some pretty ridiculous suggestions.

    This ^^^

    The thing that drives me back outside ASAP - from spin class - is when the instructor does cycling up/downs. Never in my many many miles of cycling have I ever done repeated up/downs seconds apart. So when this happens in spin class, I go up, stay up, and sit down when the insanity is over.

    Oh yeah! Jumps (or whatever they call them!) They have to be the most ridiculous of all the suggestions. I also go up, stay up, and sit down when the insanity is over.

    I had one instructor tell the class that all cyclists who race do these jumps all the time. Um ... no!!
  • an0393na
    an0393na Posts: 840 Member
    Yes, with 4 close friends...
    Groups help motivate me and give me competition throughout the workouts
  • pierinifitness
    pierinifitness Posts: 2,231 Member
    edited January 2019
    Do you take them and why?! Just gathering opinions and misconceptions being an instructor myself. I am always intrigued by the answer.

    No to OP’s question. I’ve always been a fitness training “one man band” with the exception of karate training in my past.
  • MonkeyMel21
    MonkeyMel21 Posts: 2,381 Member
    I have done spin and really enjoyed it. I wanted to do yoga and body pump but there were no classes starting at 5 am when I work out so I never was able to. Now I work out at home with fitnessblender (and treadmill) so I can do it any time I like!!! Over all, I can give or take group fitness. I enjoy working out alone, it's just hard for me to plan out my workouts to make the best of my time, so that's why I like fitnessblender so much right now.
  • gradchica27
    gradchica27 Posts: 777 Member
    I’ve tried one or two, but really, I don’t like being around people and I’m not coordinated, can’t dance, and have a really hard time following —seeing the move, figuring out what it should look like from my side, and doing said move takes so long everyone is a move or two ahead and I am crashing into someone. I also hate loud music, especially rap/hip hop/pop, so that rules out most classes except yoga, which I also don’t like/want to waste my precious childcare time on.

    Mostly I want to follow my own program on my own schedule at my own pace and not talk to anyone :lol:
  • lbride
    lbride Posts: 248 Member
    I pretty much only do group classes. Instructor makes or breaks them. I do not like instructors who switch around moves too quickly or who do too many complicated dancy/ step moves. Also, I had an instructor who was apparently offended by my modifications (I do modify a lot, but in her particular class, I did in fact feel like I had to modify most things b/c she switched so quickly from the med ball, to the bands, to weights, to the step, that it was a recipe for disaster and for me falling! and she took it personally and called me out "generally"--I feel no need to justify my workout).

    -Love the accountability
    -I work harder when I'm in a class (at home or by myself, too easy to quit early, reduce number of exercises etc)
    -Most are very easy to modify to work for me (I can do NO impact, not low impact, so I do all of the strength training and then modify anything with any impact, most instructors don't care)
    -Lots of "toys" at the classes (med balls, bands, kettle balls, lots of weights etc)
    - Like that different instructors work muscles different ways (I feel like I'm being more "well rounded" that way)

    The best classes by far are those where the instructor is having fun AND picks good music.
  • MikePTY
    MikePTY Posts: 3,819 Member
    I train at a martial arts gym, so everything is in a group class environment. For me, I am not really a self starter, and have a hard time keeping up with workouts if I am reliant on myself for motivation. So the group class environment is something I really thrive in. I think the success of the class really depends a lot on both the instructors and the classmates. I get my motivation not just from my sensei, but from my classmates who I have gotten to know over my time there and who I don't want to let down in training. It really creates the sense of being a unit and a team. This helps me stay motivated and work my hardest.

  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    I do, I love them! Have been doing so for about 15 years now. Before that, I used VHS tapes of classes. Then, DVDs.
  • minniestar55
    minniestar55 Posts: 346 Member
    Years ago, I took loads of classes, mostly aerobics, plus step & abs classes. After an absence from gyms, I started back 13 years ago & regularly go to power step, an all-time fave class, at least 2x week. I also go to kettlercise, & a private boot amp at least 2x week. Occasionally I’ll go to body pump or a yoga classs, & for past 6 years have gone to Pilates reformer classes with a small group. I enjoy the interaction, & often there’s a great, fun vibe.
  • anmille8
    anmille8 Posts: 50 Member
    I've always been into group fitness. I did crossfit for years and now I go to classes at my new gym. I like that I don't have to think or program something and can just follow along with the instructor. Seeing people around me keep pushing motivates me to keep going. I also like that its a set time frame.
  • debrakgoogins
    debrakgoogins Posts: 2,034 Member
    @bobsburgersfan I just have to give you a shout out. Even just the tiny bit of the logo on your shirt tells me that is an MFP shirt! Greetings fellow Peaker.

  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    edited January 2019
    Just spin and barre. Gets me out of the house and actually into a setting where I'm interacting with non-work people.

    But I like the activities, which is the most important thing. I'll likely not buy new spin passes when my current bunch is done, because it's cheaper to save for an at-home bike (likely Schwinn) and use the Peloton app. But I'll keep doing barre, since I can't replicate that at home.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,273 Member
    The vast majority of classes at my gym are almost exclusively females. Not many men venture into group classes.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    I don't. I've always been kind of a klutz and exercising in a group gives me flashbacks to forced aerobics classes in gym with all the cheerleaders doing everything perfectly and me trying to figure it out, and all the guys on the other side of the gym doing nothing but staring at us and making comments. (I was in high school in the 80's at the height of the aerobics craze.)

    You know, I haven't really thought about it in years, but when I do think about it, our gym class was nasty! Like, nightmare levels of nasty. Whose idea was it to divide the class by sexes and then make just the girls put on a show for the boys? Geez.

    Anyway I do enjoy Zumba videos at home. I have a mirror set up next to my screen so I can watch myself as I follow along, and I can pause and rewind until I get it, instead of feeling stupid and frustrated.
  • Sam09Sar10Sil17
    Sam09Sar10Sil17 Posts: 8 Member
    I’m currently doing CrossFit classes in group form. I’m new to weight lifting so I feel awkward and take longer than the others. I’m having hard time fitting in because I haven’t had much adulting time since I had kids became a stay at home mom.
  • SallyLuvsFitness
    SallyLuvsFitness Posts: 13,727 Member
    I LOVE group classes and enjoy the Barre studio classes I attend! I also love spin classes too. I am competitive and I work out harder and for an extended time period. It works for me and I am happy!

    I am social as well, we don’t talk during class at all; however, I like being around people!
  • SallyLuvsFitness
    SallyLuvsFitness Posts: 13,727 Member
    Just spin and barre. Gets me out of the house and actually into a setting where I'm interacting with non-work people.

    But I like the activities, which is the most important thing. I'll likely not buy new spin passes when my current bunch is done, because it's cheaper to save for an at-home bike (likely Schwinn) and use the Peloton app. But I'll keep doing barre, since I can't replicate that at home.

    I really enjoy Barre!! ❤️👍💃
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    I like group classes for cardio and working out by myself for lifting
  • clicketykeys
    clicketykeys Posts: 5,572 Member
    I guess I should be used to being the odd one out! For me, I go to exercise classes based on whether it's something I want to do (or at least try). I've tried the yoga and Pilates classes at the Y and not liked them, but I like the weight-based classes (BodyPump and ... there's another one but I'm not sure what they call it) and Zumba. They also have another dance-based cardio class called Werq, but it's never been at a time I could make it. (It's always during WORK, heh heh heh... yawn. Sorry!)

    I have not tried any of the spin classes. A big part of that is that I have a cheapo fitness monitor that doesn't track my heart rate, just counts steps... and so I get no "credit" for all that work! Plus I have other things I like better.

    There's also a "boot camp" class but I can't imagine looking forward to someone yelling at me... so I haven't tried that one. (Plus it conflicts with another class I like!)

    I like the classes because they're inside, which is nice this time of year when the weather is crappy on a regular basis. And having other people around gives me ideas for modifications, even if the instructor isn't good at explaining things. I'm not a particularly social person, but being around other people helps me keep going when I really don't want to (but I'm perfectly capable of doing so).