As part of your ‘new year, new you’ philosophy, you might have considered upping the ante in 2019 and nailing your new fitness regime, but how? Studio Manager and former Choreographer, Adrian Walters, oversees the YMCA Club’s extensive group exercise programme. With over 125 classes per week on offer, Adrian says there’s never been a better time to join….
“Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself and head to the gym, week in, week out, doing the same old thing, so why not mix it up and join a class? With such a varied timetable, there has to be something to get you interested from high intensity cardio kick classes, indoor cycling and HIIT (high intensity interval training) or strength and conditioning classes like Sculpt, Circuits and TRX (total resistance exercises) to the more mindfulness and de-stressing benefits of Yoga and In-Trinity (elevated training). Don’t worry, you won’t be the only newbie – they’ll be many others also new to the studio environment.
Lack of time is no excuse! We have classes ranging from 15, 30 or 45 minutes to an hour – suitable for all lunch breaks. Try our 15 minute classes which tend to focus on single muscle groups like abs and back or longer classes where the whole body is catered for (muscular strength and endurance alongside improved fitness levels). These classes offer so much more than loud music, fast movements and shouts of encouragement.
Our classes are for everyone. There are a range of body shapes, sizes and fitness levels in every class - men, women, young, old, fit and not so fit! Group exercise takes you away from the pressures of social media and advertising, which advocate ‘body beautiful’. All are welcome - beginners, intermediate and advanced. You’ll be well looked after and no one will judge you here.
Adaptability and support
New members will be able to adapt easily in any of our classes. As instructors, we want you to get results. All of our trainers will go out of their way to modify their exercises if you have an injury or limitation. Classes are always mixed ability and we can adjust them accordingly to accommodate everyone. These tailor-made workouts will keep you engaged and enthusiastic. If you’re new, please arrive five minutes early so we can assess you before we start. Regardless of whether we have two or twenty people in a room, good instructors will always watch your technique, correct you or modify your movements.
Group exercise is excellent for both beginners and people who are bored of their routine and want to mix things up. It’s not about being big and muscly, it’s about embracing all types of exercise. The ‘perfect circle’ ideally consists of:
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Strength training
- Stability training
- Mobility training
- Flexibility training
It’s about being fit and healthy further down the line. It’s about movement and longevity.
Everyone is an individual
I could tell you what to do and what your goals are, but you might end up doing what you dislike. If you don’t like it, you won’t come back! I don’t tell you what to do, I find out who you are, what you want and what classes work best for you. I work with the person, rather than have a ‘herd mentality’.
Motivation and accountability
Unless you're one of those people who can jump out of bed at 5am and hit the gym, odds are, maintaining that motivation might be difficult. The great thing about group exercise is making a commitment with friends. When Joe, Julie and Geoff ask, “are you coming to class?” it’s less likely you’ll say no and let them down. Most people rarely work out for an hour, unless someone is encouraging them, hence the importance of having an instructor! If you hate slogging on a treadmill on your own, group fitness classes may be a better fit.
You’ll probably have more fun exercising in a group than working out alone. It’s a way of getting you off the couch at home or away from your desk at work. YMCA classes are an ideal place to meet other people who have similar lifestyle and fitness goals to you. New friendships develop when talking to other participants before or after class. As your confidence builds, you can try more and more classes.
Advice to newcomers
Whilst all classes are different, there’s still a few basic tips to keep in mind before you attend your first group exercise class:
- Bring a towel if you don’t want to be running to the paper dispensers!
- Bring a water bottle.
- If you have an injury or have any questions or concerns, please talk to the instructor before the class starts.
- Before the class, get familiar with the equipment and feel free to ask your instructor any questions about it.
- Whilst it’s not mandatory, talking to other members will give you an insight into what to expect.
What Adrian teaches
I can teach every class on the YMCA Club timetable, but I’m currently timetabled for the following:
12.30 to 1.15pm
7 to 7.40am
12.30 to 1pm
7 to 7.30am and 7.30 to 8am
12.15 to 1pm
1.15 to 2pm
Adrian’s top 10 picks
- Circuit Training
a whole body workout for strength conditioning, plus cardio benefits.
- Cardio Kick
a high intensity combat class based on martial arts style choreography.
an intense free weight barbell class performed to music for muscular endurance.
- Cycle Express
an intense express cycle class with a 600-800 calorie burn.
a fusion of Yoga and Pilates focusing on flexibility, core strength and stability, performed on an incline board.
a half hour HIIT, Yoga and Core class performed on water. You’ve never experienced anything like it!
- TRX Suspension
a full body workout incorporating strength, endurance, balance, coordination, power and core stability all at once!
- Peach Band
a new resistance band workout for bums and legs - a total burn!
whole body functional movement which develops power, strength, flexibility, stability and cardio capacity.
- Yoga (all types)
controlled movement and static poses with flexibility and strength benefits, which helps you relax and de-stress.”