When I was a kid, I wasn’t super athletic. I was actually such a girly girl, a chubby princess if you will. I did do skating lessons, and before things got serious with figure skating, I quit that to pursue dance. I never danced competitively, and looking back now I wish I did. I think I would have done well in competitive dance, but hindsight is always 20/20. My point is, I wasn’t that great at gym class in elementary school, and because of this I only took gym in grade 9 in high school. I did do competitive cheerleading for a year in high school and loved it! But I wasn’t that experienced at tumbling and therefore not that good of a cheerleader. To be quite honest, I was much better at dancing, and putting on a show. This is why I believe that if I were to be in competitive dance I would have a much stronger skill set to accompany my talent for dancing, and my love for the stage.
It wasn’t until my second year of university that I discovered fitness. After my first year of university, where I wasn’t dancing, I wasn’t cheerleading, and the gym scared me because I never used that type of equipment before, I had gained the torturous “freshman fifteen.” It was terrible. I had dedicated my first year of university to school, a new boyfriend, and partying. Basically everything else except for myself. When I looked in the mirror at the beginning of second year, I couldn’t recognize myself! I was not happy. This was not the person I wanted to be, and so I discovered the Group Fitness Classes at Laurier’s athletic complex. I loved these classes and I made a point to go to a class every single day. I would do a cardio class one day, then a weight training class the next. I wold do this from Monday-Friday and most of the time on Saturdays as well. Attending Group Fitness classes, made me fall in love with health and fitness. And most importantly, it helped me to fall in love with myself again. Group Fitness helped me get back into shape in my second year, and then some! Once I started to see results, I started to feel empowerment of fitness. I felt great, and I looked better than I ever have before! Since I was exercising regularly, I was sleeping better, and I really started to take a vested interest in nutrition. It was in second year, that I realized the importance of taking care of yourself, and how much better you perform in the rest of your life when you feel at your best.
After second year, I loved fitness so much, I decided to become a Group Fitness Instructor myself and the rest is history! From there, I went on to become the Group Fitness Coordinator for two years at the university’s athletic complex, and then into personal training and so on. I personally think that Group Fitness is a great gateway drug to other types of fitness. I think that it can be a good way for people to get comfortable with working out, and once they feel comfortable in the realm of fitness, they can then start to develop a more regimented training regime. The gym can be a very intimidating place for a lot of people! I mean I remember how intimidated I was in my first year of university walking into the school gym, but I felt at home in the group fitness studio. With group fitness it’s a very social environment. You can bring your friends to help make the whole experience that much more comfortable and fun! There’s usually some upbeat music, and the best thing is, you don’t have to think about your workout! A fun, safe, and effective workout is already planned out for you!
Group Fitness is excellent for beginners, for people who don’t exercise regularly to start moving. It’s relatively safe (unless you’re doing something more complicated like Cross Fit) but generally speaking most group fitness classes are cardio based with relatively light weights. I think Group Fitness is great to get people into the gym, and hopefully to come on a regular basis. I don’t think that people should stay forever in the realm of group fitness. It is very important to venture off and to learn how to train properly! And what I mean by that is this: first of all you don’t get too much attention in a group fitness class and therefore will not be able to properly perfect your form. Secondly, it is difficult to have a focused training regime when taking group fitness classes because these classes aren’t tailored to you, and they may be different from class to class. Group Fitness is great to get people exercising, but once you’ve been exercises regularly, it is important to start training. You must not develop a program for yourself to really focus your workouts, and to measure your success. Training gives you a set timeline, and goals. Everything you do in the gym once you’ve started training has a purpose to it, and you’re no longer exercising for the sake of exercising. This is where a personal trainer like myself, or a coach comes into play. No matter if you’re experience in the gym or not, a trainer can really help to bring your workouts to the next level. They can help you perfect your technique, and who doesn’t need a good spot in the gym right? But nevertheless, group fitness is how I got my eyes opened to the world of fitness. It was my gateway drug, and I think it could be yours too! There’s so many types of classes out there, that I’m sure you can find something that peaks your interest and gets you moving!