This one is a little bit on an insider / confession piece written by me, about me.
I use group fitness classes at my gym to cheat calories out of my clients ALL THE TIME!
Seriously, there is no easier way for me to guarantee my clients lose the weight that they want and feel the incredible benefits of being healthy and strong than to stick one or two group classes into their weekly program. They’re perfect. No motivation required (other than just enough to drag your butt out of bed and get to the gym). Just show up, close the door behind you and have some of the most inspirational fitness instructors crank you through a workout for an hour.
My personal favourites and the ones that I recommend most are bike-based. Ride, RPM, spin-out, all of them are excellent. Although the names might change, there are a few common threads between all bike-based classes that really make them standouts in my books:
- They are self managed – Feel like you can quite keep up with the rest of the class? No worries. You are in complete control of your bikes resistance and although you might get the odd bit of encouragement from your instructor… I can promise you they will not traverse the room and turn your dial up!
- You can’t fall off – I know that it seems like I am making fun, but trust me. I have seen more people running themselves through ridiculous workouts found on the internet crash and burn than I would care to admit. Stop it. Trying out some crazy new workout you find on YouTube is a sure fire way to HATE your gym experience when you stumble mid clean-and-press and fall on your ass!
- The DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is really low – Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely start with a lower duration class and build up to the longer ones over time if you are at all worried about your beginning fitness level. But stress not. Unlike classes that involve jumping, repetitive barbell movements or high load lifts, your muscles just don’t get THAT punished in spin. You will thank me when you miss the ‘baby giraffe’ walking that comes after a heavy leg session.
Here’s the kicker (and probably the one things that group instructors are most upset about!), generally I get all the credit! 12 weeks in and 10kg down I can guarantee you that I will be getting a present from my over the moon client. But, the group instructor that did so much hard work to keep you moving misses out!
So do me a favour – don’t forget to show those groupies some love. Buy a coffee for your spin instructor the next time you hit a weight loss milestone!
BONUS: To put some icing on the cake, here are a few questions you probably always want answered by the best spin instructor I know – Marta from Goodlife Ashgrove.
What is a spin class like?
Spin classes are essentially indoor, bike-based workouts, programmed to music. Each class is designed to give you feel for the outdoors taking inspiration from mixed terrain hills and mountains. Using this variance your cardio fitness will be seriously challenged with interval sprints and cadence training.
Will you just yell at me for an hour?
I’m going to motivate, coach and encourage you to do your best to achieve your fitness goals and burn lots of calories. The awesome music will do the rest! If I’m honest, there is every chance you will hear me singing more than yelling!
Has anyone ever vomited?
This is one of the BIG misconceptions. Sure my guys are working really hard, but YOU are in control of the resistance dial so it is up to you how hard you work. By adjusting the dial to suit your level, spin classes are great option for all levels right from the beginner to hardcore. No, you wont be sick
Anything else they should know?
It is low impact. Sore knees and hips that are tired of being bashed running on the road will LOVE you for trying out a spin class. Try 20 minutes, you can always set goals around increasing your time every class you attend.