By Matt Rossbach
Group fitness classes are almost always too difficult or too easy. When was the last time you left a class and thought, “That was great! It was really challenging, but I kept up the whole time!” Likely NEVER.
For a significant portion of the population, group classes can be very intimidating. You walk into class, not quite sure what to expect. The other members seem to know each other, as if they’re in some sort of secret club. They follow along perfectly in sync with the over-caffeinated instructor as they squat, curl, press, lift, twist. You don’t know if the weights you’re using are too light or too heavy, and you don’t even know if you’re doing the movements right! You try to keep up, but no one’s telling you, specifically YOU, not the class as a whole, if you are lifting correctly or if you’re in danger of hurting yourself. No one knows about your knee injury 3 years ago, or that your back tends to tighten up when you do certain exercises. You’re expected to follow along with all the squats and deadlifts because there are no modifications for your needs. You decide the class was too hard or too fast-paced and you vow to never come back.
Or, are you a former athlete or a weekend warrior in search of a NEW challenge? You know the perfect form for deadlifts. You can bench more than your own weight, and running 5 and 10Ks for years means it’s going to take more than a light workout to get you out of breath. The class you walk into seems fine, sure, but not any kind of real challenge for YOU. The instructor doesn’t even seem to be sweating, so what’s the point? You don’t want to do light squats and step-ups for an hour. You decide the class was too easy and vow to find something else to satisfy your competitive appetite.
FitGames was designed with these needs in mind. Every FitGames class utilizes a unique and fun format that allows participants to work at their own pace, doing exercises modified for their ability level, to complete challenges as a team. New members can move slowly between the exercises they choose while they focus on form, in front of an instructor who is always willing to guide them. Athletes and seasoned competitors can push themselves to their fitness limits and seek out new challenges every class. Both groups work side-by-side, as a team, to complete workouts in fun and interesting ways.
Here’s an example of a FitGames class in its simplest format,
100 Squats w/ 66% your 1-Rep Max Weight
200 TRX Rows
250 Overhead Step-ups
400 Jumping Lunges
450 Oblique Dips
500 Jumping Jacks
The instructor demonstrates all the exercises and then divides the class into two teams. The totals may seem daunting, but working together makes it possible for teams to complete incredible tasks. Every participant is allowed to work on whichever exercise they like, whenever they want. New members can pass on exercises they are not ready for, and participants recovering from injuries can avoid anything likely to hinder their progress. Competitors looking for a challenge can occupy themselves with the most difficult exercises and race to finish before the other team. If one member struggles with push-ups but likes jumping jacks, he/she can cooperate with their teammates accordingly. All participants are free to be as competitive as they want to be. Often members find themselves trying harder because they see how hard a teammate is working towards their common goal. But all participants and instructors are friendly and all competition is good-natured, so there is never any pressure. All members are just encouraged to do their best and have fun!
Other FitGames classes utilize the same teamwork concept, but use even more creative formats. For example, in the Making Words game, each exercise corresponds with a letter. When members complete exercises, they earn letters and work with their teammates to create as many words as possible. In the Auction game, participants “bid” on an exercise by finishing 10 repetitions. For someone on the other team to beat their bid, they must complete 5 more reps than the previous bid. Exercise bids go back and forth, with the winner completing the most reps at the end. The Video Game format gives each member a set number of “hit points” to start. When they complete an exercise, they inflict a certain amount of “damage” to an opponent, depending on the difficulty of the exercise. When a player is “killed,” they must run 10 laps in the studio to come back to life and rejoin the game.
These are just a few of the FitGames classes that allow members to CHOOSE their own exercises, work at their OWN PACE, and help their teammates complete challenges in fun and unique formats.
Check out the Group Fitness schedule and drop in to try any class FREE today!