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Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Taofique Folarin: Group fun anyone ?

This month, I will give you the low down on group training. So whether you’re feeling bored with your current training program, hit a plateau with your goals, or are just ready to mix things up?
Group exercise has countless benefits, and there are many options available in the capital that will ensure you get a good workout, a smile on your face, and perhaps even a new number from the hottie you spot mid squat.


A good group exercise class provides you with the motivation that you need! Keeping your
training versatile and fun is vital to exercise adherence and a sure way to keep your goals in check. They can provide structure, and the variety keeps it fun and engaging.
You will meet new people and may even make new friends surrounded by like-minded others for more motivation and morale. The community feel and spirit you get from a group class also cultivate the confidence to stick to an exercise routine.

When others expect you to show up and turn up, such as friends, family, and your favourite
trainer, It is much harder to skip a session to keep you accountable. Working out with others can also unleash your natural competitiveness, encouraging you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and work harder.


There are plenty of options to get you moving with a wide range of activities and classes to
choose from. All classes will use different training systems and each benefiting you differently from cardiovascular fitness to aerobic, strength and mobility.
Group exercise provides structure in the form of a regularly scheduled class/training session, with classes run at set times. Some studios/gyms require you to book your space in the class beforehand, which is a great motivation as you are more likely to stick to the schedule if you are already signed up.

Sessions tend to follow a set structure, which will allow you to become familiar with them. For example, at BARRY’S, every day targets a different muscle group, i.e. Monday; arms & abs, Wednesday; Chest and back. Your class begins with a warm-up round, then rounds alternate between treadmills and floor works. You get a cardio component and a muscular strength/ endurance component finished with a cool down and stretch.

Group exercise is generally pre-planned by your instructor, coach or trainer, meaning that you save time and energy and don’t even need to think about your workout until you step foot into the studio. Routines and exercises will vary, leaving you guessing and wanting more, a pre-programmed workout just for you. Classes will also vary in music style, and working out to the

latest bangers and upbeat music is an instant mood booster and if you know the tunes to stretch your vocal cords to even better! You should expect motivation and encouragement from your instructor, which can help you work to your full potential, encourage you to complete that extra rep and keep going that bit longer.

All fitness levels should be catered for, and classes should offer safe regressions or adaptations for each exercise, with injuries and pregnancy also considered.

Classes are more than just a workout, a great studio will give you a complete experience to
immerse yourself into, and if you are that way inclined, you may even get to indulge in the lush products in the boujis showers. Exercising can give you a sense of accomplishment, and when you reach the end of a class, I always hope my clients leave with a sense of pride.


There is a wide variety of types of group exercise to choose from, so you’ll never get bored! The capital has so many great options for group training. Remember, consistency is key when training, and you’re more likely to be consistent at something if you enjoy it! Here are my personal favourites. My number one favourite and where you can come and train with me is Barry’s, with seven studios located across London; you are guaranteed a solid and thorough workout, a great community, gorgeous facilities, and the tastiest shakes.

CrossFit boxes are popping up all over London, and there is likely one down the road from you; you can expect functional training, weightlifting, gymnastics, and so much more.
If sweat-inducing, high-intensity riding is your thing, then spin may be for you; my personal favourite is SoulCycle. Spin differs from class to class; however, in short, measuring metrics or riding to the beat.

BXR is where you can go let it all out on a bag; boxing gives a great combination of strength and high-intensity moves involving skill.

Myth – you need to be of an advanced fitness level to attend group exercise classes

Fact – You’re potentially more likely to stick to group exercise compared to exercising alone due to community, accountability, motivation, consistency and flexibility


Makes sure you keep up to date with Taofique on Instagram @taofiquefolarin


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