Ask yourself, are you fully taking advantage of all the benefits that group fitness can provide?
Making the most of a group class means that you are using it to support your fitness goals without forgetting about your group mates' experience. After all, the best part of working out in a group is the awesome energy created when everyone is having a great time!
In this article, I want to share with you my top 6 tips to getting the most from a group fitness class. Check it out!
Tip 1: Have a proper pre-workout snack
We probably all know the feeling of exercising on an empty stomach, nothing kills a workout faster than feeling dizzy or nauseous. Often people come to classes having either eaten too little or too much, or simply not the best choice to fuel their workout.
At the end of the day the quality of our nutrition is going to dictate how successful our workout is going to be, so finding a pre-workout that snack that works for you is going to really help take your fitness to the next level. Approximately 1 hour before working out you will want to eat something that will sustain energy, boost performance, hydrate, preserve muscle mass, and speed recovery. This should include mainly protein and carbs, but some fats as well.
For me personally I will make a shake with 1 scoop of protein powder (Biosteel plant-based chocolate flavour is to die for), 1 cupped handful of veggies (such as spinach), 1-2 cupped handfuls of carbs (I prefer berries but banana is fine), 1 thumb worth of fats (avocado, hemp/flax seeds), all blended with water or unsweetened almond milk.
Tip 2: Challenge yourself to increase your weights
A common thing I see is people reaching for the same weights every class. In doing this we are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase the intensity of our workouts and achieve our fitness goals. Using more challenging weights will help build lean muscle mass which is great if you’re wanting to tone or lose weight because muscle burns more calories than fat.
If you’ve been stuck in a plateau for a while I highly recommend increasing your weights. Nothing feels better than being able to lift a weight we had never imagined we could. Give your body the chance to show you how strong it really is, often people will surprise themselves.
Tip 3: Make friends and encourage new comers!
The people who have the most consistent attendance to my group classes are the ones who have made it part of their social lives. Making friends help with accountability and enjoyability. Bring friends and family. I remember my first time trying out new classes and feeling pretty nervous or overwhelmed and it always helped when other people in the class made me feel welcome.
So, if you ever see someone who looks like it’s their first time just let them know their killin’ it and to come back next week and they will feel even better! Sharing our fitness experiences really builds a feeling a community in the classes.
Tip 4: Let your instructor know about injuries so he/she can recommend modifications and regressions
When an instructor has selected an exercise its to work on a specific movement pattern, body part, or intensity. It’s best to let the instructors give regression recommendations to get as close to original exercise as possible. Eventually with correct technique you might even be able to progress the exercise even further than the original.
Sometimes it’s not that we aren’t able to do an exercise, we just need to modify our technique to allow us to do the exercise more efficiently. You would be amazed by what small changes can do to an exercise. Something as simple as shifting our weight from the front of the foot to the heel during a squat, or changing the position of your shoulders can make a huge difference.
Tip 5: Try different styles of classes
Each class offers a unique way to improve our fitness. Changing up the classes you take will give you the opportunity to have a more balanced workout schedule, as well as challenge your overall fitness level. There are so many components to strength, such stability, endurance, power, agility, and coordination. Improving any of these is going to maximize your potential to get to your fitness goals quickly and safely.
Tip 6: Forget the competition
Simply focus on the positive changes you're making to your body and mind. Use your personal fitness goals as motivation, and reward yourself as you meet your goals. I used to be someone who would look around at what everyone else was doing during class and I would never reach my full potential doing this. It’s much easier to get the technique of the exercise and get into a groove if you are purely focused on your own workout. If you are wanting to compete with anyone; make it yourself.