Working out in a small group at the gym was one of the best things I ever started
I have been active in different capacities my whole life. I was a cheerleader in high school and university. I finished my undergrad and then went into the body building space for a little while. Then I fell in love with CrossFit and competed in that space for a couple of years. Now as a physiotherapy practice and gym owner, my goals have turned to staying in shape and being a role model for so many of the incredible individuals that we have coming into STAVE OFF on a daily basis.
I feel like everyone has these outer goals and these inner goals when it comes to fitness. We all do. The outer goal may be to lose 10 lbs or fit into the little black dress. The inner goal is to feel more confident and happy in your own skin. To increase our own self-love by reaching certain goals or milestones.
There are many ways to skin the cat.
Regardless of your fitness goal, there is a lot of different ways to get there. It really is person-dependent. For me though, exercising in a small group setting with a coach at the front of the class has been one of the most invaluable things I have ever done and is something we have tried to engrain in our gym programs at STAVE OFF. Here’s why
1. I’m accountable to someone
By accountable I don’t mean that I have a drill sergeant barking orders at me. It requires no yelling of any kind (I would hate that haha). Accountability to me means that someone notices when I’m not there. I want people to ask me “Christina, I noticed that you’ve been off the last couple of days! Where have you been?!”. It can come from the coach or my fellow gym goers (preferably both). It keeps me on track and I would in return do the same thing. It creates a community. People who are working together to get to their goals.
2.Everyone often struggles with similar things.
It may come in different shapes and sizes, but especially as women, we often struggle with the same things. Our media culture drives the same images into our heads. Body image issues are common among people (men too and they are much higher than I would want them to be but that’s a whole other blog post). Sharing your stories and gaining support from others is therapeutic. There is a certain unburdening when you talk about something you’re struggling with and the person you’re talking to says “me too”. This doesn’t have to be that last ten pounds. Our Conquer program is for arthritis pain. Talking to others who are going through the process of trying to avoid joint replacements or strengthening painful joints is therapeutic in and of itself.
3. You meet people you normally wouldn’t
I always say that once you get out of school, making new friends can be hard! In an small group gym program, you get to know the people who come at the same time. Over time, you get to know them better. You go out to a gym social. You become friends.
You can have a whole different social network that has health and fitness in common. That is pretty freaking awesome!
4. It’s fun!
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes exercise can feel like work! It’s challenging and sometimes downright exhausting … but it’s supposed to be. Pushing your own butt can be no fun but joking around with the person struggling the same way you are beside you? Now you have a good time. I’m pretty extroverted so I get energy from other people too.
5. Coaching helps you with form
Having a coach watching your technique and form is always helpful. I’ve been lifting now for about 7 years and even still I need tweaks. Sometimes you get into bad habits with lifting and you don’t even notice that you’ve started doing something wrong. The smallest cue can make the biggest difference.
Of course, small group training isn’t for everyone. There are people who just want to zone out and not have to talk to people on a stressful day and I get that. I always think it’s great to try new things though. Finding a group in your area that really clicks with you (because we know everyone doesn’t click with everyone).
Whatever it is. Find your fun with fitness and exercise. Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a drag. I re-found my love of it. It feels so good!