When was the last time you tried a new fitness class? Last month? Last year? Can’t remember? It’s easy to settle into a routine with fitness, especially as so many of us struggle to enjoy it at first and keep motivated, but hear me out – there are good reasons to try out new fitness classes every now and again.
I’m not saying dump your current programme, as consistency is so important in hitting your goals, but there are definite positives to throwing in a curve ball occasionally. Read on to find out what these benefits are, and the easy way to slot new activities into your schedule!
First up, I’d like to introduce Magna. If you’re a Londoner then you may already be familiar with the concept of paying a subscription fee in order to visit a certain number of classes and studios per month, although Magna’s model is slightly different. Magna have a number of Manchester and surrounding areas based studios, classes, and activities on board, and you can book on these on a pay-as-you-go or choose a multi-class MagnaPass.
Magna gave me the chance to try out a Fera animal flow-style class, which I absolutely loved – it was challenging yet fun, and crawling like a lizard really seemed to come naturally to me! It got me thinking about what I got from my experience, and how throwing a curveball class like that into my usual routine could benefit me.
(By the way, if you’re wondering why it looks like I’m hitting Vicki with a stick, it’s part of the warm-up – avoiding the stick got us moving fluidly and naturally!)
1. You can find new weaknesses – and strengths
If you do the same thing day in, day out, you’re only ever going to know how your body reacts to that exact same stimulus. Now, if you’re working towards something specific, like a powerlifting comp, you need to follow the programming – it’s been programmed specifically for your goals. However, if you’re like the majority who trains to have fun, feel good, and hit some goals along the way, you may be missing a trick by not moving your body differently occasionally. Working your body in a new way may just help you along the way to a different goal.
2. You’ll meet new people
A big part of training for me is the social aspect, and though I realise it’s not for everyone, part of what I enjoy about going to a new class is the new people I’ll meet. It’s always cool to ask people what sort of training they do and what they’re training for – you always find inspiration in their responses!
You’ll also meet a new coach or instructor who will look at you with fresh eyes, and have different viewpoints from your current one. Sometimes small, new adjustments can make a big difference in your training.
3. You might discover a new hobby…
Who knows what might happen when you try something new? You could discover a brand new hobby or a new goal you’d like to work towards, especially if you’ve been feeling a little jaded with your training routine. This was me with CrossFit just over a year ago – it was daunting trying something new, but I adore it now. You’ll never know unless you try.
4. … Or you might appreciate what you have more!
On the flip side, trying something new might make you appreciate your current routine, trainer, or situation even more! It’s easy to think the grass is greener on the other side, but it’s only by trying it out you’ll know for sure. I tried Bikram yoga as I thought it’d help with my mobility – turns out I hated it and it made me work on my mobility before CrossFit sessions instead!
5. You’ll mobilise different parts of your body
Speaking of mobility: going back to doing the same thing day in, day out, creates knots and tightness in the same places over and over. A change could be as good as a rest in this situation, if you choose the right activity. Doing a yoga class could work out tightness in your hip, for example, that you didn’t realise was hindering your progress in backsquats. I moved so differently during my class with Fera that I did a lot of the mobility work I’d normally do before CrossFit class naturally!
Whilst it’s never a good thing to swap and change programmes constantly, hopefully you now see why switching things up and adding a little variety to your training with different classes can benefit your training in the long run. Next up, I fancy giving climbing a go to work my grip strength in a new way – and I may even brave an open water swim one of these days!