What are your thoughts on Group Fitness: Orangetheory fitness, F45, Bootcamps, and other Fitness Classes?

Personal trainer spotting female client

Multiple times per week I get asked about my opinion on group fitness like Orangetheory Fitness, F45, Crossfit, Bootcamps, or other forms of fitness classes.

My opinion doesn’t matter.

If you enjoy one and it helps you to move your body more every day then you should keep doing it.

Adherence is the most important part of health. If you like what you’re doing you’re more likely to adhere to it. Keep on keeping on with whatever it is you enjoy.

However, if you do have goals around building muscle and getting stronger I believe it’s in your best interest to follow some sort of structured strength training routine at least twice per week.

To build muscle and get stronger you have to progressively overload the muscles.

Without this, it’s virtually impossible to get stronger or build muscle. To get stronger, build, or maintain muscle – The stimulus has to be more than it is used to. If you do the same thing over and over again nothing will change.

There are multiple ways you can do this.

  • Intensity: Lifting more weight in your next training session.
  • Volume: Doing more reps, sets, or exercises.
  • Frequency: Doing more training sessions than the week before.
  • Tension: Increasing the duration of each repetition within an exercise. For example, taking 5 seconds to lower yourself in a push-up.
  • There are just a few

Note: In the first 3 to 6 months and sometimes as much as 12 months. You’ll notice that your strength may increase rapidly. Then all of a sudden it gets harder and harder to get stronger. Leaving you all like 🤔 and 😕 and 🤷.

This is normal and is creatively called “beginner gains.” Almost anything you do is progressive overload at this point and your body responds very quickly to it. You can even get great results with poorly designed programs and random workouts.

It can be hard to apply this concept in a fitness class when the workouts change all the time. You don’t get ample time to work on the form of exercises, it’s hard to remember what weight you did last time, and workouts are often cardio-based instead of strength-based (even when weights are involved). They’re built around making you sweat or burn calories to make it feel like a good workout.

If you do enjoy these classes there are a few things you can do to get the most out of them.

1️⃣ Keep doing them because you like them. Fuck what anyone else says. If they help you move more do them.

2️⃣ Do your best to apply the concepts of progressive overload. If you remember doing a goblet squat with 20 pounds in a previous class and it comes up again. Try 25 pounds this time. If you can, write down the exercises you did and weights you used in a workout log. That way you can refer to it as needed.

3️⃣ Try and schedule 2 structured strength training workouts per week and build your class schedule around that.

  • Strength training: Monday and Friday
  • Classes: Tuesday, Thursday, one weekend class

For what it’s worth I enjoy taking classes. I like the social aspect and community vibes, and they often get me to do something I normally wouldn’t do on my own.

I also like picking up heavy shit and putting it back down again and I make sure to prioritize that.

🗣️ Let’s chat about it. Reply and let me know.

  • Are you taking any classes? If so, which ones do you enjoy and how have they helped you? If not, what are some you’ve always wanted to try?
  • Do you follow a structured training program? If so, how has it helped you? If not, what’s keeping you from it?