How to Choose the BEST Workout Class
When it comes to finding a fitness class in the city that best suits your needs, it can become pretty overwhelming. As the health and wellness trend continues to expand so does the number of fitness studios popping up around town. More often than not you end up finding yourself at a class that is recommended by a friend or maybe at a ‘big name’ studio that has a great marketing team behind them. Either way, hopefully you leave feeling sweaty and accomplished but are these weekly classes really helping you strive towards your fitness goals? Last year I spent a lot of time checking out different studios/classes not only in Toronto but in the fitness crazed cities in the states - LA, NYC and MIA - and studios in Europe as well! I wrote countless reviews on my blog about my experiences but more importantly I gained so much knowledge on what really makes for a wicked group fitness class. In turn, I have been able to incorporate the positives in my own class offerings, ensuring that I am able to deliver the best possible service to my clients. Below I have outlined what I believe makes for a great group fitness class and a checklist you should keep in mind while exploring classes in the city.
1.) Motivated, Supportive and Positive Environment
Nothing is worse than being stuck in a class that lacks motivation and support from either the instructor or the workout itself. After all, if you are going to a class a lot of the time that means you need that extra push just to show. Once you’ve made it, ensure you are in a positive space with good energy and good vibes. You want to make sure that the studio/instructor sets this tone from the minute you walk in. After all, working out should be fun and enjoyable - this will encourage you to keep going! There are many different approaches to ‘motivation’ depending on the studio/class/instructor. Some use a more hard-ass drill sergeant approach (which some people do actually enjoy) and others teach with a more positive reinforcement and constructive feedback approach (like ME!). Find what suits your needs and best drives you through a workout.
2.) Emphasis on Form
Nothing drives me more wild than going to a workout class where half the participants are doing the given exercises incorrectly with poor form. Honestly, it takes everything in me to hold back and not go and help them out. Obviously it is difficult for an instructor to ensure everyone is doing every exercise correctly (especially when it is a large group) but I’ve also been in situations where there has been opportunity for the instructor to correct yet they choose not to. In my opinion, if weights are involved with the workout form it definitely something that needs to be reinforced and emphasized from the beginning. If your form is off, you are not even getting the full benefits from the exercise which is super counterproductive to you showing up in the first place. Next time you are in a class, pay attention to this and never be afraid to ask if you feel like you are doing something incorrectly - the instructor should be more than happy to help you out! If not, you are not in the right space.
3.) Supports your goal(s)
It is always important to set goals and know what you are working towards. Especially when it comes to group fitness, ensure you are choosing classes not only based on enjoyment but that align with your goals. For example, if you want to work on cardiovascular health you aren’t necessarily going to go sign-up for yoga or pilates. Now this may be a good supplement to your cardio based workouts but independently it will not help you reach your overall goal. If your goal is to just be consistent with exercise and show up to a class 2-3x a week (which btw is an amazing goal to have) then figure out what classes get you excited to workout and start there. START SOMEWHERE!
4.) Kick-ass Workout
Obviously, you are showing up to SWEAT. Honestly nothing is worse than putting in the effort to show up to a class that does not challenge you. There is a difference between you not being into the workout and the workout simply just sucking. I’ve been there both times before. You want to feel like you’ve put in some serious work upon leaving and you know you’ve found the right class when you’re already looking forward to the next one. Find the class that gets you excited to work hard and sweat. Exercise should be enjoyable but at the same time nothing good comes easy - put in that work!
As I mentioned before, there are endless amounts of workout classes in the city. It is up to you to explore and find the ones best suited for you. Personally, the above points are all indicators that I use to assess whether or not I will be returning. To find classes that encompass all 4 may be tricky but I promise they are out there. People always used to ask why I go to group classes as a person trainer/group fitness instructor yet little do they understand the personal benefits and professional development I’ve walked away with. I am no longer a frequent goer however in the year that I was I was able to take away all the things I liked and disliked and put it into my own practise. I have provided information on my group classes below - come check it out, I’d love to have you and I promise the class will embody all of the characters listed above!
MONDAYS (Starting April.30th) - LOWER BODY + CORE 7PM - THE ATTIC (318 Queen St. West)
SATURDAYS - FULL BODY STRENGTH - THE ATTIC (318 Queen St. West)