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How to Get the Most Out of a Group Fitness Class

Thinking about jumping on the group fitness bandwagon? Group personal training classes are all the rage these days – with new boutique fitness studios and gyms opening every day. With so many options, how can you find a gym or studio that’s a good fit for you and get the access to personal trainers you need?

Body Machine Fitness (BMF) Plano certified personal trainer Lizzie is here to help! Read on for her tips on finding the right fitness studio for you and how to get the most out of group personal training classes.

Group fitness moves from big box gyms to boutique fitness studios

A personal trainer for six years, Lizzie has been hanging out in gyms her whole life, “before kids clubs and daycares existed,” she says. During this time, Lizzie has witnessed fitness trends come and go. In recent years, she’s seen group fitness shift from the big box gyms to specialized classes at fitness boutiques and studios. If you’re considering going the big box route, you may want to expand your horizons.

According to Lizzie, “Group fitness used to be just aerobics, yoga and spin. Nowadays, there are tons of different types of studios that specialize in group classes with a variety of workouts to customize your fitness regimen. Aerobic classes are no longer just spandex and leg warmers. It’s kickboxing. It’s boot camps. Equipment ranges from basic dumbbells and bands to treadmills and rowers. And because studios and boutiques specialize in group fitness, they’re adding more bells and whistles to make fitness more enjoyable than ever.”

Know what you’re looking for and test the waters

Ask your friends – or Yelp – for advice.To find the best gym or fitness studio for your needs, ask your pals for advice. “If your friends like a certain class or fitness studio, there’s a good chance you will, too. Plus, having an accountability buddy to show up to class with you is a great way to get started and stay motivated,” Lizzie says.

If you want to find a great local gym or fitness studio, online reviews can also provide some great insight, especially if reviews are plentiful. Yelp, Google reviews and Facebook ratings are a great place to start. (Plano locals can check out BMF’s Yelp reviews here.)

Think about what you’re looking for in a group fitness class.As Lizzie explains, “Are you looking for a studio with small classes, big classes, great playlists, full body, high intensity, low impact, certified coaches, etc.? For example, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) classes, like the ones we offer at BMF, are popularbecause they’ve been shown to burn additional calories anywhere from 24-36 hours after a workout. Know what type of class you are looking for so you’ll know it when you come across it.”

Lizzie also recommends reviewing the different type of classes the gym or fitness studio offers so you can anticipate what to expect from each workout. “For example, our daily focus on Mondays and Thursdays is upper body. So, if you have a shoulder injury, you may want to stop by Tuesday/Friday for a lower body class or Wednesday for a core workout instead,” Lizzie says.

Take a free group fitness class (or two, or three …).Many gyms and fitness studios offer a first class for free so you can find out the class is a good fit for you. This is a great way to see what is out there and maybe make a new friend or two.

Live near our Plano fitness studio? Your first class is on us.Request a FREE class here!.

Read the fine print.Many – if not most – big box gyms and fitness studios charge exorbitant enrollment and cancelation fees. Once you sign up, you’re stuck. If you want to keep your options open, look for a gym or fitness studio that lets you pay as you go – whether that’s class-to-class or month-to-month. (BMF never charges an enrollment or cancelation fee – EVER.)

How to get the most out of group fitness classes AND avoid workout injuries

If you’re new to group fitness, you may want to look for a boutique fitness studio that offers group personal training classes, like BMF. You’ll get more personal attention and insight than you would during a typical big box group fitness class.

Based on her own experiences with group fitness, Lizzie believes personal attention is essential to her client’s success. As she explains, “I can remember walking into a group fitness class and hiding in the back because I was so nervous. I remember thinking, if I felt that way, I know there are tons of other people that feel that way, so I’ve made it a point to make magic happen for everyone in class.”

Personalized insight from a trainer can also help you optimize your workout and avoid injury.

“All the trainers here are certified personal trainers, and we all do fitness full time. We are available before class to discuss any options our members may need for their workouts. During class, we offer low impact alternatives and many different ways to enhance the exercises for the individual’s conditioning level. Nothing is one-size-fits-all in fitness, so we work hard to inform our members to help them decide what works best for their bodies,” says Lizzie.

Lizzie also recommends the following three steps to help avoid injury during group fitness classes:

Step 1: Communicate with your trainer/coachregarding any injuries or restrictions you may have so they can help you make a plan for your workout.

Step 2: Always listen to your body.Because of the variety of fitness levels in a class, it’s easy to get swept away and try to do more than you should because of the person next to you. Focus on yourself and your capabilities to avoid injuring yourself.

Step 3: Take time to recover.Starting a fitness regimen (or picking one back up) isn’t as easy as some may think. Make sure you are eating healthy and fueling your bodywith the right foods. And if your body says, “Take a day off,” it’s totally OK to take a day off so you can come back stronger the next day.

Get more tips for beginners and rusty athletes here: Dusting Off Your Sneaks? 4 Success Tips from a Fitness Pro

Looking for a local gym or fitness studio near Plano that specializes in group personal training classes?

If you live in our neighborhood, Lizzie and the other certified personal trainers at BMF in Plano would love to meet you and show you why Body Machine Fitness was voted the #1 Best Gym in Plano for 2018!

Then, if you want to check out a group personal training class at BMF, we’ve got you covered. Not only is your FIRST CLASS FREE (sign up here)BMF never charges an enrollment fee OR cancellation fee – EVER.

Have questions about BMF? Want to learn more about our group personal training classes? Feel free to contact us by phone at 214-396-8585 or email us at