First of all, thank you to all of you who openly give feedback and ask questions regarding our classes. I appreciate your interest in understanding why we do specific exercises, and why we conduct the sequences in varying order every week.
The truth is, I take pride and joy in creating workout programs that make sense, in terms of exercise selection, order, and intention. I’m very flattered to be called “creative” or “unique” when it comes to the exercises that you get to enjoy and experience. Honestly, I come up with these out of a need to give you progression and challenge, while remembering to address injuries and varying fitness levels.
For that reason, you end up seeing and learning new moves a lot of the time. To me, novelty exercises are all well and good, but should also be created within the realm of the overall program design for the class. That will then always go back to the program’s goals, as far as what I aim to accomplish for you as your group fitness coach.
These new moves, as you have seen, are typically structured in mini-circuit fashion, as all our classes are intended to include a cardio component. You may have noticed that I will either pair up exercises, or bundle them in 3′s or 4′s, sometimes even giving you a series of 8 exercises that we finish as a sequence, before doing a second round.
We do this to save time, promote cardio benefits, give specific muscle groups or areas ample time to recover, or as the case may be, challenge these muscle groups by giving them 2-3 exercises dedicated to that area.
The question that prompted this post had to do with why we change the order of the exercises that we do, and the simple answer to that is my respect for the fact that your body will give its best performance to the exercises done while it is fresh and prepped from a proper warm-up. Simply put, if we start targeting leg power in Week 1, you may notice that by Week 3, leg power is saved for the 2nd half of the class. My goal is simply to ensure that your energy is spent on various aspects of fitness. Think about it, if we only started with leg power every single time, not only will you end up with leg overuse issues, you’ll also sacrifice other goals that are typically saved for the end of the class.
This explains why, if you come to the same class 3 or 4 weeks in a row, you’ll notice a few changes week per week, while noticing that some things remain fundamentally the same with at least 60-70% of the program. What I actually do is systematically change the exercise order and add a couple of challenge elements here and there.
The outcome? Progression, results, motor learning, and a well-balanced program; all for you, my valued students. I personally think you deserve to be given more than just entertaining music and an enthusiastic spirit — your health needs more than that; hence the focus on methodical program design.
So there you have it — now you know the so-called “secret” behind our class structure. Have other questions about all this? Let me know!