Group classes can be fun, motivating, and easier to commit to than a routine designed specifically for you, but there are many reasons why they can actually have a negative impact on your long-term results. Not only physically, most classes can further worsen joint/muscular pain, worsen body mechanics, and even cause the client to develop an injury.
Keep in mind, this article is not intended to offend anyone, or instructor, we are just here to share information that may help clients realize the negative impact classes may be having on them.
Exercise is possibly the best thing someone can do for their body and mind, but exercise not specifically individualized can cause a list of problems for gym goers.
We won’t bore you to death with the science of the human body, but we will explain what you need to know before diving into reasons why group classes can being doing more harm, than good. The nervous system in the human body is very adaptive to what you do throughout the day, this means muscles and movement patterns will change based on the repetitive activities you do throughout the day, whether it be a sedentary lifestyle or an active one. Muscles will shorten and get tight if we stay stationary for long periods time, and muscles will tighten or lengthen depending on what type of exercise we do. That being said, exercise is a very high stimuli for the human body and nervous system, causing the body to respond quickly to repetitive exercise routines, so the wrong routine, can defiantly cause you some issues.
Like I said, most group classes can be great for people who have years of training experience, and little to no muscular imbalances. For the average person, I would not recommend the average group class, boot camp, or High Intensity Interval class. Given the information stated above, exercise can have a great impact on how the body develops its movement patterns, and without a routine specifically for you, you can develop low back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and an un-attractive physique.
There are different “phases” of exercise that someone should go through in order to be ready to take one of these group classes, assuring that they are ready for high intensity, and high impact workouts. Just because a workout feels challenging, doesn’t mean its good for you. A lot of these classes create workouts based on a variety of exercises that make you jump around, keep your heart up, and some strength training, without form correction.
This is where the main issue comes into play, without form correction, and proper progression leading up to these physically demanding exercises, your body will adapt in a negative way creating faulty movement patterns, and unnecessary stress on the joints, leading to a challenging future of reversing, and correcting these movement issues.
I recommend, investing in a Personal Trainer that can progress you properly by teaching you proper movement mechanics, correcting muscular imbalances, and education on the human body. Without proper progression, these classes will not work as well for you. Once you have gone through individualized training and can perform advanced exercises (plyometrics, and barbell movements) it may be a good time to start in-corporating group classes into your routine.
Keep in mind, classes claiming to burn calories for 36 hours the class is over, or making everyone keep their heart rate very close to their max HR for the majority of the class, are most likely not good for the average individual who has taken years off of the gym. In order to burn calories outside of activity, you need to build muscle mass, and eat the correct amount of calories/macronutrients to ensure to a fast and healthy metabolism.
Once you have progressed to advanced exercises, it may be time to start introducing group classes, but definitely not necessary for results.
Contact Us Today for some more information regarding personal training, corrective exercise, nutrition, and anything fitness!