Group fitness sessions: yes or no?

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    Apr 07, 2008 11:03 PM GMT
    In a recent magazine interview, erstwhile hard man and 80's icon Mr T berated pilates classes as bastions of unmanliness! Was wondering what others think in relation to the whole group fitness experience. Do you participate in organised fitness classes at your gym, be it spin, aerobics, martial arts or, my favourite, bodypump? Or do you think, like some guys, that they're only for women and to be avoided at all costs? Sometimes i find the whole shared experience of being in a class uplifting, particularly if im feeling distinctly unmotivated. Any thoughts?
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    Apr 07, 2008 11:08 PM GMT
    My workout time is as much a mental break from everything else and a time to recollect myself as it is a time for physical exertion...so I tend to avoid group workout situations or even conversation while working out. I do like working out in a busy gym, though, as knowing other people are pushing through their own routines keeps me motivated in mine.
  • brunsfast

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    Apr 08, 2008 3:23 AM GMT
    I've been a spin instructor for 15 years, and my experience is that people who make a commitment to group fitness also tend to make it to the gym more frequently. They're also less likely to take long breaks in their training cylces or stop altogether. Any class will shake up your workout and help you get out of a rut. Sure you can get the job done by yourself, but it's so much more fun with other people.
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    Apr 08, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    I agree with drew. Workout time is pretty much a time to disconnect from socializing for me.
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    Apr 08, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    I never saw classes as masculine or feminine...but as "classes" ...activities that needed to be directed by someone in-the-know.

    And, altho I have never been in a class, I think I would be so absorbed by what I was doing that the rest of the participants wouldnt figure into my consciousness.

    I have always been amazed and intimidated by those routines and the stamina they must take.
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    Apr 08, 2008 4:20 AM GMT
    I do all of my stuff in a Crossfit class when I'm near my gym. It's not a typical "socializing" thing. It's chatty at the beginning, but then we hammer for 40-50 minutes and people are too busy trying not to barf to be doing much socializing. Well, other than good natured ribbing and shouting about who's going to beat who. I always loved training on my own until I started here. But now I really like this style of working out. I push myself harder when I have a whole gym full of us all pushing on the same workout and trying to beat each other through it. I also find that it makes me more consistent with my workouts, knowing that it's the same group, every day at the same time. Sort of lets me make a commitment to the group AND to myself.
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    Apr 08, 2008 4:36 AM GMT
    My BF likes the group spin classes, and I give him crap for it. "Okay, now we're going uphill!" Sheesh.

    For me, if it's group martial arts/fighting, then I'm in. I must fight more than one at a time, and this is the only way. There can be only one.
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    Apr 08, 2008 4:45 AM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidMy BF likes the group spin classes, and I give him crap for it. "Okay, now we're going uphill!" Sheesh.

    For me, if it's group martial arts/fighting, then I'm in. I must fight more than one at a time, and this is the only way. There can be only one.


    why does the thought of fighting you make my parts all tingly?
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    Apr 08, 2008 4:57 AM GMT
    My aftershave is Tobasco sauce. You're just getting too close to my spray.
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    Apr 08, 2008 5:02 AM GMT
    I guess I don't really see the 'unmanliness' of group classes -- and certainly martial arts would be as 'groupie' as any other sport or activity.

    For some things I definitely like the 'alone' aspect, and can get that with either running or swimming often, but I must say I'm more productive or competitive with some sort of external locus of control, be it a friend to compete or challenge myself against or a class with other people, where yes, I will compare myself against the rest and try harder. So I can see, and appreciate both aspects, but honestly for me I work or compete the hardest when I have someone to compete against, or who I think may be evaluating my performance.
  • geebus

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    Apr 08, 2008 6:28 AM GMT
    well for me, as with all things I'm not used to doing...it depends on how much eye candy I'm getting icon_twisted.gif
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    Apr 08, 2008 6:53 AM GMT
    I think group fitness is great. It's nice to have a healthy competition with someone in a sporting way. Groups can help a person achieve their goals more quickly and effectively I think and it helps develop a social outlet from the people youare already use to seeing.

    If a person wants to workout alone then that's cool since that's what they want but for those of you who workout alone please don't be so quick to judge others for working out in groups.
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    Apr 08, 2008 12:05 PM GMT
    I'm fine with working out by myself for my cardio workouts and weigh training but can't seem to get motivated and stick with a good abs/core workout so have been going to a good Absolute Abs group class for a few years. We have a spirited instructor and we do it to music so I enjoy and get lots out of the half hour rigorous abs workout class, which I dont think I would ever do that on my own.
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    Apr 08, 2008 1:00 PM GMT
    In the mid eighties (I was married then) I came home from work (in the Army) and my wife was excited and telling me all about Jazzercize. The look I gave her must have been a bit condescending, I was doing Army physical training every morning when we weren't in the field. So she said that I should come and check it out. So I did, I really liked it. Then my wife noticed that when we did an exercize for the butt where we are on one knee and supported by both hands on the floor lifting a back leg, you can see the cleavages of all the women behind us, kind of like a dairy farm. She ordered me not to come to Jazzercize anymore. I liked it though, the exercize class. I was really interested in the two other guys who came to the class but I had to keep that a secret, then.
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    Apr 08, 2008 1:06 PM GMT
    KirkBLB saidI agree with drew. Workout time is pretty much a time to disconnect from socializing for me.


    Me too......Work out time is for concentrating and breathing correctly and acheiving mini-goals (like increasing the weight for each set).

    I never thought of classes as a feminine thing to do.

    Having said that, I do think it is funny sometimes to see a big burly guy jumping up and down waving his arms keeping up with the music.

    I would like, though, to join an organized self defense class or martial arts.

    Being fit and healthy makes me feel good as a man....if pilates does that, then great.
  • VinBaltimore

    Posts: 239

    Oct 22, 2008 11:16 PM GMT
    Why isn't everything more fun in a group?! icon_lol.gif

    I've pretty much always had a training partner. Knowing someone else is counting on me to be there helps keep me from missing a workout (especially mornings when I'd definitely hit snooze and snuggle up to the boyfriend/husband/whatever). Nice to have a spotter and someone to push you for that extra rep or two when needed. Also make me slightly, just slightly, less likely to sing along to the music.

    About a year ago they started group fitness classes at the gym at work. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I've really come to enjoy it. Two times a week it's heavy lifting and twice a week it's more curcuit training. All with a personal trainer. Gets me to do things I wouldn't normally think to do in the gym (like abs).

    And there's nothing wrong with spinning! I really enjoy it (and I think the instructor has a little crush on me :winkicon_smile.gif.

    I also take yoga twice a week (its in a totally separate part of the gym so no one has to know if you're self concious about it). Been a miracle for my aching lower back. Every once in a great while a guy pops into the class (usually days when I'm wearing a grundy t-shirt and don't bother with my hair), but they rarely come back a second time.
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    Oct 22, 2008 11:29 PM GMT
    It's a solitary thing for me, or at most, something to do with one or two buddies. When I was swimming laps and the women would come in to do their floaties class, I had to leave. The sound of the shrill woman barking out commands just ruined my focus and got on my nerves.

    (Oh, plus I hate those cyclists who can chat up a storm while they're passing me on a killer grade.)
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    Oct 22, 2008 11:29 PM GMT
    I've been teaching group exercise classes for over 13 years. I teach everything from step to hi/lo to sports conditioning and spinning.

    Male instructors will push you more than a female instructor. There are gender differences.

    You will see more men in a spin class or a sports conditioning class than in a choreography based step or hi/lo floor class.

    Some people thrive on the group participation and the friends they have made in class. Others are there for the workout it provides. Some classes are traditional where others are pre-programmed. Les Mills Body Training Systems, i.e. Body Pump, Body Flow, rpm, Body Attack, are your well known pre-programmed classes that change every six weeks or so.

    If you want to break out of a rut and do something new where you don't have to think, take a group ex class.
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    Oct 22, 2008 11:39 PM GMT
    I do a pump class, when I first started at the gym and was shy about getting up there and working out, bodypump at the start of the week broke that weekend down cycle and got me into the gym, I did the class every monday for almost a year before hurting my shoulder.

    Now I'm not going anymore, but, will be next monday for a class.

    I was once dragged by my trainer into a cardio class, can't remember the name of it, he needed support from a guy because it was his first time instructing, I almost died and I mean that literally, these women where moving in a way that ma body just didn't wanna do, I couldn't believe it, it was just unhealthy, wrong and freaking HOT!

    Classes are pretty much all women, however, I think thats because of the idea that women want to tone and keep a womanly shape while men want to build muscle and they all think that there way is the way to go about it...

    I miss the class, them women where scary!
  • Salubrious

    Posts: 420

    Oct 22, 2008 11:41 PM GMT
    I used to do yoga, but I stopped when I went off to college. The worst part was the 60 y.o. ladies that kicked my ass at it. Granny had some guns.
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    Oct 22, 2008 11:51 PM GMT

    Group sessions....ok, why not?
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    Oct 22, 2008 11:57 PM GMT
    A good class in the fitness realm isn't going to be very social - if the instructor is worth the effort, it will be work. At the same time all that relaxation and escape of a solo workout can be had in spades in a good yoga class,

    If you can afford one-on-one instruction for an hour or more several times a week, go for it. Though how that would be more manly is hard to figure!

    I pity the po' fool who cares about Mr. T's notions of masculinity.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 23, 2008 12:43 AM GMT
    As a man who paid for part of his college with money made from teaching such classes
    let me tell you .... there are some classes in cardio and yoga and core traing that will kick your ASS icon_wink.gif

    SuperStock_1150-666.jpg
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    Oct 23, 2008 4:13 AM GMT
    Although I should, I don't have the motivation to do yoga on my own, but I'll do it in a class, especially if there are cute guys in it.
    icon_smile.gif
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    Oct 23, 2008 4:27 AM GMT
    I was always terrified of group fitness classes. But, ever since my trainer forced me to take a spin class, I've been hooked. I take a mix of Les Mills RPM and "freestyle" spin classes. I find them motivating (trying to keep up with and/or do better than the other participants), fun (awesome music) and social. When you take classes regularly, you tend to meet people from the gym which is good for many reasons. You'll see those people out and about and be able to say hey to them. Plus, for me anyways, knowing people at the gym motivates me to go regularly. I never want someone to say, "where were you yesterday - we missed you." So, I always go.

    I like the spin classes so much I took a spin or RPM class every day I was on vacation at Disney World last week. ha ha!!

    As a side note, if you ever want a really nice gym to work out at while at Disney World, Celebration Health is awesome. State of the art equipment, HUGE and friendly staff. I was quite impressed.

    I'd like to try out one of the other classes soon. Either boot camp, body pump or something like that.