Quick! Where can I go swinging like an Arab dancer, strengthening myself like a weightlifter and running like a sergeant? If you belong to a typical modern gym, you already know the answer. The group fitness classes have entered a new era along with their offers to overcome the simple aerobics in leaps and bounds.
"One of the biggest changes in group training is the variety of classes offered," said Melissa Baumgartner, certified physical education instructor and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. These classes are designed to cover a wide range of interests, aptitudes and levels; and some are even dedicated exclusively to specific muscle groups.
A study of training trends conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine found that training addicts are increasingly focused on traditional strength and grassroots training, while the old foundations, most notably Pilates, are losing popularity.
But do not worry if these days you are seeing less of your "go to classes" at scheduled times. A lot of the new classes will serve you. "Changes in the classes allow people a lot of variety so they do not get bored," said Marjorie Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association. And if you are new to the world of group training, do not be discouraged: today, there is something for everyone.
One of the biggest changes in the training group is the variety of classes offered.
Melissa Baumgartner, certified physical education instructor and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.
If the idea of lifting weights or jogging miles on a treadmill keeps you out of the gym, you could be a candidate for some of the dance aerobics classes that are filling the gym's schedules. From African dance to burlesque, the variety of the offer seems endless.
And they are worth your time, experts say. "The intensity level of these classes is feasible and it is a good training," said Baumgartner, adding that dance-based classes force you to move your body in ways that You probably would not do it in a more traditional training.
Among the most common styles in recent years has been Zumba, a Latin-inspired dance class that takes elements from traditional dances, such as salsa and merengue, and variations in routines with a fast-paced rhythm. The idea is to get your heart rate up and focus on music instead of focusing on repetitive movements.
A similar style has Batuka, a combination of aerobic exercises and dance movements set at a similar Latin rhythm.According to the Batuka website, the word "Batuka" is based on the Batucada, a Brazilian musical style. Batuka instructors are trained to teach choreographed routines that involve a complete exercise of the body.
Belly dancing classes, meanwhile, bring a touch of the Middle East to the world of group fitness and can make you forget you're in the gym. Belly dance classes are available in a surprising number of variations, some of which include accessories and strong dance rhythms. They are appropriate for people of all levels of training and provide a complete abdominal training, in addition to cardiovascular exercise.
Strength training classes
Many of the current strength training classes get their tricks "straight from the military world," Baumgartner said. These classes often incorporate a bit of cardio with strength training for the whole body. Strength training classes are more advantageous than the weight room because many people lose large muscle groups if left to their own devices, Albohm said.
One type of strength training class is the total conditioning of the body. These classes can be a mixture of anything in terms of specific exercises, but almost always live up to their name. Instructors often combine weight training - localized body barbells, weights and lots of lunges (squats) - with a bit of soft cardio. Expect hard strength training that will give you stronger and toned muscles.
If you want a strong combination of cardio and strength training, the training field is the answer. Training camps are a form of circuit training that comes directly from the military manual. Teachers create spaces for workouts that alternate rigorous cardiovascular exercises -such as running and jumping rope- with traditional exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. The training camp is not suitable for those who have heart problems, but many of the movements can be adapted to different levels of fitness; just ask for advice from your instructor.
Old but good
Why train in a group?
Exercising among strangers is not for everyone. But experts in physical education say that for certain people, group classes make the training more effective and enjoyable.
"People often demand more when they are in a group," said Barbara A. Brehm, professor of sports and exercise studies at Smith College. It's less likely to give up when there are other people sweating around you, he said.
In addition, working with others offers psychological benefits. "There is a sense of camaraderie that for a certain personality improves compliance," said Marjorie Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association.Once you commit to a group exercise class, people know you and notice if you skip a session, which in turn motivates you to attend classes more frequently.
In the end, it's about finding a group of people that you feel comfortable with and a training that suits your level of fitness and your interests. "If you find a group that is similar to you and that makes you Feeling good will increase your confidence, "Brehm said.