I was walking into the gym today, and happened to walk past a giant class of people doing an group fitness class. Those classes are always packed to the brim! That is mainly because we have amazing instructors that teach those classes, and partly because people might not know what to do on the weight floor, and what weight lifting can do for them.
I really like classes and I think they do add a lot of value in helping people reach their fitness goals. I know they were a huge part of my journey. I think they are great for people starting out at the gym. You walk in, get a good workout, and then you leave. They are also a fabulous way to get in a quick workout if you are on a time crunch. So for moms with a tight schedule, a fast class might be your “go-to” and that is ok! They are a great way to spice your day to day routine will all the different variety of classes, get some extra calories burned, and find some new ideas along the way.
But if you’ve been coming to the gym for a while and you still aren’t seeing the results you want, a group fitness class might not be the best thing for your body anymore. If you have the time during the day to add more weight lifting in…do it! It might surprise you!
Here are 5 reasons why you should ditch the classes and add in some weights to your schedule.
1. Group fitness classes are not geared to you.
As much as I love them, aerobics classes are not geared towards the individual. Aerobic classes are taught in a format and are geared towards large group instruction. When you are in these classes of course you can modify the instruction somewhat to fit your needs. But the actual workout itself might not be what your body physically needs anymore.
Group fitness classes don’t allow you to focus on your specific problem areas, or areas you might want to improve on. If you are working on muscle building, correcting imbalances in your body, or balance training concepts, those things are pretty hard to do in a group fitness format.
2. Too much HIIT, not enough shaping.
The HIIT (high intensity interval training) is all the rage right now. Burpee’s, box jumps, and tuck jumps as fast as you can go. Is it great for shedding some extra calories and getting leaner? Yes, absolutley! Is it a fabulous way to really shape your body by adding muscle in the right spots? Not really. You will get more bang for your buck in terms of shaping, with regular lifting on the weight floor.
I know when I do the HIIT type style classes I have to go much lighter on my weights to adjust for the fast pace tempo and high reps that will be performed. When focusing on lower repetitions, heavier weight, at a slower tempo you can really shape your body the way you want too. Which means more visible results. And who doesn’t love results?
3. Heavier weights, slower tempo
Bigger, faster, better. Well, that is not always the case. There is true value in taking your time while lifting. And no, I don’t mean talking for 30 minutes in between your sets. I mean taking your time and going at a controlled speed, with a weight heavy enough to challenge your body.
Classes usually have limited weights available, and picking up the same weight whether it is in class or on the floor, week after week, doesn’t do much for changing your physique. Challenge equals change. So pick up some heavier weights, and focus on a controlled movement as you exercise.
4. New Challenges = New Changes
Changing your workout routine up is always a good idea. If you have been doing classes for a long time, just the simple act of getting out on the weight floor and doing something different will feel good. It will keep your mind engaged, and give you ownership and control of your results.
5. Full body workouts NOT body specific workouts.
Most classes are geared towards full body workouts. Now nothing is inherently wrong with full body workouts. But lifting weights and focusing on a specific muscle group each day will give you better physical results, especially if there are areas you are not seeing improvement in already. You can tailor your schedule to fit your ‘problem areas’ and areas you want to improve on.
I recently switched from doing one heavy strength leg day a week, to two leg days a week because I feel like I needed it. I’m already seeing and feeling results from that little switch in my schedule. If you want to work on arms more, do it! If you want to work on core more, do it! Your schedule, your time. Adjust your workout schedule to fit whatever your specific needs are.
Sometimes it’s worth it to change things up, and try something new. So next time you go to the gym, think about adding some weights in your schedule. It’s worth it! You can shape your body the way you want and get body specific results. Go ahead…spice up your workout routine. And remember, sometimes change is good.