Admit it: you have your favorite group fitness instructors whose classes you take from week to week. You reschedule meetings, change Friday night plans and show up late to Sunday brunch just to take their classes. For instructors, having a big following can be a primary indicator of education, experience and possessing that X Factor. And while it’s okay to play favorites, there is value in switching up the classes you take at the gym and trying a new-to-you instructor or class format.
All beneficial exercise programs should be results-driven, fun and diverse. To get the most out of your workouts, I suggest you try something, or someone, new. Even within a single format (take our Chisel class for example), the benefits of “cross training” the instructors are plenty. Every teacher moves differently; they interpret music and combine exercises in a way that is unique and natural to them. Taking class from a different instructor can improve your overall training effect by pushing you in a way that is unfamiliar and challenging.
Cueing is another example of a benefit of cross training instructors. It is such a prime component of teaching classes, and it is so much more than counting down from eight. Just like we all move differently, we all communicate differently, and how our students comprehend our cues whether they are verbal, non verbal or kinesthetic can make or break getting the most out of your workouts. Finding a few new teachers with different motivational skills or buzz words that resonate with you is always a win-win.
Getting out of your weekly routine and breaking away from your comfort zone can be that one element that can take your training to the next level. Our bodies process stimulus very much like our brains do. Keeping workouts fresh and exciting is going to keep you active and on track.
As important as diversifying your instructors can be, so is the type of classes you participate in. If you think a cardio dance class like Jam Session, Hip Hop or Zumba is out of the question, think again. Research shows that learning choreography can improve brain power by increasing memory and recall. Moving to music is a great way to alleviate stress and improve balance, coordination and rhythm. Conversely, if you consistently choose aerobic based workouts, schedule at least two strength training sessions such as Critical Mass or S&M – strength and mobility. While HIIT workouts are still very popular, in part because they can be done anywhere and are highly focused on bodyweight exercises, the original bodyweight format is yoga. Being able to push and pull your own body is the true measure of strength, not to mention the mental and emotional benefits of adding yoga to your weekly lineup.
If variety is the spice of life, we have you covered at FFC with our wide range of group fitness formats. And keep in mind, the rest is equally as important as the work.
Post written by FFC Group Fitness Director Lois Miller.