By Marie Anagnostis
“if anyone ever did give me a ribbing [about participating in group fitness] I’d challenge them to do one with me and see how tough it is…”
I was pleasantly surprised at the responses when asked to interview three Dads who participate in Group Fitness (happy belated Father’s day by the way). I really was waiting for stories of being ribbed by their friends and not being able to do the choreography. Mark (QLD) who has two children, Greg (ACT) who has one and Michael (VIC) who has four definitely put my perceptions in check.
Greg joined the gym on a weight loss mission. Like so many others he started by using the cardio machines and doing weights. However after some time started to find the routine boring and decided to change things up by trying Group Fitness “I truly believe if it wasn’t for group fitness I would have stopped going to the gym a long time ago”. I like to consider Michael a true pioneer who said he had been participating in group fitness for the last 22-years!
So it didn’t put you off when you snuck a peek through the windows to the Group Fitness studio to see it predominantly female? “Not at all, those are always good odds for a guy right?” joked Greg, but for the three Dads the notion that it’s “just for chicks” didn’t enter their head and genuinely saw it as an opportunity to try something new. For Mark he first tried BODYPUMP® after a friend sold him the toning benefits “I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite hard and you could work as hard or easy as you wanted to. The hardest thing about my first class was following the timing and instructions as I went along and trying not to laugh too much”. Laughing is definitely a better response that the alternative…
Greg’s strategy was letting go and not worrying about what people thought to get through those first classes of BODYATTACK®, the hardest part? “Finding out that I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was!”
The Dads agree that the two major benefits of Group Fitness over forms of training is the motivation and results “you just turn up and have someone instruct and motivate you with a well-structured program where you push yourself and get great results”. The social aspect of Group Fitness has also proven to be a major drawcard, while Michael adds “not having much time with four kids it is essential you make some time for yourself...it’s perfect for ensuring that you meet your fitness goals and giving you downtime”. Yup, I’ve always said it: Group Fitness is way cheaper than therapy.
What would you say to other Dads (or males at large) who haven’t yet experienced the benefits of Group Fitness?
Greg: If you’re looking for longevity when it comes to maintaining a fitness regime group fitness is the way to go.
Mark: I hope that by doing group fitness classes I can make other people think about giving it a go because after participating in them now for the past five years and doing a lot of other forms of fitness training I know that they are a great fun way to train that give great results. At 44-years of age I feel as fit as I did when I was at high school.
And Michael just hammers it home: just do it and you will be hooked.
Marie is the Boss of Accomplice Accessories, freelance writer and teaches BODYPUMP®, BODYATTACK®, CXWORX® and GRIT™