Workout classes are sort of a new craze. Growing up I felt like studios devoted to specific classes were less common. There was circuit training classes like Curves, dance classes like Jazzercise, and the YMCA. I’m sure there were boxing gyms and yoga studios, but they just didn’t seem as common as they are now.
Maybe this is because I grew up in the Midwest but we ALL went to the Y (YMCA) and just did the machines and ran around the track and on treadmills. In college we all went to the University Rec Center. After college my husband and I joined the Y again — that was when the elliptical was big. My husband would lift weights and I would spend 45 minutes barely sweating on the elliptical. One day we raced home (1-2 miles from the Y) and I about died so that elliptical workout was obviously not doing much (he beat me obviously).
Now there are endless types of classes you can take, and new workout studios are springing up everywhere. CrossFit, all types of yoga, Pilates, Orange Theory, Barre, kickboxing, spin, Solidcore. It’s endless. And typically they are expensive, especially in big cities. But even when I go home to Kansas City the classes are still around $20/class. In DC they range from $25-$37 per class. Or you can buy monthly memberships at all different types of studios typically from $200-$350/month. You can also always do personal training, which is even more expensive but for some a very good option.
If you are a runner and love running outside, I envy you. Because that’s free! But this girl need classes. I need someone pushing me, telling me what to do, expecting me to be there, challenging me, and correcting my form. And I need to build muscle, and running isn’t exactly known for that.
In the past five years I’ve taken all types of classes and have belonged to all types of studios (some using ClassPass) — CrossFit Praxis (my current spot), CorePower Yoga (I still go every once in a while), SolidCore (one of my favorite workouts!), spin which I hate, Pilates with Hilary, Bikram Yoga which I loved but 90 minutes is too long (wrote about it here), Xtend Barre, Barre3, Pure Barre (my least favorite of the barre classes). I think the variety can be good.
If you are the type of person that can self motivate and watch Blogilates and workout at home and you don’t need to pay for a class to help you workout to your max, that’s awesome. I’m not that person. And at first the high cost of workout classes used to bother me. But as I get older, and it gets harder for me to put on muscle and burn fat, I’ve learned how valuable your body is and that you need to invest in the health and wellness of your body — you only get one! And I’m not just talking workouts either!
You should invest in good quality food, stress relieving vacations and massages and facials, and yes, your workouts. And don’t look at it like you are wasting money — if you are using all of your classes, then you aren’t wasting it! It’s more like, invest now, and be much healthier later in life.
Have you ever left a workout class and thought, definitely shouldn’t have done that? That was NOT good for my body/health. Probably not. Usually people leave thinking things like, wow that was hard, or I didn’t know I could do that, or man I’m sweaty. And then they keep coming back for more.
While yes $37 a class is a lot, and that is on the high side, when you are putting the cost of doing a workout that you will actually do and where you actually get results into context of your health, I think the cost is a good investment. Also, it’s fun! It’s scientifically proven that when you exercise your body releases endorphins, which makes you happy and a host of other good things.
Obviously you have to find a workout that you like and can afford. But I think we need to look at the cost of exercise in a different way. As an important part of our lives that we need to plan and budget for. If you try to do things on your own, do you actually do them? Do you push yourself as hard as someone else could? Are you doing the movements the right way and safely? Are you doing the exercise often enough? Personally I know there is absolutely no way I could do a yoga class in my apartment and feel the same way I do when I do it at a yoga studio. And there’s no way I could go to the YMCA and do a CrossFit workout with the same intensity as I do it at CrossFit. That just doesn’t work for me.
When you think of paying for a class, think of everything that goes into it — planning out the class, testing the movements, any equipment needed for the class, space to do the class, having someone there telling you to do it, music to go with the class, someone correcting your form, someone encouraging you — it’s a lot different than walking into the gym and staring at the machines for 10 minutes thinking, hmmmm what should I do today and then strolling around from machine to machine half-assing a workout that you don’t know what you are focusing on anyway.
Bottom line is, I think we need to change the way we think about the cost of working out. The health of our bodies is one of the most important things in life.
Would love to know your thoughts! Have you figured out how working out works best for you? Are you able to self-motivate and do high intensity workouts? Do you pay for classes? What type of classes do you take and do you like them? Have you seen results?
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