What I love about group fitness
Recently, I was teaching a Bodypump class, and as I scan the room, checking people's form, I realized that a few people were flat out just not doing the workout the rest of the class was doing. Now sometimes in group fitness, a participant will come up to me in the beginning of class to let me know about an injury and ask for modifications, which I appreciate, but this wasn't the case in this particular class. At the end of the day, it's the participants' workout, but first and foremost is our participants' safety while engaging in group exercise, so I can't help but take it personally when participants come to my class, stand up front even, and then do their own thing. It makes me wonder why they are even coming to my class in the first place. There is so much I love about group fitness that I wouldn't get out of the experience if I was just chugging along doing my own thing. But everyone is different - and maybe you're taking a group fitness class for a completely different reason!
Which brings me to...
Imagine you're running a race, and you all start and end at exactly the same time. Your feet hit the ground together with every foot strike. Pretty amazing, right? That's what every group fitness class is like for me. It's one thing to complete an awesome workout, but it's a completely different feeling when you're doing it with 30 other people.
Group fitness classes are at a specific time each day. Often times, you have your favorite classes and you create a schedule for yourself. The class isn't going to wait for you to finish watching that episode of House Hunters - it's going to happen whether you're there or not, which believe it or not makes it more likely you'll go. If you can do something at any hour of the day, you're more likely to procrastinate, but when you have one chance that day, you're going to be there!
If left to do my own thing at the gym, I'm probably going to stick to the treadmill and some dumbbells - my comfort zone. Group fitness classes add so much more variety to my workout routine. I would never get on the stationary bike in the gym, but a spinning class? Absolutely!
I've said it before and I'll say it again - the people you meet in the group fitness setting are second to none. There is so much camaraderie and respect in one room, it's amazing the whole room doesn't explode.
What do you love (or not love) about group fitness?
Pistachio crusted halibut
One of the reasons I love my TeamBeachbody account is the great recipes they provide. This one sounds so delicious, I just HAD to share it here. ENJOY!
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Sodium: 329 mg
Carbohydrate: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 23 g
Depending on where you live, you might be experiencing the "winter blues" with me. I haven't had many outdoor runs this winter, but I have my group fitness classes to thank for keeping me out of a serious workout funk! On Monday nights at the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, I teach a class called Body Blitz. It's a 1 hour class that alternates between cardio and resistance training. What types of exercises do we do in this class? It's more like what exercises aren't we doing? I love introducing new (and sometimes a bit awkward) exercises to keep things interesting and fresh, while continuing to work the same muscles in new ways.
Here are some other Body Blitz style workouts:
Notes about this workout:
Resistance Training, SET 1
Cardio, SET 2
Burpee pushup challenge - 8 push-up burpees, increasing the number of push-ups with every rep
Are you a runner who wants to take things to the next level? Or maybe you want to just have some fun with your girlfriends? Do you live in the Philadelphia area? Well, I have JUST THE RACE FOR YOU!
What is the SHAPE Diva Dash?
Forget barbed wire, fire pits and mud. We’re talking a women’s-only 5k course dotted with fun obstacles sure to challenge your agility, balance, strength and speed. Add in copious amounts of tutus, boas and bling, plus enthusiastic camaraderie, and you’ve got SHAPE Diva Dash.
What is the SHAPE Diva Dash Course Like?
The SHAPE Diva Dash course covers about 3 miles of trail, sand, and road. Each course is different. And just to keep things interesting, we throw in some crazy obstacles to test your strength, agility, balance and sense of adventure. Some obstacles will have both tough and easy options so you can choose the level of difficulty that feels right to you. And if you’re just not up for an obstacle, skip it altogether. We won’t tell! You should expect 10-12 constructed obstacles, not including obstacles from natural terrain. Whatever you fancy, there will be something for you. You’ll wish every 3 mile run was like the SHAPE Diva Dash!
The course will be different at each of the Diva Dash venues, but here’s a general idea of what to expect.
Don't know how to prepare? Sign up for my training plan!
In addition to $10 off your registration, you can also sign up for my 2-month training plan and virtual training group. Just email me or comment below, and details of the training plan will be emailed as we get closer to the training start date (July).
I was recently contacted by one of my readers, and I thought her question is probably one that many of you have, so I decided to answer it here.
Thank Missy for your question! I think it's a great one and one that many people struggle with - finding that perfect balance. Like any situation in finding balance, it's a give and take. There are only so many hours in the day and so much your body has to give.
First things first - finding that balance depends on your own personal circumstances as well as your GOALS. Maybe you're training for a race? Maybe you want to fit into your skinny jeans? Maybe you are training for a figure competition? Maybe you just want to improve your health? Believe it or not, your final goal is going to dictate your training or workout schedule.
Your primary goal will give you a general starting point for figuring out exactly how to balance your training, as well as what type of cardio and weight training you should be doing. In addition to your primary goal, you will also need to take into account two other major factors:
Training to gain muscle
You might be gaining muscle because you want a certain appearance, increase your metabolism or prevent injury. A good starting point is three strength training sessions per week, 20 to 30 minutes per session. Weight training three times per week should be sufficient to maintain and even build muscle mass.
Training to lose fat
With fat loss, your primary goal should be burning calories while sparing as much muscle as possible. Since you're most likely eating fewer calories, your body is not going to be eager to add muscle, therefore it's best to focus on keeping what you've got. Aim for 2-4 cardio sessions/week as well as maintaining proper nutrition so that you can make the most out of he fuel you give to your body. And let's not forget that proper nutrition is KEY to any training plan!
Training for a specific sport
If you are training for a specific sport, how many cardio sessions you need will depend greatly on the cardiovascular and muscle mass and strength requirements of your sport. Naturally, a long-distance runner is going to have far different requirements than a hockey or football player. The type of cardio training you do will also come into play.
Types of cardio training
The type of cardio training you do will have a tremendous impact on the frequency at which you can do it and still get the results you want.
Low-Intensity Cardio: Low-intensity cardio training, such as walking or slow cycling, can be done practically every single day (even several times a day) for longer periods of time. This type of training is very easy for your body to recover from, regardless of your body type and your goals. It will have very little negative impact on muscle gain and can help you burn calories for fat loss.
Moderate-Intensity Cardio: Moderate-intensity cardio training, such as jogging or swimming, will need to be done a little less frequently. This type of training requires more energy both to perfom and for your body to recover from. A person trying to lose fat can generally perform four to six moderate-intensity sessions per week at around 20 to 30 minutes each. A person trying to gain muscle should reduce this amount to two to three sessions per week.
High-Intensity Cardio: High intensity training is the toughest of the bunch but can actually net you the greatest and fastest results. This type of training is exemplified in activities such as sprinting and interval training. If you've ever had a coach make you run up and down hills, you've done high-intensity cardio. Basically, anything that you do as hard as you can for a short period of time could be considered high intensity training. In fact, intense weight training with short rest periods is very good for cardio capacity (the theory behind Cross Fit workouts).
High-intensity training is extremely effective for fat loss as it not only causes you to burn a lot of calories during the activity, it also raises your metabolism for a long time after the activity is done. This type of hard training should be done less frequently than the more moderate forms of cardio as it is much harder for your body to recover from. If you are training for fat loss, you should do at least two but no more than three high-intensity cardio sessions per week. If you are training for muscle gain, once or, at the most, twice per week should be the limit.
So what should YOU do?
The bottom line is that there is no perfect training plan that will fit everyone. You're likely going to have to experiment with different training plans and schedules to find something that works best for you. And just when you think you've got it all figured out, you might plateau and decide you need to switch it up again. So make sure you're doing both cardio and strength training no matter what your goals are, do workouts that you enjoy and challenge you and be sure to mix things up to avoid plateaus.
And YES, Missy! Yoga "counts" as strength training! Unless your goal is to do a pull-up, in which case, you'll probably want to work on your pull-ups instead.
The DVD I was sent was the Tempo DVD, which consists of 7 15-minute workout, split up into three sections:
I did both the T1 and T2 workouts back to back for a 30-minute workout. Each move had a beginner, intermediate and advanced version so that anyone of any fitness level could complete the workout and stay challenged. The DVD started out by saying that you don't NEED dumbbells for the strength moves, but if you're an seasoned exerciser, you're going to want them for the extra challenge (anything between 5lbs and 10lbs should be enough).
The thing I like about these workouts is that you can custom design your workout to fit your schedule and your training plan. If you're pressed for time, you can do a 15-minute workout, or if you want to hit it hard, you can combine 4 workouts for a 60-minute workout. The moves in the workout were unique, and great for cross training or adding variety to your workout. There is even a free eating and exercise guide that comes with the DVD!
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Need more details about the program and the February Challenge Pack offer? E-mail me or comment below!
To my readers, please note this website and blog is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, dietary restrictions, and/or medical diagnosis, and before beginning any diet and/or exercise program, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional.