It’s January, which means that everyone who made the resolution to lose weight or get fit this year and has joined a gym is doing his best to made good on that resolution. The gym I go to is no different, as the parking lot alone proves. It’s been almost two weeks now, and I’ve noticed some interesting phenomena when it comes to the fitness classes at the gym.
While the treadmills are definitely the most in use consistently throughout the day, the fitness classes also have many new attendees. A friend who goes to the same gym I do commented that she tried to go to spin class twice but was turned away both times because all the bikes were already taken. I attend a variety of classes at the gym, and there are many that are more full, but not all of them.
So if you have been going to the gym and are in a bit of a rut, maybe this is the time to try out a new class to see if you like something else. My step class? It has a few more people but is by no means full. Pilates? There were maybe one or two people more than normal, but plenty of room for others. Body Works? That is a weight class, and it is bulging at the seams, as is the Zumba class.
The classes are fairly comparable, however, in terms of calories burned. Pilates is the exception with around 275 calories burned in an hour. Zumba, spin, step, and the weight class? They are all between 440 and 550 calories for the class – depending on how much you put into it. So maybe if your class is full or you’re stuck in a rut, now is the time to try something new.
Why try something new? You know that when you do the same exercise over and over again, your body gets used to it and becomes more efficient, which means that you don’t get as much out of it in terms of building muscle, endurance, or burning calories. When you confuse you body by switching up your exercise, you do yourself a service and can get more fit, faster.
And why now? The instructors know that there are plenty of new students, and they are adapting their classes accordingly. When I started doing step classes, I was miserable because it was so hard and went way too fast. I was lost for the first class. The second was better, but it wasn’t until a few weeks in that I felt comfortable in the class. I am still not perfect, but no one in the class is, and that isn’t the point anyway.
Now? The instructors are modifying routines and explaining the steps and taking time to make sure that everyone in the classes knows what to do. The instructors know how important it is for them to grow their classes at this critical time of year. If they have students walk out of classes or not return, their jobs are on the line.
If you’ve never gone to a Zumba class, join the rest of the newbies now. No one will notice if you don’t follow the routines. No one will notice if you get out of breath and have to stop. No one will notice if you stand looking lost in the middle of the room because they’re feeling the same way. The same holds true for spin or Pilates or any of the classes your gym offers.
My only suggestion? Show up a little early. I’d hate for you to not have a spot. At least this week. By next month, however, you should be just fine if you don’t quite make it to class on time.