I started taking group fitness in high school. I took this class called “Body Sculpt” at a local gym in Delray Beach (where I’m originally from) which was high intensity class combined with weights and cardio using the bosu or a step. I went with my dad and we both loved the class, music, instructor, and times/days it was offered. We were one of the hardcore regulars who went twice a week for about six months until the gym went out of business. We were crushed (for real though) when it closed down and the instructor left. To this day, my dad STILL talks about this class and how awesome it was. I must admit, it was a tough class and a great gateway into the world of group fitness. I briefly thought about becoming a group fitness instructor in college, but I really had my heart set on becoming a personal trainer instead. In April of 2015, I decided to take the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Certification in Sarasota. I wanted to make myself more valuable of a candidate post college for jobs and having this certification along with being a PT would be a double whammy. I passed the exam and started teaching class over the summer at the Downtown Tampa YMCA teaching a HEAT (high energy athletic training) bootcamp style class and in the same summer got my Barre certification.
I currently teach up to nine to ten group fitness classes per week at various Y branches and through HealthFitness, a corporate wellness company. Group fitness is something very different then personal training! Aside from the group setting you’re in versus the one-on-one, I’ve learned how to engage in an audience aka public speaking made physically sweaty, meet new people, and get of my own comfort zone. I’m pretty shy when you first get to know me, but group fitness has really been something that has pushed me in another part of the fitness industry.
Group fitness is a pretty cool way to get fit. Besides the obvious of getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, there’s a lot of benefits too. There are SO MANY cool classes to try! The possibilities are endless. The classes I teach are only a small part of what group fitness can offer. Group fitness is social. If you thrive in being in a gym or studio and love getting your sweat on (like me), you meet other like-minded people, make new friends, and network with other fitness professionals! I attended a group fitness class for a cause this past weekend at South Tampa Fit, Fit2Run does themed 5k fun run each week, and Hyde Park Village is doing a Valentines Day themed yoga class. A good way to have fun and get fit at the same time. No worries about judgement–we’re all here to have fun and get fit. I personally love it when new faces show in my class. It another reason to share my love of fitness through my class.
Yes, group fitness does wonders for your comfort zone. Any time I’m feeling blah about my workouts and need to switch it up, I’ll pick a class. It’s nice once in awhile to follow along to another instructor instead of being the one leading a class or workout! Switching it up results in a different response to the stimulus (i.e variety of movements, switching up reps/weight/time) pushing you beyond your limits–in a good way, which in the end beats plateaus. I’ve mentioned in previous posts my love for Peerfit. With their flexible memberships and packages to choose from, you constantly are changing up your routine with different classes. Read more about Peerfit in my post here.
Best part about group fitness besides getting fit? All you do is follow along, or do as you’re told! Didn’t think you could squat for a minute? Group exercise just proved you can. I use it in some cases as a business expense to learn about other forms of exercise, ways of doing various movements, meet and network with instructors, and learn about the class I’m taking/location/equipment etc.! I’ve been grateful enough to blog about some speciality studios and have taken some classes in exchange for a post. Not a bad way to experience fitness!
Depending on the type of classes you enjoy, some places ONLY offer that type of fitness. Most gyms offer a little of everything which is great. The more you find what you enjoy, the more you can focus on those particular classes. However, private or boutique studios are typically more expensive compared to a local gym that offers a variety of classes. A factor worth looking into if you are hard core yogi, spinner, or cross-fitter.
Below are a few instructors in the Tampa Bay area who also teach! Check’em out and see where and what they teach–Thanks friends! 🙂
- Danielle Duval, LesMills BodyFlow Instructor & YRUN Coordinator – Downtown Tampa YMCA.
- “BodyFlow is a LesMills class that integrates Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates. It incorporates music and poses that strengthen and relax the mind and body. It challenges and rejuvenates the body and ends with quiet and calming relaxation to relax and renew. YRUN is a social run group for members and non-members at the downtown YMCA. It was created to support and promote the Y’s non-profit organizations like the Veggie Van as well. We run along the Riverwalk up to the arena and end at Holy Hog BBQ for brews, food, and socializing. Whether you’re a walker or a runner of various abilities, everyone can participate!”
- André Ortega, South Tampa Fit Instructor.
- “I teach high intensity interval style classes focusing on engaging muscles in unique ways through different formats, combinations, and intensity levels. The best part about instructing HIIT style classes is feeding off everyone’s energy. These classes keep things fresh and fun, all with killer music. There’s nothing better!!”
- Caitlyn Connolly, Insanity & Piyo Instructor at Trim Lean & Healthy- Palm Harbor
- ” Insanity is a bodyweight, high intensity cardio workout and PiYo is a dynamic flowing sequence-based workout that combines pilates and yoga moves to get your heart rate up! The motivation- you feed off of other taking it, the music, the feels, and the environment. The variety of each class offers benefits for everyone! I love teaching these classes because of the variety they offer and the motivation to DIG DEEPER! Just those reasons should make ya want to get up and go! Come find me at my studio in Palm Harbor!”
Check out these classes above and see for yourself!! You’re one class away from getting your sweat on and seeing what group fitness has to offer 🙂