Budget issues, accountability, camaraderie - these are great and valid reasons for people to desire to begin a fitness program in a group or video. Though reasoning is unique to the individual, it is being generally attributed to a personal challenge with finance and/or motivation. While these exercise selections are both cost effective and potentially motivating, are they appropriate for an individual that is beginning?
Getting to Know Yourself First
The "best" workout for an individual is the one that is APPROPRIATE for the individual. There is no exercise that is inherently "good" or "bad". Bad or good labels only come into play when observing an individual's structure and physical ability. These factors I would consider essential for determining what is appropriate.
Factors for Selecting Appropriate Exercise
1. Skeletal Build
Every body is different and needs to be treated accordingly. Segment (bone) lengths - specifically limbs and potentially circumferences (rib cage), can determine how or if certain exercises should be conducted.
If there is added weight in front of the spine (chest, waist), this adds strain to the spine and joints. Certain movements may not be appropriate.
3. Current Range of Motion
Range motion determines the ability of movement with CONTROL.
4. Health Conditions
Prior to starting any fitness endeavor, a background of an individual's health needs to be known. If issues such arthritis (osteo or rheumatoid), diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. exist, medical clearance and guidelines may be needed. If any, know the party's prescription medications (and what the meds are for). Better to be safe than sorry. These days, most professionally made videos will have disclaimers at the beginning of the video stating something similar to, "Visit your doctor before starting any exercise program".
5. Ability to CONTROL Load
Weight (this includes the body) that can controlled in good form. Good form is defined by the goal of the exercise (which muscle or muscle groups are the focus) and the ability to control the movement.
IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU (IN THIS CASE)
These factors answer the question as to whether a workout or specific exercise is APPROPRIATE for YOU (or an individual). In this particular scenario, when it is your workout, it is all about you (and what is appropriate for you).
Progressing to Advanced: Video and Group Setting
I have nothing against group fitness and exercise videos. As stated in the beginning, they can be cost effective, give motivation, and build camaraderie. However, they do not necessarily provide knowledge of your current boundaries. Working with a professional that can determine what your limits are NOW and progressing you as your body allows is key to adherence. One of the largest takeaways this professional can provide you is teaching you the signs to stop. This is vital for 2 reasons, injury prevention and workout retention. If you are challenged and not hurting afterward, you are more likely to continue working out.
Once you understand YOUR body, group fitness and videos can potentially be beneficial. You will know the signs to alter intensity or stop altogether. If you don't know how, please contact me for appropriate suggestions.