Group workouts are nothing new. As humans we are drawn to crowds and to good leaders, (GO VOTE!) however not all group workouts are created equal and not all have the right leader for you. But why should you attend a group workout instead of just working out on your own? Attending a few group workouts is easily one of the best ways to get motivated for the start of a new workout regimen. Also, group workouts can introduce you to a whole new set of exercises you have never done before.
So, are group workouts for you? How do you find the right one? Maybe you already have some that you like to frequent or perhaps you’ve heard of some you want to check out. What should you be looking for? What should you ask to make sure that it is the right fit for you?
One thing you should always do when checking out a new group session is to have a chat with the trainer before you start. The reason is twofold. You will find out more about the trainer, his/her style of training and his/her philosophy on fitness. At the same time, the trainer will be more conscious of you, especially if you tell them your goals. All trainers know how to motivate their clients. Just like you, a trainer is looking for certain things in his/her group attendees and followers.
So you talk to the trainer and he/she is cool. You are about to rock the workout. What now?
As you are listening to what the trainer is saying, take a look around and see if the participants are supporting one another. Also, see if the trainer is paying attention to everyone equally. You want the trainer to correct your form, but you also want him/her to keep the tempo high.
At the end of the workout comes the most important question. How do YOU feel? Was the workout challenging? Was it too hard or too easy? Keep in mind that almost any callisthenic exercise can be modified to a simpler/harder version. Has the trainer suggested some changes?
If you like the trainer, if he/she challenges you and keeps the workout fun, you may have found the group to stick with. A good place to start is your local YMCA. Get a feel for what’s going on and the level of fitness in the participants. After a couple of sessions, you will know if the intensity level is good for you or if you need to step it up to something more extreme.
So you decided to take a day to just relax. On this day pushups won’t cut it, running won’t be any good, and Yoga won’t help you. You just want to curl up in bed or on the couch, watch movies, eat and sleep. We all need a day to recharge every now and then, to shake the stress of the week off our bodies.
How are we going to go about this without negatively impacting our next workout? Here are a couple of things you can do to prepare for a healthy and satisfying Day Off.
We can start by preparing for our Day Off on the day before. Look at your workout schedule. What are you suppose to do on the day before your Day Off? Can you combine the workout of the previous day with the workout from your Day Off? You can? Great! Push yourself to the max the day before. Power through the workout and know that tomorrow you will be able to recover and fully recharge. Work hard to play hard… well, rest hard in any case. Well, what if you can’t combine the workouts. A solution would be to split the workout in two and do an extra muscle group the day before and the day after your Day Off. This is a very likely possibility for most people and it’s one I personally use.
If you can’t combine them in any way, look at what you have planned to do for the week. You can switch up the following few workouts so that you aren’t skipping anything.
Simply skipping a workout out is not an option. Your muscle groups would have rested way too long between workouts and we don’t want to lose our momentum.
So, now we’ve set up our workouts. We’ve pushed ourselves hard the day before. Finally we are here, Day Off! We are in bed and the movies are up. How are we going to maximize our day of rest? Absolutely we must make sure our diet stays intact as much as it can. That means six small meals a day. Can you add a sweet treat here and there? Well it is a Day Off!!! ;) But the most important thing to do and the easiest, is to reach for a glass of water! Go for the H2O as much as possible. Drink up with every meal and in between. Not only will your body thank you for staying hydrated, you will be more full and less prone to eat fatty foods. Also, the constant visits to the bathroom will give you at least some exercise! ;)
Many of us spend a good chunk of the day sitting. Once we do stand up, we only do so to sit back down. Unless you live in a very urban area, chances are your daily commute to and from work consist of sitting in your car. Once we get home, we get comfortable on couch or in the bed, and remain…