Chances are if you are living in the area you recently found a flyer in your mail of a studio opening up in the area which is only offering fitness classes i.e. the usual candidates like spinning, lesmills bodypump and zumba, plus the immersion gimmick of big screens you can work out in front of.
Now, not all members of our team are trainers or have a fitness background, so this week we had an interesting conversation coming up.
Most of our clients train one to one with us and so enjoy not only undivided attention during each session but our trainers also know exactly their individual problems and goals and provide the long term solutions to those.
So the concept of “one hat fits all” fitness programs that millions of people follow all over the world and that actually yields long term results like if our bodies and needs were all the same , sounds kind of strange to our team.
Here are some of the problems that come to my mind;
Of course a problem with big classes in general is that you can easily fall behind or you will simply not get the attention from the coach/trainer. That also means your technique won’t get adjusted/corrected which if you keep training in the wrong can damage your body.
Although nowadays the qualifications to teach the “brand classes” are looking a lot more in depth than when I was teaching them, it’s nowhere comparable to the education that personal trainers go through and also the knowledge they built up over the years.
Classes of this format will usually run with the same routine of workout and music for 2 to 3 months and then change over. For some people this can get monotonous and you are quite likely to see less of a change in your fitness levels after some point.
Not to make this too much of a rant there are positive things to mention about large commercial classes. If you are new to working out in a gym you can learn exercises and interesting combinations of those and obviously it can be a great way to get to know people and make new friends. As mentioned before you can see results in losing weight and toning your body, sometimes even great results but this usually depends on many factors around your body and abilities.
In the end it might just be a personality thing whether you are the type of person for large scale classes or not. But a general rule of thumb I’ve come to find through the years is whenever gimmicks take over, there can’t be too much substance behind it.
The reason I compare it to McDonald’s is it’s systemized approach ensures you can attend classes of the same kind all across the world and you should be able to follow the routine much like the cheeseburger should ideally taste the same in Hong Kong as in Hoxton (not even sure if there’s a Mc’s there).
If this system is good for your individual needs and fitness goals I leave up to your own judgement….