By: Jordan Metzman, University Recreation & Wellness Group Fitness Instructor
Some people are lucky and have an innate love for exercise. For others, it takes a little more to get them to the gym. Personally, I felt a shift in my workout habits around my junior year of high school, when being active became less of a chore and more of a challenge I couldn’t wait to conquer. One specific thing pointed me down that path, and it was, without a doubt, group fitness.
The hardest thing about finding a love for lunges is that some workouts are just not your workouts. It’s all about finding the perfect routines that keep you sweating, but more importantly, smiling. A lot of people get lost in the idea that there are limited choices in the gym; I call this the treadmill rut, when people think the only valuable source of cardio is running. Good news, there’s countless ways to feel the burn, and some of those ways may click better than laps around the track.
Here’s my main point: group fitness classes are a really good outlet to learn, experiment, and make gains.
If you’re someone that likes options on options, then check out some group fitness classes. Besides having different types of workouts to choose from (think Zumba to kettlebells to indoor cycling), each class offers options for every skill level. So whether you’re on your third triathlon or you’ve never held a dumbbell, everyone is welcome and able to complete any class with a little hard work and a water bottle.
Here are some points to get you off that machine and into a class:
- People are focused on their workout, not yours.
It’s completely normal to be nervous for your first fitness class. Even as an instructor, when I walk into a new type of workout I break a sweat thinking about all the participants who have already mastered every move. But here’s the truth, most people are more focused on their own performance than yours. Plus, if people do look your way, it’s probably because you’re totally killing it. So if you pick up all those Bodycombat™ moves and are throwing punches with confidence, then people that maybe aren’t so confident will look to you as their #goals.
- Instructors are there to be your number one fan and coach.
It can be intimidating to get corrections from an instructor during class, but this in no way means you’re failing. A lot of workouts, especially Bodypump™ (weight training) and Bootcamp, require good form to prevent injury. Your instructor is just looking out for you. And if you have questions, never hesitate to ask, it makes us feel needed and loved. We want to know you and help you, so ask us questions or just say hi. We’re rooting for you with foam fingers and megaphones.
- If you don’t like a class, you don’t have to come back.
It’s all about finding what works for you and your body. I would encourage everyone to keep trying classes until they find something that works for them. Not every exercise endeavor will make it to the final rose ceremony, so don’t feel bad if you keep searching for the one. It’s also important to remember, a difficult class is sometimes a good thing — think of it as your weekly challenge to make yourself stronger. I know it’s hard to find that motivation to really push, but those workouts end up being the ones you’re proudest of.
Adding group fitness classes to your routine is like building the fitness family everyone needs to be inspired and empowered. Each class is its own little community and we make ourselves, and each other, stronger with every rep, pedal stroke, interval, and booty shake. So, whenever you’re ready for a complete workout game changer, group fitness will be waiting.
View the current RecWell group fitness schedule and make a plan to check out a class!