If you are like me, you probably have a gym membership. Scratch that, I hope you aren’t like me, I have two gym memberships. But when you get there, it can often be hard to get motivated or actually accomplish much at all. And even if you are hitting those weights or jumping on that machine, are you actually doing the right combination of exercises to get your body fit and more importantly, keep yourself interested?
This is a pretty common problem and one that I struggle with as well. I tried combating this problem in the past by doing various home fitness programs such as p90x or insanity. Two programs that I really love, but I can only do “Shoulders, Bis, and Tris” so many times before I am sick of Tony’s face.
I once told myself, that I would never go to a gym and get help from a personal trainer. After all, isn’t a personal trainer only there just to count your reps and take your money? Ok, thats not entirely fair, they do two very important things, fix your form and give you new exercises. But are those two tasks worth working overtime for just to pay off?
Welcome to the world of group training. In p90x and Insanity, Tony and Shaun-T are instructing a group of people, because its efficient and there is no need for them to focus on any individual for the entire duration of the workout. Almost every gym will have group training classes, all at a fraction of the cost of a personal trainer. Many gyms will often include some of these classes for free.
Some of the best benefits of these group training classes are that you are exposed to a lot of different equipment that you simply won’t have at home as well as space that you almost certainly don’t have at home. Our trainer had us running through obstacle courses, swinging large heavy ropes around, balancing on bosu balls while doing squats, and doing various other strange exercises that tested our balance, strength, and agility. He was doing the exact same thing a personal trainer does except for instead of counting our reps, he would time us and tell us to stop after a certain time period. It was the single most refreshing workout I’ve had in years. All from a 1 hour group session with only 4 other individuals and a trainer. I honestly felt like I had a personal trainer but wasn’t paying the money for one.
If you are looking to fulfill your cardio needs, try joining a spin class. If you haven’t tried it before, it isn’t as stupid as you think. You aren’t simply just sitting on a stationary bike and peddling. The trainer will have you moving in various positions to attack different parts of your legs, will have you spinning at various speeds ranging from slow to super intense (hey, there is that high intensity interval training that I rave about), and really just get you excited about sitting on a stationary bike. This stuff REALLY cuts into the fat.
If you happen to belong to a relatively fancy gym, try joining a class that teaches you a new sport. I’ve begun to notice something when teaching racquetball to new people, and its that they run a LOT more than I do. The reason being that when you are new to a sport, you honestly have no idea what is the most efficient way of doing something or where the most efficient place to be is at, so in order to compensate, you have to run extra hard.
Don’t let that gym membership go to waste. You can almost certainly find a class or clinic for cheap if not for free at your gym. Take advantage of someone else’s perspective to give you a fresh interesting look at exercise. But on the off chance you don’t belong to a gym, do not fret. You still have the options of p90x and Insanity, which are fantastic workouts that have definitely helped me get in the shape that I am in today. You can also use websites like GroupOn or Living Social to try and score some super cheap group Yoga or Pilates classes. Honestly, if you haven’t tried yoga yet, you are missing out on some great stuff, and I’ve heard equally great things about pilates. Have fun and remember, getting in shape doesn’t have to be a solo act.