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Should You Consider a Group Fitness Class: Finding Community in the Gym Setting

Until about a year ago, I’d been a lone wolf, gym warrior. I went into the gym with the sole mission of hitting the assigned muscle groups and moving on.

Last summer I joined a CrossFit gym. I wanted to try something new. What drew me to that style of gym was the programming. I’d watched the CrossFit games for years and found it engaging and inspiring.

Let me be the first to say, the programming is that last thing that keeps me going. I groan at a chipper with hundreds of reps or a long AMRAP just like everyone else. It’s the people. The people are what keep me coming back every week. I pretty much see the same folks every 6:30am that I go to class. It feels fulfilling to see smiling, familiar faces before you’re about to throw down.

Community. Connection. Relationships. Accountability.

The value of the “Group” side of group fitness can’t harped on enough.

I have come to love group fitness for that reason.

But, does group fitness have it all? Potentially not. The workouts written on the whiteboard are generalized for the whole class. Individual needs may not be met during a single class. The reality is, a coach in a class of 12-20 members can only dive so deep into any potential movement faults or concerns.

“How do I scale this? This doesn’t feel right. I feel stupid when I do this movement.”

I personally attend three or so CrossFit classes a week. I like having those workouts programmed for me and ready to go. However, I know that I have things I can work on to move better and feel better throughout my week. Outside of class, I usually work individually on areas where I may lack strength, mobility, or stability (shoutout to my team for helping me out constantly!). This tends to work for me.

We work with many clients who are frequent group fitness attendees. They often have movements they want to polish up. Which is usually accompanied by a bit of discomfort sprinkled in here and there. This is where we as experts in movement intersect with a few of the potential shortcomings of group fitness. I’m so grateful to have the time and space to be attentive to a single person for one hour. We are ultimately working to get that person back into their group setting. We want to equip our people to comfortable and confident with any and all exercises, positions and movements they may come across.

So, is group fitness for you? Maybe! There are so many options out there; yoga, spin, HIIT, functional fitness, boot camp and so much more. We’d encourage you to drop-in to a class you’ve been considering. Check it out, see what the vibe is. Group fitness could be a great home to build a routine around a movement practice and maybe even find some like minded folks along the way. Group fitness may be the vehicle for you to move well and move often.

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