My Favourite Class: Group Fitness & Your Workout
For many years I was very much a ‘just go for a walk’ type of person. However, I got that little bit older or perhaps my metabolism had slowed down more than what I wanted. My semi-regular walks around Melbourne were, sadly, not enough to keep my body from looking a tad, er, deconditioned.
Deciding to take action was simple enough, but actually sticking to a fitness routine has always been difficult for me. Gym machines were never really my thing, and going to a class and sweating in front of strangers also seemed oddly off-putting. My more motivated pals encouraged me to sign up for a gym that had more than just a lot of intimidating equipment.
Partly encouraged by the fact that I could actually put my active wear to use, I signed up for a free trial pass where I could attend the gym’s group fitness classes for five days. I actually made it to three classes during this time – a decent effort for me! Although, full disclosure, my last class was a Yin-style yoga which was relaxing more than exhausting. The functional fitness class, Tabata, was intense but having a timer and knowing when each exercise would end helped me struggle through. I was assured that even the extremely fit find this one a challenge! I also gave boxing a go because it seemed like a good all-rounder class with cardio. My uncoordinated self very much enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t the only non-professional in the room, but I learnt that standing near someone who knows what they are doing is extremely helpful (and made me less inclined to slack off).
Being a process orientated person in my day job, my inner professional voice knew it was time to check-in with a fitness expert, so I signed up for a membership where I got an assessment and program set up just for me. The personal trainer that I worked with was actually really helpful and I almost forgot how unfit I was comparatively because she was so approachable. I was encouraged to keep cross-training at the front of my mind instead of sticking with the same classes or exercises week after week. This, I learnt, would mitigate the dreaded weight loss plateau. The result of this was a shiny new program that focussed on building muscle and endurance for all the sitting I do at the office. I also like that I get reassessed every 8 weeks; my form gets checked before I start doing heavier weights and I’m incorporating some fancy plyometrics into my program because my base fitness has drastically improved.
Although you’ll probably never see me exercising on a Saturday night before I head out, I now happily get to a few classes a week and I do use those machines which are actually quite straightforward rather than intimidating. And the sweating in front of strangers? To be honest, I quickly realised no one is even looking at me despite those huge mirrors. We’re all either focusing on ourselves, or trying to laugh through the pain of those killer plank series.