Fitness Trail: Make it personal In 2019 |

Fitness Trail: Make it personal In 2019

Jackie Wright

Group exercise is at the foundation of the fitness industry and I am a huge proponent of exercising in a group. However, in order to reach and maintain health and fitness goals for life, you need to make it personal. Specific to you and how you want to look, feel and behave throughout each day, week, month and year. Consequently, this week ten tips will be featured for how to create a personal approach to group exercise programs. Begin to apply the following tips, thinking of this aspect of reaching and maintaining your health and fitness goals as an even deeper, more personal part of the journey. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

“Making It Personal” Tips

Tip #1 — Choose a fitness facility that offers the type of group exercise programming you require. Consider factors such as physical location, group exercise class schedule (i.e. timing) and formats, the economics (i.e. how often will you attend at what cost per class?), etc.

Tip #2 — Choose a fitness facility that provides group trainers who are certified, qualified and experienced specifically regarding the class formats they teach (i.e. formats such as cycling require specific certifications, etc.).

Tip #3 — Build a working relationship with the program director and the trainers so that they are familiar with your personal goals and may specifically assist you in achieving those goals.

Tip #4 — Choose group exercise class formats that will address your specific goals. For example, if weight loss is the primary goal, then choose structured formats that continually move the body through space and time, elevate heart rates, make you sweat from exertion not air temperature, build muscle mass and efficiently expend calories (i.e. indoor group cycling, HIIT-oriented classes, weight training, etc.).

Tip #5 — If available, choose class formats that track your progress. In our indoor group cycling program we maintain statistics journals which track the caloric expenditure, distance covered, RPM’s, and heart rate, thresholds one/two, comparing those results throughout the year. *Note: Purchase a heart rate monitor that tracks your performance data!

Tip #6 — Seek out class formats with a good vibe specifically for you. Determine what makes you feel the most comfortable in a group setting. Are you seeking a high energy, intense format (i.e. boxing/step/cycling/HIIT) or a more serene environment (i.e. yoga/Pilates)?

Tip #7 — Although you want to be selective and make it personal, vary your group workouts every few weeks/months. Due note, however, that some class formats require a steeper learning curve, so hang in there until you are successful prior to changing.

Tip #8 — Ask the trainer for modifications for any exercise or movement form that does not feel right for you.

Tip #9 — Track how these group workouts are addressing your fundamental goals. If you see a slip in the progress, dive in deep and determine why this might be the case. Whatever you determine, address the issues promptly making the necessary changes immediately.

Tip #10 — Ascertain how you feel after each group session and record that information in your exercise journal. How you feel may drive behavior down the road, and if you feel great following the majority of your group workouts, you are more likely to continue throughout life.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby. She may be reached at her website at or email at

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