How to get the most from your group training exercise

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With the resurgence of group training over the last few years, fitness has become a sport and it has opened up a whole new dynamic on getting fit. The group training formats have moved away from the completely choreographed class to the more open, but still structured session. Many group training sessions have started to more resemble the format of a personal training session, yet still has the flow and social elements of a group class. Whether you’re already involved in or are considering getting involved with a small group training program, there are some aspects you may want to think about first, to make it work the best for you.

1.    Set goals – When someone starts with a personal trainer, there is a time they sit down and set goals. In group training many times, there are no goals set or just general goals that do not lead you in a specific direction. In setting your goals on what you want to get out of the training, you’re 90% more likely to actual achieve them.

2.    Measure – If you are going to take the time to set the goals, you should also assess what you are looking to improve. You want to collect fitness baseline information and it doesn’t have to be complex. You could do your weight, resting heart rate, and or circumference measurements. If you’re looking to improve your push up, then you’ll want to see how many you can do. This allows you to know if you are moving towards or away from your goals.

3.    Set up some accountability – When you work with a personal trainer, they make sure you are accountable to your exercise program. In group training, make sure you pick instructors and make contacts in the session that will ask you if you are coming to the next session or that ask where you were when you miss a session. This allows you to know that someone will notice if you wake up one day and feel like “skipping”. This helps you establish a “push” to make you show up, even when you sometimes don’t feel like it.

4.    Modify – You should have the instructor assist you with modifications if the exercise is too easy or hard. Exercise at the right level, gets you results. Exercise done at the wrong level, gets you bored, or worse, hurt.

5.    Supplement – This does not mean take vitamins! This means you might need to supplement other exercise that helps you reach your goals. If you have a focus that leads you to take mostly strength-based sessions, you might have to occasionally take a flexibility or Yoga-based class to keep your flexibility at the appropriate level. If you have any nagging joint issues when you train, you may need to do a few sessions with a personal trainer to get you passed it.

6.    Lifestyle check – If you’re just trying to get to your goals with just exercise, you need to check to see if your lifestyle factors are wrecking your results. Nutrition, recovery, and stress can all easily out maneuver even the best exercise program.

7.    Re-Measure and Assess – This means you should take the measurements you took earlier and see what your results are. If you’re moving in the right direction, you should continue. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, it’s time for a course correction.
With these simple 7 steps, you can turn a more general small group training program into a customized training plan that works specifically to move you to the results you are looking to achieve.

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