Exploring the World of Group Fitness

Written with love, by Nikki Lian

Group fitness is a great way to learn new things so you can add to your own routine. Sometimes walking in the gym can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing, and personal training may not be in your budget.  So what can you do to learn how to work your body properly and see results?  Try a class!  I’ve actually jumped around and have done my own research into group fitness to keep my workouts fresh.


Boxing + Kickboxing

One class I’ve tried was a good friend of mine’s boxing class at Elite Pro Fitness in Manhattan Beach. Chuck is a great trainer, and he pushes me to my limits when he works me out.  This class was a mix of heavy bag work, mitt work and some leg and arm work.   This is a workout that will push you to the limit.  A boxing workout like this one is usually non-stop and can burn up to 800 calories per hour.  It also works your entire body.  Remember, an hour sounds long, but time flies when you’re having fun!!  Your local gym may have a cardio kickboxing class, or if you have a CKO Kickboxing close to you, try out a class there.  70 percent of your workout is on a heavy bag and the trainers are amazing.  You can also get the stress out by punching things!!



Another group fitness experience I had was when I joined my friend for a zumba class at the YMCA in Burbank.  I had taken Zumba once before with her and didn’t enjoy it that much or felt that I got much of a work out.  But my friend told me that I needed to go to Shauna’s class, and that her class was a lot more fun.  I agreed, because I do believe different people add different vibes to classes, and I was really glad I went.  Shauna has unbelievable energy, and a lot of compassion.  She explained to her students that it is all supposed to feel good and be fun, and if anyone has injuries, to moderate the moves.  I, for one, appreciate that because something is usually always hurting on my body.

Shauna’s zumba class was very face-paced, which is what I like.  I didn’t have time to feel like a fool with two left feet because I was so concentrated on what she was doing, I wasn’t worried about anyone watching me trip over myself.  I ended up getting a great work out, and decided to go back for a second and third time.  However, personally I felt I could supplement this class with lifting weights as well.  It was like my “Cardio.”  This was also a lesson learned that your trainer or instructor makes your class.  So it’s best when you’re trying a new workout to not judge it on one class. 



Black Dog Yoga is a studio in Sherman Oaks I heard about through a client.  They were having a great deal—unlimited yoga for a month for 30 dollars.  I had done yoga only once at Runyon Canyon, and again didn’t have the greatest experience, so I decided to give it a shot.  The first class I took was called Restorative Yoga with Melissa.  If you’re trying to get a good work out and sweat, this is not the right class.  Restorative Yoga was right up my alley, because it’s pretty much self-explanatory—you’re restoring your body. You sit in different positions using blocks and pillows to try to shape your body back to the way it should be.  It was very relaxing, and again you are able to adjust and modify positions to fit your comfort,

I also participated in a basic flow yoga class, led by Hanna.  This was a little more intense.  I was sweating buckets, but it really stretched me out and worked my core, two things I desperately need.  I was able to do everything (I just had to sit on a blanket instead of the hard floor to protect my tailbone).  Both instructors at Black Dog Yoga were extremely helpful and although the classes were full, they walked around to help you out.

So if you’re bored of your same routine or are trying to get in shape and have no idea what you’re doing, try to throw some group sessions in to mix it up.  If you’re in the Sherman Oaks, CA area I’d love to have you at my Fit Camp!  If not, ask your local gym for their group fitness schedule, or check out the deals on Groupon or Lifebooker.  They usually have a lot of different classes to choose from.  Find the one that fits you!!