There has been a huge increase in both the range and frequency of classes offered by gyms in recent years. It is now very unusual to find a gym that doesn’t have at least one studio and program of group classes available to members.
The driver for this explosion in classes is largely down to two factors. Firstly, gym- goers are increasingly looking for new and innovative ways of staying fit and healthy. Secondly, it is well established that people are more likely to cut short a training session that they do on their own, but significantly less likely to walk out of a class before the end! In other words, motivation and peer pressure are much higher in group classes!
If we look at the first of these factors, i.e. the range of classes, then it wasn’t too many years ago that gym studios were used for very basic classes such as circuits, stretching, and possibly something like yoga or Pilates. Now we have everything from high energy body combat and boot camp, through to classes in dance fit, yogalates, and LBT (legs bums and tums).
It is also worth mentioning the evolution of spin bikes and spin classes. Instructor-led spin classes have been popular for several decades now, but the quality of both the bikes and instruction has changed dramatically. The supporting technology now means you can closely manage your activity levels, calories burnt, and even link personal performance to your smartphone via an app. While this is great for the experienced bikers, it has also been beneficial for those who are just starting out on their ‘spin bike journey’. We forget that it can be daunting going into your first instructor-led spin class and seeing a studio full of experienced bikers all set-up and raring to race. The arrival of virtual spin classes, i.e. those where the real human instructor is replaced by a virtual screen instructor can be less daunting for people new to the activity. It also allows gyms to increase the frequency of classes, which means there is more choice and lower numbers in each class; perfect for people who want to try it a few times in relative seclusion and anonymity!
The second factor that has fuelled the rise in gym classes relates to the motivation and commitment of the person attending. We all experience apathy at some stage in regard to going to the gym, and when we are there completing what we intended at the start of the session. When you are training on your own then it can be easy to quit as nobody is ‘watching you’, or even worse not even go along in the first place.
But if you register for a class then there is more of a psychological pressure to commit and attend, which in part is down to a specific start time which your mind and schedule commit more so than if you just plan to attend ‘at some time that day’. And once you are in the class then there is no going back! Very rarely will somebody quit a class before it ends… imagine the embarrassment of that! No, you stick it out come hell or high water!
At Choices, we are proud of the range and frequency of the classes we offer. If you want to try a class for the first time or want to try something new, then come and chat to one of the team and we can make sure you get the best out of our extensive class program.