Which Fitness Class is Best For Me?
The best fitness class for you is the class that gets the results you want.
Simple as that.
There’s no “one size fits all” solution.
If you’re training to be in the Olympic diving team then a weekly Nordic Walking class isn’t going to be your fitness solution. However, if you want to take on the Three Peaks Challenge with friends in 6 months time then it perhaps might be a suitable class for you.
For most of us, we don’t have a one-off goal to reach. If your goal is to improve your overall health, wellbeing and fitness for the long term then you need to find a fitness class that you will stick to. And it’s evident that the classes people stick to the best are those that are either fun and sociable or that achieve results. Better yet, one that achieves both at once!
Set your Fitness Goal
Before racing to the first fitness class that appears on a google search of “Fitness Classes near me” it’s important to set realistic goals. Not only will this help you find the solution that’s best, but it’ll also help you quantify your results and know if you’ve achieved what you set out to do.
The SMART method of goal-setting stands for:
– Attainable / Acheivable
“I want to get fit” is too broad.
Think about whether you want to get stronger, faster or lighter? Or perhaps you want to “be able to play with my children without getting out of breath”
You need to see the results. Whether this is in a before and after photo, or in some measurable statistics such as weight, pace, lifting a certain weight. If your goal is a single challenge, the measure might be whether you cover the specified distance within a specified time.
In other words, is it realistic? You’re unlikely to improve your one mile run time by five minutes in a week, for example!
Conversely, it’s also incredibly daunting to set a really big goal with a really big time frame. It’s doable but without incremental measurements you’ll lose focus of what you’re doing and why. If you do have a really big long-term goal, consider breaking it into short and medium-term goals, like ‘checkpoints’ along the way. You’ll get a great boost each time you hit a check point within your set timeline and know that you’re on track to complete the long-term goal even if it’s quite a way off in the distance.
It’s so common for people to say things like “I want to get fit so I fit into my clothes better”.
The two don’t always match up!
In fact, if your fitness goal is related to lifting heavier weights and your goal is to fit into smaller clothes you might in fact be doing the opposite. If you want to fit into smaller clothes, your goal should probably be to lose body fat. If your goal is to lift 120kg, we would assume the relevancy is that you have a competition to lift 120kg in a few months time.
The final measure is a deadline to complete all the above.
Too strict on time can put on pressure that rushes you, leading to injury (and even incompletion of the goal), however too much time reduces the urgency entirely until you can almost forget your goal or why you’re trying to get there.
So, be honest with yourself and research realistic timings for your aim. As mentioned above, if the end goal is going to take 12-24 months then it’s really important to set some short-term and mid-way goals or checkpoints to stay focused.
What do I do next?
Once you have your goals in place, you need to follow-through with them.
At this point you can begin to decide which fitness class will be best for you to achieve your goal. Read on for our review of fitness classes available near you.
Register Your Interest With BFF
In Spring and Summer 2019, we will be expanding British Forces Fitness.
To support our expansions plans, please register your interest at the link below.
Types of Fitness Classes
What types of outdoor fitness are there?
There are hundreds of types of classes. Group fitness classes have huge benefits compared to working out alone. A key consideration will be whether you want to train indoors or outdoors. This ‘Outdoor Fitness versus Indoor Fitness‘ article is a comprehensive round up of the benefits and differences between the two. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular classes available near you.
For low-impact walking classes with guidance on technique, Nordic Walking classes are available across the UK.
A quick online search of ‘Running Clubs near me’ should bring up your local running clubs. They often include beginner classes so if you’re looking to complete a long-distance run or improve your pace this is a good start. British Forces Fitness also offer running classes.
Bootcamps are a form of military fitness. The group environment offers encouragement and motivation. The exercise classes usually utilise all aspects of a local park or common and use a mix of bodyweight exercises, cardiovascular activity and partner exercise to give participants a full-body workout in the great outdoors. British Forces Fitness offer free classes, so be sure to register your interest to find a class near you.
Yoga or Pilates
Yoga and pilates classes usually take place indoors. Both contain several poses or routines that improve core strength, mobility and flexibility. Pilates is the more intense workout and as a result is more suitable for those with a fitness-based goal. Both are great classes to participate in alongside your fitness goals as they can prevent injuries and improve range of movement. Yoga is a suitable alternative to a rest day in your schedule and also incredibly good for mental wellbeing.
Boxing classes are now widely available as a form of fitness. Rather than taking on others in a ring, you will be able to work on technique and push your cardiovascular system in a group environment.
If you’re keen to get outside, there are a number of cycling clubs around the country, which generally include beginner classes for those new to the sport. However, it can be quite an expensive hobby one you’ve bought all the kit! An alternative way to give your legs a blitz is to try an indoor ‘spin’ class. These usually take place in gyms or bespoke spin studios.