After gyms have reopened their doors, lockdown is further easing and we get to see the welcome return of fitness classes available again on May the 17th.
Whether you’re looking for a new challenge, or just feel a little rusty on which fitness class to choose. We’ve got a guide to help you out.
What Are The Benefits Of Group Exercise Classes?
Fitness classes are a fun and easy way to keep on top of your fitness regime, whilst also learning new skills. Although working out with a group of strangers may not originally seem like the best idea of fun, it is actually undeniably a great way to get fit whilst having fun at the same time.
Variety of Workout
Partaking in different types of fitness classes is great for adding variety to your workout. The same gym routine can get boring, and we often need to change things up. By adding a few workout classes you can add variety to your routine to keep it engaging.
Variety doesn’t only benefit your mindset - but your body will thank you too. When your workout stays the same each week, your body will adapt. Increase the challenge by adding in fitness classes, you can break past this, and push your fitness to the next level.
Another way to add variety to your workout is of course to add a weighted vest.
An Expert Instructor
An obvious benefit of group fitness classes is that you have an expert instructor showing you what to do. Gyms can be daunting to new starters who are unaware of how to use the equipment. By joining a fitness class, a trained professional will instruct exactly what to do.
Instructors are highly useful to seasoned pros also. Having a professional showing the correct way of training can help prevent injuries that can be caused by working out incorrectly. An instructor is a great balance, falling in between working out alone or having a personal trainer.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there where we’re not quite in the mood for fitness, so we’ve skipped the workout altogether. However, that's not a problem with a group exercise class. With your peers and instructor there, it's not really an option to not show or to give up midway. Working out in a class means you're more likely to see the whole workout through! Meaning your body gets the physical activity it needs, and you get that sweet, rewarding satisfaction feeling for showing up and giving it your all.
Fitness classes are a great way to meet like-minded people. You can meet people with the same interests and goals as you, which can act as motivation on your training journey. You can also learn from those more advanced and make valuable connections.
Joining a group fitness class can help you build your own community. You can help keep each other accountable for your goals and offer support throughout the workouts. Considering the training in solitude which many of us have endured through the Covid-19 lockdowns, group exercise classes are a great welcome back to socialising and normality.
Types of Exercise and Fitness Classes
So we know the benefits of fitness classes, but that begs a bigger question, ‘what fitness class is right for me?’.
It can be tricky navigating around the different fitness styles and types of exercise classes, so we’ve created a simple guide to help you find the right fitness class for you.
Cardio classes are a great way to get fit and have fun at the same time. Partaking in regular cardio activity will help strengthen your lungs and heart as well as naturally boost your energy levels. There are plenty of different types of cardio, with varying techniques and intensities.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been a highly popular workout in recent times. It consists of repeated bursts of high energy, intense workouts followed by periods of rest or lower intensity exercise.
The technique behind HIIT is to switch your body from periods of aerobic activity (where your body uses oxygen) to periods of anaerobic activity (where your body uses its stored energy instead of oxygen). So in your HIIT fitness class expect to see lots of high intensity sit ups, push ups, squats and more.
Why not try an at home HIIT routine to see if it’s right for you?
A great workout for those of all abilities, circuit training, as the name suggests, involves taking on a variety of exercises at circuit stations before moving on to complete the rest. In this fitness class, you can expect to work in small groups, completing anywhere between 6 and 12 exercises for around 20 seconds to 90 seconds for each one with a short rest between.
Circuit training is great for cardiovascular workouts as it elevates your heart rate, with the short rest periods ensuring that it is kept high.
Although circuit training relies on the use of equipment, you can still try an at-home circuit workout with no equipment to see if it's right for you.
Also known as Boxercise, box fit is a fitness class centred around the moves and techniques of boxing. It is based on the training used for boxing, so expect plenty of boxing drills, skipping and body weight exercises with an emphasis on footwork and abdominal movements. The aim here is to develop agility, speed and power.
Test the waters with an at home boxing routine to discover if it's right for you.
As you may have guessed, strength training is for those who wish to build muscle tissue and increase strength. It also has other strengths too such as helping to control body fat, build stronger bones and develop increased flexibility. Discover three of our favourite styles of strength training below.
Bodypump fitness classes consist of using weights to give your body an all over workout. Working through a range of upbeat exercises, Bodypump classes are a great way to burn fat, build muscle and tone up all over.
Throughout the class, you can expect your instructor to lead you in workouts targeting areas of the body using weights, all to the soundtrack of motivational music.
If you have weights at home, why not try an at home Bodypump workout?
If you’re serious about weight lifting then an Olympic lifting fitness class could be right for you. Drawing on the techniques used by professional weightlifters in the Olympic games, these fitness classes will train you to excel in Olympic weightlifting moves such as the clean and jerk and snatch.
Find out more about Olympic lifting and discover if this could be the next training programme you embark on.
Mind and Body Classes
Work out the whole of you with mind and body classes that not only work your body but give you an overall sense of wellbeing too. These classes are often heralded for their ability to reduce stress level and result in an overall sense of calm. However, they are also fantastic for increasing flexibility and improving posture.
Yoga is an ancient workout, originating in India over 2,000 years ago that involves breath, body and mind. In a yoga class you will spend between 45 mins to 90 mins partaking in a range of yoga poses, meditation and breathing techniques.
There are plenty of at home yoga workouts to try, however, it is often considered to be better to learn from a yogi to ensure you are getting all you can from the workout.
Pilates classes consist of low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles whilst also improving both posture and flexibility. Pilates aims to strengthen all the body, but has a focus on the core in order to improve all over fitness. Great benefits include toning the body, weight loss, overall flexibility, building strength and more.
Although yoga and pilates may seem similar, they differ in the sense that yoga is focussed on breathing techniques combined with flexibility and strength building poses, whilst pilates is concerned with improving the posture and movement of the body whilst toning it too.
If you’re considering signing up for a pilates class, why not try out an at home pilates workout first?
Functional Fitness Classes
The goal of functional fitness classes is to train your groups of muscles to work together, by simulating everyday movements. In functional fitness classes you can expect to do exercises such as squatting, reaching, lifting and pulling. By training your muscles in this way, you can prepare your body to perform well in everyday situations.
CrossFit was developed by Greg Glassman with the aim of improving both fitness and health. The aim of CrossFit is to use high intensity, varied functional movements. Expect to see moves from all walks of fitness, such as rowing, weightlifting, gymnastics and more. CrossFit classes tend to be intense from the offset and requires dedicated, hard work. However, by having a good coach you can make your fitness goals become reality.
Check out our at home CrossFit workouts to find out if this is the fitness class for you.
Looking to be pushed that little bit further than you’d normally dare to go? Bootcamp classes are designed to be an intense, full body workout accompanied by camaraderie to get you through. Each class will be a mixture of body weight and free weight exercises focused on improving your endurance and strength.
Expect to work all your muscle groups in a bootcamp fitness class! Although there are bootcamp classes for all abilities, they are intense sessions to say the least.
Although part of the experience of bootcamp classes is having the expert, trained professional, you can still give it a go yourself with an at home bootcamp workout routine.
Of course, a great thing about a functional fitness class is that you can wear your weighted vest to help take your workout even further and ensure you’re getting the most out of your training programme. Be sure to follow Force Fitness and tag us in any pictures of you wearing your Force Fitness weighted vest at your fitness class!
If you’re yet to experience the benefits, head over to our full range of weighted vests to see how you can push yourself further than you ever felt possible in your fitness goals.