Why Group Classes probably aren’t enough to optimize your clients’ fitness

Bootcamps and group classes are good for a few things. They’re:

• Social,

• Fun, and

• They motivate people to work harder than they otherwise might.

But they have their limits. They do not:

• take into consideration people’s specific physical weaknesses, limitations or fitness goals,

• nor are they often very effective at prescribing specific intensities to ensure everyone is getting the most effective stimulus to promote various physical adaptations.

Also, it’s next to impossible for group class programming to be a complete training program, as people come and go as they please, and often miss out on important sessions each week. Essentially, it puts everyone at the mercy of a generic fitness program for the general population, which isn’t a bad thing; it just doesn’t maximize the best use of their time.

And, they certainly do not promote a one-on-one relationship with a mentor coach to help them with their long-term fitness plan.

Because of this, many people whose fitness revolves entirely around bootcamps and group classes don’t stick with it for long. Some sign up for a bootcamp as a New Year’s resolution attempt to kick their butt into gear. Others hit group classes regularly for a while, but eventually they grow bored and lose interest, often growing frustrated when the fitness gains stop coming as fast as they used to.

This doesn’t meant we want to eliminate group classes. As already mentioned, they are valuable in many ways. They’re just not enough.

The solution: Hybrid Gym Memberships!

MadLab’s Hybrid Gym Model means putting our clients on memberships that include group classes and personal training (and depending on the person’s goals,  personalized individual programming that caters to their strengths, weaknesses and goals).

This is what world-renowned fitness coach James FitzGerald—owner of Opex Fitness in Arizona—had to say about group classes during a panel discussion at the 2016 Cascade Classic in Seattle.: They work for a bit, but eventually the honeymoon period ends and then people need more individualized attention, he said.

“When people stop adapting to generic programming, then they need a coach. So if you’re not adapting quickly anymore, get some individual instruction,” he said.

In fact, FitzGerald believes there will be a general shift away from group classes in the near future as it’s not what’s best for fitness.

“I have already seen it. More and more coaches are offering individual programming. People recognize people need more than group classes,” he said.

We tend to agree, and MadLab clients far and wide are reaping the benefits of Hybrid Gym Memberships.

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