6 Reasons to Try an AMT Team Fit Class

A New Type of Group Training

AMT Team Fit Class

I'm no lover of cardio equipment - probably because my idea of hell is running in place without going anywhere - but don't mistake my dislike for a lack of knowledge. Not only have I spent many, many an hour working out on such equipment (I hate to admit it, but it's true), I've also been in charge of buying and testing equipment for the gyms I used to manage.

Of all the equipment I ever purchased or used, once piece stood out above the rest: the Precor AMT trainer.

I've waxed poetic about my appreciation for the AMT in the past - it really is an effective and flexible piece of equipment - but Precor just took its game up a notch by introducing a new type of training to the mix: AMT Team Fit Classes - group training, on the AMT.

What are AMT Team Fit Classes?

AMT Team Fit classes are pretty much exactly what they sound like - group fitness classes designed around the AMT. The brainchild of Precor's Global Education Director, Erica Tillinghast, these classes are led by trainers and provide cardio enthusiasts: 1) a well-rounded education on everything the AMT has to offer, and 2) a functional workout that gets cardio queens (and kings) to bust out of their single-plane ruts and discover the benefits of combining strength with cardio in multiple planes of motion.

6 Reasons to Give AMT Team Fit Classes a Go

1. Trainer-Led

Whenever you can take advantage of the knowledge and skill of a personal trainer, I say go for it (especially when you can get it for less than the cost of a one-on-one session).

These small group classes are led by instructors who: a) are certified trainers, and b) have received specific training from Precor on how to teach each class. While classes can be set up differently from gym-to-gym (some gyms offer progressive class series, while others offer a drop-in class format), they're all designed to educate users on AMT best practices and how to make better use of the functional machine.

2. Appropriate for All Levels and Interests

Precor has designed three separate class modules: Foundations, HIIT and Boot Camp. The Foundations class is a great option for those new to the AMT trainer who are looking for a fun way to switch up their workouts and stay excited about cardio. The HIIT class opens up high intensity interval training to a wider audience (beginner, intermediate and advanced exercisers, as well as those recovering from injuries) because the AMT is naturally a low-impact machine. And finally, the Boot Camp class teaches participants how to incorporate strength and balance training with cardiovascular work, all from the comfort of the cardio floor.

The low-impact nature of the machine and the ability to adjust intensity makes each class a safe place for participants to test their limits. And when necessary, trainers can step in and offer suggestions for exercise modifications to accommodate personal needs.

3. Strength and Cardio Included

You don't have to leave the cardio floor to enjoy the benefits of strength training.

Trainers lead participants through squats, lunges, dips, leg lifts and balance exercises all while on or around the AMT trainer. The sequencing, sets and repetitions are determined by the trainer, so all the participants have to worry about is form... and making it through the next set. This is a great way for anyone who's nervous about strength training to start incorporating it in a safe and moderated environment.

4. Full-Body Workout

Cardio's important - there's no doubt about that - but too often cardio is limited to a mostly lower-body routine (think: running, cycling or elliptical-ing). AMT Team Fit trainers teach participants how to effectively isolate the lower or upper body during cardio bursts, and how to use the entire body during stepping, jogging and running motions by engaging the arms while moving the AMT handles. This total-body training, especially when combined with additional strength and balance training, can help speed fitness results.

5. Group Setting

Group fitness is good business. Seriously. Studies have shown that those who participate in group fitness classes are more likely to stick with a routine because they enjoy the social atmosphere. Not to mention, group fitness provides a bit of peer pressure that keeps participants coming back - they don't want to let their friends or instructors down, and they don't want to be held accountable for missing a session. In other words, if you find yourself skipping workouts, you might want to team up with a group.

The AMT Team Fit Classes are unique in that they're bringing group training to the cardio floor in a traditional gym setting. While there are plenty of boutique studios popping up around the country that focus on group training on cardio machines, the Team Fit Classes can be held anywhere there are at least four AMT trainers... in other words, practically any modern gym. (And if your gym doesn't have AMTs, it needs an update - these things are rad.)

6. Safe Setting to Explore

I've alluded to this benefit a few times already, but I want to point it out specifically. Sometimes weight rooms are scary. If you're not familiar with strength training, and you don't like feeling like a fish in a fishbowl - as if all eyes are on you - it can be tough to muster the inner fortitude to walk into the weight room for the first time. How in the world is a newbie supposed to try to figure out what each contraption does, much less try to figure out sets, reps and sequence?

There's a reason personal trainers exist.

The AMT Team Fit Classes are held on the safer, much less scary, cardio room floor. They're also led by trainers. This means you can be taught how to effectively use the AMT, how to properly perform a squat, and what "Tabata" means without feeling stupid or out of your element. That's a pretty significant benefit.

How to Find a Class

Classes are still new and Precor is just now promoting the training to gyms around the country. This means you may have to ask for a class to be added to your club. Luckily, it's easy to make a request. If your gym has four to six AMTs and at least one trainer available to learn the methodology, all you need to do is direct your gym manager to the Precor site and ask her to start a class.

Trying It on Your Own

If your gym doesn't have a class, that doesn't mean you can't start trying a few workouts on your own. The Precor education website is full of training materials. While they're usually geared to the fitness professional, each video is well-put together and easy to follow, so there's no reason you can't give them a whirl. Here are a few options to get you started:

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