Group fitness has a large appeal. You get to meet up with your friends at the gym and share the experience of the “wod” together.
Everybody gets to attempt the same or similar versions of the workout and even if you suffer through it at least you completed it with your gym fam. You guys can all slap hands and congratulate each other on another workout survived! This all may sound like good things but unfortunately it is not the highest order prescription for exercise. That group program you love could be actually hurting your health and performance in the long run… not helping it.
Now my goal is not to completely destroy the idea of group training. There are obviously some very good physical and psychological health benefits to exercising together and building camaraderie through shared physical strain. What I want to discuss is the idea of a group program designed and delivered to all with the expectation of everyone receiving the proper response for their lifestyle and fitness goals. When we dig into this concept, we will find many flaws as it pertains to the long-term development of the client.
If you look up some group fitness gyms online and read about their program many will say things like “our program is designed for all fitness levels.” If you see this and you actually care about getting better, then I would urge you to look somewhere else. Any gym that markets their program for all fitness levels is complete BS. So, you’re telling me that the fittest person in the world and a complete beginner can come in and do the same training program and they both will get better? Absolutely not. There is no way that both of those individuals will get the same dose response from that workout.
Oh, and I can already hear it now, “but what if you just scale the workout for the beginner??” Sure, lets dumb it down so you can complete the workout for today with zero thought as to how you will actually get better for the future. This only leads to the never-ending cycle of scaling movements and no progress. Some people have been going to gyms and replacing exercises with the same things for years with nothing to show from it! Don’t get me wrong, you’re exercising and moving your body, so bravo for that… but at least be able to call out your program for what it is. Don’t continue to get sold on fitness marketing that claims to get you better along with everyone else the same way.
Every person walking into a gym has a different background. They are of different age groups, they work different jobs, they sleep different schedules, they eat different diets and most importantly, they are on a whole wide spectrum of fitness levels. To slap one program on top of everyone who comes into the gym and claim that it is going to improve everyone’s fitness equally is just unethical.
So how does Salvation solve this? We offer individually designed programs that are custom tailored to meet the client where they are and put them on a path that leads to their long-term development and maximum physical potential. Your exercise program should begin just underneath your current abilities. You should be prescribed exercises with a specific volume and intensity that will lead you to having a long-term sustainable fitness. What you shouldn’t be doing is jumping into a “wod” that has some random exercises with random rep schemes that do not serve your long-term function.
Jumping into a group program is playing a guessing game. You don’t know where you will land in relation to that program. Sadly, many gyms pride themselves on making their workouts hard so that no matter who walks into their gym everyone “feels” like they got a good workout for that day. This is the type of BS that needs to get stomped out of the fitness industry. There are too many gyms out there charging good money for “coaching” yet all they are doing is making people tired.
Don’t gamble your money like this. If you are serious about your health, fitness, or performance then find a program that is customized specifically to you.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you track your progress from your last couple weeks of training? Can you specifically see and measure the improvements in strength, conditioning, and movement quality?
- Is the style of training actually supporting your goals?
- Do you leave the gym feeling good, without body aches or brain fog?
- Does the training align with your nutrition and lifestyle?
- Can you be consistent with your current training forever?
That last one may be the most important of all. If you answer no to that question, then I hope you have a good reason for implementing a program that will only have temporary effects.
Overall, if the answer to those questions is not a definite yes then I urge you to reconsider why you are doing the training you are doing. Why are you paying for a service that isn’t delivering on the above questions? I guarantee your health and fitness is more important than whatever answer you try to come up with.