The Pros and Cons of Group Training
Some people feel as though group classes are a trend and you have to go. I do not find that to be true. I personally like to work out on my own. These days, I also participate in group classes and find them enjoyable, but I personally now do both. I take group classes for martial arts and every once in a blue moon for general fitness. When it comes to my own fitness I work alone or with one other person who has the same goals and intensity I do in the gym. For me, group fitness is not everything I need at this point of life. I consider myself advance, I have specific goals and want to be able to do the lifts and movements I need to do in order to hit my goals. But that is just me, that is only one side of it. There are so many positives to group classes no matter who you are. The motivation alone is a huge plus side. I see the huge shift in the industry for group classes , and this is just a moment for us to go over the Pro’s and Con’s of group fitness and individual training.
Below are the pros and cons I have come to find with group classes:
- It’s great to be held accountable.
- Group classes are great for high energy after a long day of work.
- The workout is brainless, there’s no thinking, you just show up and do what the instructor tells you.
- You can work out at your own pace, adjust the reps and weight when needed.
- Group classes generally can be scaled for beginners and novice lifters, which makes it a good option for a wide variety of people.
- Meeting people—a team atmosphere helps to motivate you through every workout.
- Variety is key when keeping most people’s attention and group classes have a ton of variety.
- No personal attention, most of the attention is directed to the class as a whole and, only when you are doing something wrong enough where you may get hurt, do instructors generally step in.
- Group classes can be competitive. For some people, this is intimidating and or annoying because it makes you feel rushed and less successful.
- The weights used in group classes are not heavy enough to promote constant change. As you get stronger you need to overload the muscle. Due to safety issues and having enough equipment most gyms keep you at light weight, high volume.
- The exercises may vary, but they are modifications of the same novice lifts. Like most things in life, the longer you do it the better you get and you need more of a challenge. The movements tend to stay basic in order to execute a class with large numbers.
- Group classes can be great for team comradery, but it can get out of hand if you have a group of people who do more talking than working out.
- The class can move either too fast for some people, feeling left behind. Or too slow if you are advanced.
Do keep in mind that group classes are a one size fits all deal. If you have a chronic injury—which needs more individualized attention—or if you just do not like the group atmosphere, sign up for some PT sessions and work out on your own. But if you love group class, I say go for it and mix it up. They are easy to jump into at any point of time in your journey and can be a great way to add diversity to your workouts.
Want to find out if group fitness is the right thing for you or if personal training is a better outlet? Visit our group fitness page, come in for a free week trial and take us up on a free personal training session with a free Functional Movement Assessment.