With so many options to choose from, picking a group fitness class can be an overwhelming process. New, innovative workouts and classes are constantly offered, but how do you know which is the best for you?
Some classes are designed to strengthen and condition your muscles, while others are geared toward high-intensity cardio and increasing endurance. If you're trying to find the class that meets your needs, there are several questions to ask before registering.
1. What are your fitness goals?
Maybe you're looking to tone up and increase muscle mass, or maybe your goal is to increase your endurance. Before choosing a class, figure out what your fitness goals are to help guide you in your decision.
2. Is the class appropriate for your fitness level?
Most gyms and facilities offer classes from beginner to advanced levels. Before stepping into a class, understand your level of fitness and what you can expect in the class. If you're just starting out in your fitness journey, or you've taken a long break, a beginner class will be appropriate. If you're a seasoned veteran, go for the advanced classes to ensure a challenging workout.
3. Are you cross-training enough?
Whatever your fitness goals are, it's important to avoid over-training. You need to allow your body to rest and recover, and sometimes this means you need to switch up what you're doing.
For example, if you're a runner looking to switch up your routine, Pilates and yoga are great cross-training activities because they help with strength, stability, balance and deep stretching. Before choosing a class, determine what your primary form of exercise is, and try something that will complement what you do while giving your body and mind something different.
4. Are you training for a race or fitness event?
If you're training for your first 5K, triathlon or an obstacle course race, group fitness classes are a great way to prepare. Look for classes that will complement your sport and help condition your strength, stability and endurance to get you ready for the big day.