Fitness classes can be a great way to burn calories, exercise, release stress, amongst many other advantages.
I’m not trying to dispute that fitness classes cannot serve people well when it comes to improving health and well being, they certainly can.
The problem lies within the fact that a lot of people undertaking fitness classes are not working towards the goals they are striving to achieve.
In this article Why Fitness Classes Can Halt Your Progress I am going to explain what style of training will benefit you, depending on the outcomes you desire. So feel free to skip to the section that meets your objectives and read from there. If however you want to gain a clearer understanding I would strongly suggest your read through the entire article, it’s one not to be missed.
Common Goal : Improving Body Shape (Body Composition)
I would say at least 75% of the people that come to see me are wanting to improve how their body looks. To name but a few, goals range between:
- Losing stomach inches
- Wearing slimmer fitting clothes
- 6 packs
- Toned muscles
- Athletic body
- Beach body
- Better posture
The Best Fitness Class To Lose Weight…
The main objectives are usually to look better, feel better, enhance confidence and burn body fat (Top 50 Fat Loss Tips Blog). Now here’s a secret you may not be aware of. What do you think is the number 1 best way to improve body composition?
- Spin class?
- Circuit training?
- Weight training?
- Cross training?
- Aerobics class?
- Water aerobics?
(Answer arriving shortly . . .)
The problem is that people are using strategies which are either ineffective or far from optimum. A large percentage of the male and female population still believe the best way to lose weight is through fitness classes and cardiovascular activity.
Now i’m not calling you out here, when I first started in the industry 10 years ago I was exactly the same. We listen to friends, we read Celeb magazines, watch TV programmes which can often misguide us, providing false or inaccurate information.
Now let’s get one thing straight cardiovascular activity can help you lose weight that’s a fact, but is it optimum? Does it give you the greatest return on investment for the time you spend? Most definitely not.
So back to my question . . . What do you think is the number 1 best way to improve body composition?
Answer: Weight Training
Why Weight Training Is Crucial For Body Transformation…
The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn over a 24hr period. Now don’t freak out, when I say muscle people freak out! Ahh! I don’t want big muscles! When I talk about muscle all I am referring to is extra tissue.
Imagine you have a body clone, with all things equal other than training.
- Clone 1 does a cardio based program for 1 year
- Clone 2 does a weight based program for 1 year
I bet my house! that Clone 2 will achieve much greater results from a body compositional point of view than Clone 1 (cardio clone). If you are like the many who strive for a greater looking physique, then hire a personal trainer who can formulate a plan of action tailored to the areas you wish to target.
A good coach will factor in; your goals, time frame, training session length, exercise selection, etc. To get the most from your PT experience check out the (Get The Most From Your PT Experience Blog). Stick to a weight training program to get the most return on your investment when your No1 priority is wanting to improve body composition.
5 extra tips for improving your body shape with weight training:
1. Pick compound exercises that target lots of muscles all at once: deadlifts, chin ups, pull ups, clean and press, bent over rows, bench press, squats, lunges, etc
2. Slow down your speed – lift with control and go slower on the lowering part of each rep (2-3 seconds)
3. Keep your weights sessions short (30-45 minutes)
4. Aim to get stronger each workout, or every couple of workouts. The stronger you can get the firmer your muscles will be
5. Get good at exercise execution. If in doubt hire a personal trainer for 4-10 sessions. This will speed up your results and boost your training confidence
Why Fitness Classes Are Good : Social and Fun
If you are looking to have fun and meet new people then fitness classes are a great way to do this. If you are a beginner and want to be part of a fitness community a class can accommodate this need. I would always recommend beginners to get at least 4-10 personal training sessions before starting fitness classes to ensure techniques are corrected from the start.
In a large class it can be difficult for the instructor to keep an eye on every participants technique due to the volume of people. If your primary goal is to have fun and meet new friends then a fitness class fits the bill perfectly. You will still get results over time, the results however will depend on the types of classes you do amongst many other factors. Like I said in my previous chapter if you are looking to achieve a head turning body transformation then a fitness class approach is extremely unlikely to do so, it all depends on what you want? Priority is key.
If your goals are sport specific then again you will require a coach to help you achieve the specific outcome you are aiming for: speed, power, flexibility, strength, stamina, technique, etc are skills that require expertise from a specialist.
Make-sure you do your research, look for a coach with positive reviews, testimonials, a coach who you feel comfortable with and can trust. Chances are if you are from a sporting background you have a higher level of understanding than the average person in society. Therefore, always make-sure you pick a coach who knows more than you so you can develop your knowledge and skills further.