Over a decade ago, I walked into my first group fitness class at the Arizona State University fitness center. I had no experience working out in a gym. The only exercise I had previously done was P.E. in grade school. When I began my fitness journey, I was working towards a bachelor’s degree in nutrition.I knew that nutrition and fitness went hand in hand, so here my journey began.
Upon taking my first class, I found myself in a room full of strangers with no idea what to expect. The instructor entered the room exuding energy and excitement and before I knew it, I was ready to jump into the workout knowing it may be extra challenging for an inexperienced individual such as myself.
Everyone in the room was welcoming, encouraging and offered no judgement towards my inexperience when clearly they had done this before. The music started, the instructor got moving and without hesitation we all followed. Soon I was soaked in sweat, guzzling water and wondering how the class was already over?! I was HOOKED.
After my first class, I tried every group fitness format available: Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Cardio based classes and Strength based classes until I found what I really enjoyed. Each class I took I thought to myself how incredible it must be to be the person at the front of the room, motivating and guiding all these people through their workouts. I never, in a million years, would have thought that someday, that person would be me.
After taking a brief hiatus from my fitness journey, I was able to rekindle my love of group fitness when I signed up for a membership with Mountainside Fitness. I began taking classes and once again had the feeling that becoming a group fitness instructor would be a dream come true. With the encouragement and support of friends, family and Mountainside Instructors, I took the steps to become a Certified Group Fitness Instructor. There isn’t a day that goes by that I question my decision to teach group fitness as a full time job. I wake up each morning feeling blessed and set out to encourage, motivate, educate, uplift and guide others through their workouts. Group fitness is more than going to the gym to workout, it’s a community of like minded people, each in a different stage in their fitness journey, coming together to share the love for the fun challenge that comes with high energy classes.
Now, let’s take an opportunity to discuss the benefits of group fitness and address some of the most common myths related to it.
Group Fitness Myths:
1.Group fitness classes will be too hard for me.
You do not need to “get in better shape” before attending a class. Modifications exist for every exercise in a class. Group fitness instructors are ready, willing and able to offer modifications to accommodate all fitness levels.
2. Group fitness classes are too easy.
The class will not be “too easy” for you. See above.
3. I feel awkward going into a group fitness class.
You will be welcomed into the class, don’t be nervous about stepping into something unfamiliar. I say it every day, get outside your comfort zone!
4. Group fitness classes are all CARDIO.
Not all group fitness classes are cardio classes. Mountainside has strength focused group fitness classes as well as mixed strength and cardio such as Muscle, AMPD and HEAT that are designed to help build muscle. Each class has a specific format that is designed to help you reach YOUR goals.
5. I am not prepared for group fitness classes.
With group fitness, you get to go to the gym, workout with your fit family and not have to worry about planning a workout or creating the perfect playlist. It is already done for you. All you need is water!
6. I won’t learn anything I don’t already know in a group fitness class.
You will learn a lot about yourself AND you will learn new exercises and what you need to implement into your current routine.
7. I can’t cross-train muscles or get a full body workout in a group fitness class.
Sometimes taking a class is exactly what you need to throw in some cross training, get new ideas, get an increased challenge, mix things up and have some fun! AND unless otherwise stated, most classes focus on a full body workout!
If you have any hesitations about Group Fitness, find an instructor and ask them about the variety of classes Mountainside has to offer. If you’re a group fitness regular, I hope that you continue to enjoy the many benefits of taking classes. If you have not yet taken a class or found the right one for you, check the schedule, read the class descriptions and try something new! You may find yourself entering a whole new world in your fitness journey and igniting a new and unexpected passion.
Certified Group Fitness Instructor to teach Barre, Roll and Release, Tone and Roll, Muscle, HIIT, HEAT AMPD, Tabata, Glutes Cardio Core, and Peak Performance Zone.