Hello, my pretties. Today’s post is all about my ultimate passion: group fitness. And, who knows, maybe this post will inspire some of you to try it out. Take it from a former couch potato: It’s the best way to start your fitness journey and super fun. I honestly couldn’t live without my classes.
(me during a HIIT group fitness class) ©2017fit-andfabulous.com
It wasn’t always like that, though. As mentioned above, I used to be a bit of a couch potato and would only reluctantly visit the gym to spend 45 minutes on the treadmill or stepper by myself. 3 minutes into the training and I was already bored to death. Knowing that exercise is important, I continued to drag my sorry ass to the gym twice a week, but hated every minute of it. I certainly never considered going to the gym a fun activity – I saw it more as a chore, something that had to be done.
Never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me to attend a group fitness class. First of all, I had this weird idea in my head that all group fitness classes were like the Jane Fonda aerobic videos. Totally hideous and certainly nothing for me. I admit, I was totally clueless and too quick to judge.
Then, one day a fitness instructor working at the gym saw me halfheartedly pedaling away on that stepper. I must have had “This is so boring. When can I go home?” written all over my face, because he stopped me on my way out and suggested I try out a new class they had just introduced: Kickpower.
“You won’t even have time to think about time in there”, he said. For some reason that intrigued me (even though, I didn’t believe it for one second) and I am so glad it did, because I ended up agreeing to go to this Kickpower class the following day and sealed my fate right then and there.
So, the next day I marched into the gym, ready to attend Kickpower. The minute I entered the room, I wanted to leave. Everybody looked incredibly professional with their boxing gloves and then there was little me in her casual gym outfit, wondering what Kickpower even was. Thankfully, quitting is not in my nature and so despite my initial discomfort, I decided to give this class a fair chance. Also, I had managed to secure a spot in the back, meaning I thought I could leave anytime if I pleased. Turns out I didn’t have to leave.
Guys, I was hooked the minute the instructor hit the play button on that stereo and the first beats filled the room. The music was insanely cool and put me in fighter-mood right away. I felt like Rocky Balboa training for a fight and punched, kicked and jabbed my way through the 50- minute class. Not once did I glance at the watch hanging on the wall to see how much longer I had left. That’s how into it I was. I left the gym that day for the first time feeling happy and fulfilled and despite my exhaustion, I wanted to go back for more. And I did.
That was 3 years ago and I have not set foot on a treadmill or any other fitness machine since. I have become a group fitness junkie and love it.
So, what’s so fantastic about group fitness? Absolutely everything!
Personally, I absolutely love the motivating and slightly competitive (but in a totally good way) atmosphere during group fitness classes. Cool music blasting from the stereo, a trainer who (if he/she does it right) will keep you motivated until the end, coaching you through all the moves and correcting any apparent mistakes in your technique. And last but not least: the other participants. You’re all in this together, sweating your ass off together as a team – no words or body contact needed. You all know you are in this together. I can’t describe it, but to me it feels like I am part of a tribe. By the end of the session we congratulate and high-five each other for hanging in there.
With time, I even made some friends as we’d always be the same group of people attending certain classes, sharing the same passion.
For the newbies who feel intimidated or shy to attend a class, please don’t be. Nobody will have the time to judge you as everybody is preoccupied with their own performance. Face your demons and walk in that class with your head high. You’ll gain momentum with every class you visit and before you know it, you won’t feel inadequate anymore. I recommend you try out different classes to figure out what works best for you.
I honestly believe group fitness is for everybody, as it offers such a wide range of programs to fit different needs and tastes. There’s something for everyone, whether it be Yoga, Pilates, Bodypump, core training, martial arts inspired cardio workouts, dance workouts like Zumba or Hip Hop or the 30-min. high intensity interval trainings (HIIT) for those of us who don’t want to spend an entire hour in the gym. The choice is yours to make.
I attend 5 classes a week starting with 55 minutes of BODYCOMBAT (a mixed martial arts inspired high intensity workout) on Monday, 55 minutes of Zumba on Tuesday, BODYCOMBAT again on Wednesday, 30 min HIIT followed by 55 minutes of Bodytoning on Thursday and 30 minutes of core training on Friday. That way I feel I have my cardio and strength sessions balanced out throughout the week and with the instructors mixing up and changing the exercises in regular intervals, you’re sure to train different muscle groups every time.
My all-time favorite workout is the Les Mills BODYCOMBAT class, which I highly recommend to everybody interested in group fitness and looking for a class, which combines endurance and strength training. I have tried a lot of classes and if you ask me, this is hands down the most effective workout: it tackles all the main muscle groups and delivers immediate results after only two weeks of 2 classes a week. My body has honestly never looked better. My arms and thighs are super toned but in a lean way as we only work with our own body weight during the strength exercises. Moreover, my core is so much stronger as a direct result of bracing my abs during the entire workout.
I am so convinced by this program and the Les Mills format in general, that I recently became a certified group fitness and Les Mills BODYCOMBAT instructor myself and have just started teaching my own classes. I’ll keep you posted on my endeavors in that regard.
BODYCOMBAT is for everybody and for every age group. No special knowledge required. It’s intense but super fun. Try it and let me know how it went. You won’t be disappointed, I promise. For more information on the Les Mills BODYCOMBAT go to https://www.lesmills.com/workouts/fitness-classes/bodycombat/.