Starting a fitness journey can be both exciting and daunting. Whether you’re trying to shed some kilos, improve your wellbeing, or recover from an injury, group fitness classes can offer a great way to stay motivated, learn new skills, and enjoy the support of a friendly community.
But how often should you attend these group classes to get the most out of your efforts? In this blog post, we will explore the ideal frequency for group class participation based on research and expert opinions.
Fitness Goals Matter
To determine the most suitable frequency for group fitness classes, consider these specific fitness goals:
Weight Loss: If your primary goal is to lose weight, consistency is key. According to research from the American College of Sports Medicine, it is recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, which is equivalent to about five 30-minute sessions.
For more effective weight loss, aim for 300 minutes per week, which is around five 60-minute sessions. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2018), these sessions may include a combination of group classes such as cardio, strength training, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Health and Fitness: Attending group fitness classes 3-5 times a week can improve cardiovascular health, muscular strength, and flexibility. This frequency allows for a variety of exercises, keeping workouts well-rounded.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, spread throughout the week.
Injury Rehabilitation: When recuperating from an injury, it’s vital to seek advice from a healthcare professional or physiotherapist to determine the frequency of group classes. In some cases, gentle rehabilitative classes can be attended daily or many times a week.
However, in other cases, it may be necessary to reduce activity until you’ve healed properly. This helps to avoid any setbacks and ensures that you make a full recovery.
Listen to Your Body
It’s important to follow general guidelines for training, but it’s equally essential to listen to your body’s signals. Overtraining can cause injuries and burnout, which can hinder your progress.
If you feel fatigued, sore, or persistently experience pain, it’s recommended to reduce your class frequency and prioritise recovery.
Class Variety Matters
Incorporating a diverse range of group classes into your exercise routine can be an effective way to prevent hitting a plateau and keep your workouts interesting. Cross-training, which involves participating in various types of classes such as yoga, spinning, and strength training, can help prevent injuries caused by overuse and improve overall fitness.
Fitness experts often emphasise the importance of consistency and individualisation:
- Dr. Michelle Segar, a behavioural sustainability scientist, suggests aligning your exercise routine with your personal preferences and life circumstances. It’s better to commit to a realistic schedule than to set overly ambitious goals that lead to burnout [Segar, 2017].
- Personal trainers and fitness instructors often suggest starting with 2-3 classes per week, especially if you’re new to fitness or returning after a long break. Increase frequency as your fitness levels improve.
- Physical therapists: Consult a physiotherapist for a customised recovery plan including group classes based on your needs and timeline.
The frequency of attending group fitness classes varies based on individual goals, fitness level, and circumstances. To achieve weight loss, consider attending classes at least 3-5 times a week. For general fitness, aim for a similar frequency.
When you are recovering from an injury, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional in order to determine the appropriate schedule for your recovery. This will help ensure that you are able to heal properly and avoid any further damage or complications.
Remember to listen to your body and adapt your routine. The key to success lies in finding a sustainable, balanced approach that you can maintain over the long term. As with any fitness journey, it’s essential to stay patient and committed to your goals.
By attending group classes with the right frequency and mindset, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the results you desire.
- American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Wolters Kluwer Health.
- American Heart Association. (2019). American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids.
- Mayo Clinic. (2020). Exercise: When to check with your doctor first.
- Segar, M. (2017). No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring you a Lifetime of Fitness. AMACOM.
At Movement District, we believe in the power of group fitness classes to transform your health and well-being. This article provides valuable insights into the ideal frequency of attending these classes based on your fitness goals and circumstances.
Remember, it’s crucial to listen to your body, prioritize recovery, and seek professional guidance when needed. Find your balance, commit to your goals, and embark on your fitness journey with confidence.
Also Read: What is Small Group Training?