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Getting fit is the goal, but is it easier to achieve by participating in a group class or following along a fitness DVD? What about all the other exercise equipment that can be found in the gym? This could be a great debate question among exercise enthusiasts; work out in a group, in a gym, or solo in front of a TV. Which gets you the best results?

When I first joined a health club, I became curious to the aerobic exercise classes that went on behind the closed door in the gym. As a person who came to the gym to use the equipment, treadmill and swimming pool, I would take a quick look inside of the room – filled mostly with enthusiast women –sweating it out in almost complete synchronization to the vociferous instructor. It was almost as if I was in envy as I stood there watching. At the time, I had never taken group fitness class, so I was very curious what it would be like to work out in a synchronized group. What kind of results would I get?

Many of the participants in the group classes seemed more flexible and more coordinated at the choreography than I’ll ever be. But as I gazed in more often and frequently, I also noticed that most of these very same women do not work out in the free weight room or on the circuit training equipment. They solely come to the gym to take a class, then exit out the door. That’s it. That’s their workout, well, from what I can tell from the gym’s side.

Can someone get fit just from a fitness class? For many years (since I was 17), I had used the equipment in the gym – from the free weights and weight machines to the indoor track and swimming pool. This was my main training means when I worked out for fitness competitions to which I got great results.

I have also used and still use fitness DVDs, with Mari Winsor’s Pilate series my absolute favorite, (especially the ab sculpting DVD). Results have been very good; so good that I continue to use the Pilates DVDs to this very day.

I did eventually try the group fitness classes at my gym. I wanted to see what type of results I would achieve but was also drawn to the socialization, something you do not get with a DVD or dumbbell.  I soon became hooked, and before you know it I became a regular and pro at the Advance Step Aerobics class, a high cardio step routine on risers. I also many others, including Pilates, Yoga, and Boot Camp.

So what about the classes? Are they just as good? Well, like the fitness DVDs, there are so many to choose. Step. Body Pump. Lift It. Kickboxing. Interval Training. Spin. Zumba and many more. For many and most, results are achievable. If you put in the time, determination and dedication – as much as you would any other workout – then yes, goals are definitely attainable.

The true bottom line is the best workout – may it be group classes, gym equipment or fitness DVDs – is the one the gives YOU the best results. Everyone’s genetic makeup and how your body reacts to your chosen exercises and venue is different. The personal preference to what you enjoy best varies from person-to-person as does their time availability to get fit. Do what makes you feel good and the one you see the most ideal results. Find what works best for you and enjoy most. In the end, it doesn’t matter “how” you achieved your results as much as the fact you “have” reached your goals.

Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.