Spin is the one in the room with strobe lights and loud music? Yoga is the one with the nap at the end? Crossfit is the one where you run while carrying 150 pounds on your back? The world of group fitness is a hard one to keep up with. Types and styles of classes change with the trends as fast as your favorite pair of leggings. Finding the right group fitness for you could be exactly what you need to keep up a healthy fitness routine.
Whether it’s HIIT, pilates, yoga, indoor cycling, crossfit, boxing, sword fighting, underwater cycling, trampoline cardio, goat yoga (it can get weird y’all)...here are 5 signs that your fitness class isn’t right for you.
1. You dread going to class
While the main objective is getting your daily dose of physical activity, you should look for a group exercise class that has some element of fun! You want to be doing physical activity that is right for your body and that feels good, so that you will be intrinsically motivated to get to class week after week. If you’re dreading class every week, eventually the brunt motivation that’s getting you there won’t be sustainable in the long run to keep you going back.
2. You keep getting injured
Devoting yourself to one type of exercise class could be unintentionally causing injuries. A common cause of a pull or strain can be from overusing that muscle group. An overuse injury occurs when you do the same, repetitive movement or exercise day after day. This could also be a sign that your group fitness instructor isn’t providing enough personal instruction to check for form and alignment.
3. You’re bored
Yawning? This class might not be challenging enough for you. You can easily bore yourself at the gym, so don’t pay someone else to do it for you! Pick a class that keeps you engaged, with an instructor you like, and plenty of variety in the class routine.
4. You are comparing yourself to others in class
Group fitness classes should motivate you with support from the group, not pit you against one another. Highly competitive and judgmental classes can create an unhealthy environment and an unconstructive space for exercise. Like our friend Tony Horton says, “do your best and forget the rest” (any recovered P90X-er’s out there?).
5. Your monthly membership or high cancel fees are what motivate you to attend class
If the only thing that’s keeping you accountable for going to class is the $20 cancellation fee, or the fact that you pay $100 a month to attend the boutique in the first place, you might want to reconsider if this is the right type of class for you. While financial incentives have proved effective at keeping group exercisers accountable and can help hold you to your goals, you may unintentionally be locking yourself into something that isn’t truly fulfilling.
In the end, keeping up a fitness routine comes down to what works best for you in every aspect—your body, your schedule, your likes/dislikes, your personality, your energy. You’ll be more likely to maintain that routine if you are actually enjoying your fitness classes, and not going to the same one every single day of the week. Mix things up and have fun so you can stay motivated and maintain balance in your routine.
Image Credit: Bruce Mars