If you’re a gym regular, you will have had the chance to join some of the group classes on offer: pilates, yoga, boxing, pilates/yoga hybrids, dance-style classes, spin…
Group training is not new. Remember Jane Fonda’s leg warmers and Richard Simmons’ OG Spirit Fingers? With regards to group workouts, you probably fall into one of three categories:
- Absolutely no way ever in a million years will you ever set foot into a group training session.
- You’ve tried one or two, but nothing really seems to set your fitness fire alight.
- Group classes are your jam. In fact, you never go to the gym to work out on the machines alone – if we need to find you, you’ll be doing the grapevine from class to class.
So, what’s the deal with group training? Why do so many people either love it or hate it? My personal feeling is that large group training often feels like an individual workout in a limited space. The trainer is at the front of the class at all times, and rarely corrects anybody’s movements. Kicking the person behind me while injuring myself is something I can do on my own time and without paying for it. I was firmly in category 2 until I found CrossFit.
Having to book in for a class turns a workout into an appointment. It goes into the diary just as any other meeting might do, and I actually say no to other things if they clash with these times.
In a CrossFit class the numbers are limited. The coach will walk around during a WOD and help people make adjustments to their technique or encourage them to change the weight or movement to better suit their abilities. It’s basically a group PT session. You will regularly receive 1:1 attention and advice that is tailored specifically to what you need. I never encountered anything like this while at other gym-based classes.
When you go to a standard gym, you either go alone or you have a workout buddy. When your workout buddy can’t make it,it can throw your entire routine out the window. I never get this with CrossFit. There is always someone there willing to buddy up during a WOD or at Open Gym times. CrossFit will give you an abundance of buddies.
You will meet and interact with a whole bunch of people who share similar interests. I thought I didn’t care about this when I was going to the gym. I used to say things like “I don’t go there to make friends”, but guess what? Meeting people who like the same things is actually beneficial to your entire approach to fitness. Try it.
Going to the gym alone is pretty boring. And, if you’re anything like me, some days you just don’t put in maximum effort because no one is forcing you to. There is no half-assing at CrossFit. The coach, your WOD buddies, some other member wandering in for the next class: there will always be someone there encouraging you to put in your max effort and finish the workout. What does this mean? Results, baby. You will get them.
Group classes and training makes fitness more fun. It holds you accountable for your own workouts while also giving you 1:1 training and advice that you don’t get at a standard gym unless you pay through the nose for a personal trainer. CrossFit gives you these things. It holds you accountable, introduces you to like-minded people, and offers you ways to improve your results. These are all things that will spill over into every other thing you do. The skills and fitness gained from CrossFit is functional. It helps you in every aspect of your life so why not just give it a go? If you really hate it, head back to the gyms with walls of mirrors and people who don’t care about what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Here, we want you to get better – what’s to hate about that?