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You move to a new city and want to get back into working out. Or maybe, you’re looking for a change. When searching online for local gyms, it’s inevitable that an ad for ClassPass pops to the top of your Google browser. You click and are drawn in. 5 classes in a month for $19…where can I sign up?! Of course, you enter your info and sign up. It’s all too easy.
Now you’re eight weeks in and you’re working out consistently but your body remains the same. What gives?!
Why is classpass NOT working?
Progressive overload, my friends.
Let’s break it down.
Your body is an incredible machine. It can run marathons, grow another human, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and lift heavy shit. It can do just about anything that you ask of it. But here’s the thing.
Your body ONLY responds to the demands that you place on it.
So in that first Studio BARRE workout, you body was working pretty hard to get ‘er done. You were probably super sore and tired afterwards. That second, third, fourth class, maybe you felt the same. But by the thirteenth class, yeah not so much. By that point, your body has adapted to this type of activity and can do it pretty well.
The problem is, doing it pretty well = less calories burned = less muscle tissue built = no more results.
My favorite example is when you think about a recreational runner who runs a three mile loop, five days a week, hoping to lose weight (she should be lifting heavy shit but that’s besides the point). At the beginning, she may burn 350 calories over the course of her run and notice some changes in her leg musculature. Pretty sweet. But even within the first four weeks of her starting her running program, the calories burned over those three miles could drop to something like 300 and her body’s not going to keep changing.
Why would it? It’s already responded to the task at hand. It’s not going to go above and beyond if the demands don’t change.
I’ve unfortunately seen this first hand! I ran and did cardio workouts for my entire high school and college career. Even though I was exercising five, six, seven days a week, the shape of my body did not change until I started doing progressive strength training.
But what if I go to a bunch of different classes?
You’d think that your body would change if you mixed up your classes, right? Not necessarily the case. Even if you are doing a rotation of fifteen different classes over the course of a month, your body is smarter than you think. The movements, the weights lifted, and the exertion you put into a class setting are going to remain about the same. Even if you’re switching between BARRE, yoga, and Orangetheory, the body will simply adapt to all three.
In order to see physical results, you would need to actively change and progress the workouts in a systematic way to force your body adapt to something different. This is very difficult to do in a class setting.
Now, all that said. ClassPass is not the devil. Moving regularly, even if it’s the same type of movement and in small amounts helps prevent and treat some of the common lifestyle related diseases (high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes). [Source-NASM] And, I’m all for people finding ways to move that bring them joy, and ClassPass could definitely be part of a progressive training plan.
Bottom line though?
If you are looking to change your body composition and strength levels, you’ve got to get progressive. Your workouts will need to change on a biweekly to monthly basis. You’ve gotta modify things like weights lifted, rest periods, tempo, and repetition ranges to continue to see results and avoid the dreaded plateau.
Have you ever used classpass?