Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fitness Classes...Not Just for Women! by Cammy Dennis

Kick Butt Kick Boxing

I think most would agree that it is unusual to see men in group fitness classes. Women seem to flock to the group fitness room, eagerly following the exercise commands of the enthusiastic instructor. Men, however, seem much more comfortable getting their workout solo in the gym.

After observing this trend for many years, it is my opinion that this is due to two factors; men and women are different and seek out different things when it comes to exercise and men tend to underestimate the workout they can get in a fitness class.

When we examine some very general gender differences, it underscores why there are more women in classes than men. Women seek out connection, discussion, sharing and emotional expression. A group experience embraces all those characteristics.

Men, on the other hand, typically seek out results, action, physical expression and tend to keep things to themselves. This description lends itself more to an independent workout in the gym.

I have overheard objections from many men related to participation in group fitness classes; the reasons usually revolve around the perception that fitness classes are "too dancey." The image of a group of women all "grapevining" in unison is enough to intimidate any man. At the On Top of the World Communities (OTOW) Health & Recreation center and The Ranch Fitness Center & Spa, we offer several dance-based group fitness classes but that is certainly not the extent of our class offerings.

Then there is the notion that the workout in group fitness classes is not challenging enough. I would dispute that and invite anyone who has that thought to come and try the KBKB (Kick Butt Kick Boxing) class or the Strictly Strength class. Interestingly enough, men teach both of those classes.

I asked some male OTOW residents why they do or do not participate in our fitness classes; here's what they had to say:
"I wouldn't exercise at home or on my own. I am much more motivated to exercise with other people. I welcome the stretching and breathing exercises that I get in class." - Bob Housenger (Oxycise class participant)

"It's inspiring! I get inspiration from both the participants and the instructor." - Richard Enos (KBKB participant)

"It would be embarrassing; I don't have the flexibility to do the exercises in the classes. I do more muscle stuff." - Nick Nimerala (weight room participant)

"I go for the high energy and the good physical workout." - Mike Piccolo (KBKB participant)

"I love it! I take two classes a week and they help me stay flexible. If it weren't for the class instructor, I wouldn't know what to do on my own. It's great to be a part of a group and I've improved my flexibility." - Michael Krajokovich (Strength and Stretch Fusion and Chair Yoga participant)

"I haven't taken any classes yet but I want to!" - Joe Jingco (soon-to-be group fitness participant)

Cammy Dennis is the Fitness Director for On Top of the World Communities and The Ranch Fitness Center & Spa.


  1. Too true! There are so many fitness classes here to choose from that even the manliest man can find one that fits.

  2. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
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    1. Yes! We're on twitter @otowfl and on facebook www.facebook.com/ontopoftheworldflorida. Be sure to subscribe to our blog too :)

  3. The buzz is exercise as a whole is very addicting, I look forward to it and feel refreshed after my class.