In the 14th Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2020 conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), group fitness ranks high, yet again. Group exercise classes have been around for a while now with the likes of SoulCycle and F45 leading the pack in group exercise. Group fitness is not only trending but it will continue to grow in 2020. Fitness innovation and boutique studios are using technology and new approaches to take group fitness to the next level.
Let’s face it, going to the gym alone can be hard. When you workout in a group, it has the power to motivate you and push you harder than you would if you were alone. Group classes are designed to be effective. If your members succeed in their fitness goals, your studio is doing its job and changing lives. Their success is your success. In this article, we will talk about why group fitness classes are effective and how they can benefit both your members and your business.
Skip ahead to:
- What Are Group Fitness Classes?
- Why Are Group Fitness Classes Effective?
- 5 Killer Group Fitness Classes From Innovative Fitness Brands
- 7 Benefits of Group Workout Classes and Training
What Are Group Fitness Classes?
Group fitness encompasses any and all forms of fitness that are taught in a small group setting led by a fitness professional. Many gyms and studios offer a range of fitness classes. Fitness classes come in all shapes and sizes from Zumba and cardio to high-intensity-interval training (HIIT) and spinning classes. With the huge popularity of group classes, you can now find a group class for almost any kind of activity.
With group fitness, there’s usually a limited number of people. This means that you can deliver personal training-level instruction to a group, making it much more affordable. With fitness, self-care and wellness combining, you now have the opportunity to reach more people by going beyond fitness. ClassPass predicts a rise in classes that put mindfulness and mental health at the forefront. Fitness lovers are looking for ways to integrate yoga, wellness, HIIT, meditation, cycling classes, and more into their routine.
A major player in the boutique fitness industry is Xponential Fitness. They are one of the largest curators of fitness brands right now, owning the likes of PureBarre, CycleBar, StretchLab, AKT, Row House, and Yoga Six. Xponential Fitness is taking on big-box gyms with innovative brands that focus on group exercise and boutique fitness across multiple verticals.
Why Are Group Fitness Classes Effective?
With small group sizes and high-quality instructors, group training delivers a well-crafted and effective total body workout. Group classes and variety remain at the heart of motivation. When people lose interest in exercise, it’s often out of boredom. Group fitness classes are fun, engaging and challenge members.
Studies have shown that people who work out regularly in groups experience less stress and have a higher quality of life than those who work out solo. With an increase in feelings of loneliness and a move away from drinking at bars, group workouts are replacing happy hour. Whether it’s the social aspect, the friendly competition, or the excitement of a fitness class, group training can provide the motivation that you might not be able to find in the gym.
To stay on top of the latest trends in health and fitness, here are a few great resources:
- All About Fitness Podcast – hosted by personal trainer and strength coach, Pete McCall, his podcast covers everything fitness-related. Listen to Pete’s episode on Fitness Trends for 2020.
- 20 Minute Fitness – find out the latest news in health and fitness. Each episode is just 20 minutes long and will help you to stay updated in the field of fitness without spending too much time researching.
- Found My Fitness – Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s podcast is a trusted source for all things health. She is always up-to-date on the latest research on health, exercise, nutrition, and more.
5 Killer Group Fitness Classes From Innovative Fitness Brands
The fitness industry is hugely competitive and to stay on top, you need to innovate and come to the floor with something new. For some group fitness inspiration, here are five innovative fitness brands to learn from.
Animal Movement, BLOK
BLOK currently has three UK locations and seems to be growing. The boutique fitness studio combines art, fitness, minimalism, and fashion to create a very modern fitness destination. BLOK has a ton of classes from strength training and yoga to boxing and cardio. The London location alone features 180 classes every week. BLOK’s class, Animal Movement draws on the basics of animal motion to improve balance, flexibility, and strength.
DAN’S Fitness, DAN’S
DAN’S is a Latin American dance studio based in London featuring instructors from all around the world. Dance-focused classes have always been popular but the Latin twist at DAN’s delivers a great full-body workout. DAN’S Fitness class is a high-energy, aerobic, dance-based workout. You can also take part in DAN’S Soul class which is a meditative, low-impact, danced-based workout. The alternative to yoga is designed to help you slow down, decrease stress and feel relaxed.
Strength Training, Tone House
Tone House is an extreme athletic-based group fitness studio. All classes are team-orientated, competitive, and fun. Classes focus on unleashing your inner athlete. Tone House’s Fundamental and 101 class packages are aimed at introducing individuals to their workout philosophy, a sense of determination, and a strong form that will take you through any class.
Megaformer Pilates, [solidcore]
According to ClassPass, Megaformer Pilates is one of the fasting growing fitness trends in the United States. In 2019, over a million users attended Megaformer Pilates classes, a 38.6% increase from the previous year. [solidcore] don’t use patented Megaformer machines but customized machines of their own. A 50-minute class at [solidcore] features slow and controlled training, sculpting long, lean muscle tone.
Boxing or boxercise continues to be a massive fitness trend this year. TwelveThree combines smart technology and boxing to create a unique workout. The boutique boxing studio uses punch trackers in their boxing class to monitor every move. You wear the device on your wrist and it tracks velocity and intensity. The idea is that you can then measure progress over time.
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7 Benefits of Group Workout Classes and Training
Spinning, yoga, and barre continue to be incredibly popular forms of group exercise. Whether you already focus on group classes or are considering mixing up your class schedule, group fitness is here to stay and could be just what your studio needs.
Do you find that you work out harder when you’re with a friend than by yourself on a treadmill? Exercising in a group setting can do wonders for your motivation and give you the boost you need. When you see everyone else working out, you’re all working toward the same goal. This can give you the motivation you need to push yourself even harder. An instructor should explain the benefits of each movement, giving you a reason to carry on and get to the end of class.
When it comes to member retention, a lack of motivation and results are common concerns during the decision to renew a membership or give up. If your members don’t feel motivated, they’re not going to put the effort in they need to in order to see results. If they don’t see results, they may feel like their hard-earned money is going to waste. By motivating members through group fitness, you can help them meet their fitness goals increasing member retention.
2. Lower Risk of Injury
Gyms and fitness studios are places you go to for your health and fitness and to feel good about yourself. But, every day there are more than 10,000 people in the emergency room treated for injuries from sports, recreation, and exercise. Some of the most common injuries from exercise include shin splints, knee pain, lower back strain, and elbow pain.
During a group fitness class, the instructor leads the class with proper advice. In classes like yoga, pilates, and strength training, you can really benefit from proper form. Proper form can be the difference between injury and nailing the move. During a class, the instructor can spot you and advise you on proper form, reducing the risk of injury. Lowering the risk of injury benefits both your members’ health and your business, improving overall gym safety.
3. Variety and Structure
Classes can bring variety and structure to a workout routine. When you sign up to the gym, often you have the best intention of going three times a week but as other priorities pop up, this commitment can sometimes slip. A class schedule delivers both variety and structure to your members. If you have Zumba every Wednesday and Vinyasa on a Sunday, this allows members to structure their weekly exercise.
When it comes to fitness and improving your health, if you keep exposing muscle groups to the same moves, you have the potential to plateau. By challenging the body to different movements and fitness classes, you can work to overcome that plateau and improve your members’ fitness in multiple areas.
With a growing number of people experiencing loneliness at one point or another, group fitness is a great way to get off the couch and get socializing. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people in your community. Fitness classes are the perfect place for making friends and meeting people with similar interests and fitness goals.
Group fitness helps encourage a community vibe that can do wonders for your business. Community and tribe are powerful forces in the world of fitness. Harness the social power of friends and family working together to live healthier, happier lives.
5. Suitable for All Levels
When signing up for the gym, it’s easy to think you don’t know what you’re doing or worry about how you will look compared to other more established gym-goers. The good thing about fitness classes is that they can be suitable for all levels. During a yoga class, you can show both a beginner pose and an intermediate version, depending on the abilities of your members.
Create your group fitness schedule with different fitness levels in mind. If your class includes particular equipment and specific form, be sure to include an introductory class. A beginner’s training class should introduce members to everything in an easy-to-understand way. It’s important that your members feel comfortable no matter what their fitness level.
Sticking to an exercise regime can be tough. One of the best strategies for meeting fitness goals is to be held accountable for your actions. If a member is thinking of skipping a class, the thought of class friends or the instructor giving them a gentle telling off might be enough to keep them on track.
In some cases, your members will pay for classes ahead of time. This is another way to encourage members to commit to classes. If they’ve already paid for it, they are much less likely to miss it. It’s a good idea to keep your class schedule fresh in members’ minds. Send out calendar reminders for classes booked in advance either via email, push notification, or text.
7. Fun and Engaging
Whether it’s dancing, indoor cycling, or kickboxing, group fitness is fun and engaging. If your members enjoy your classes, it doesn’t feel like exercise. While some people find it easy to hit the gym regularly, others need that element of fun for an exercise routine to be sustainable. If you’re thinking of introducing classes, find out what your members would love most. From your audience research, you might already know that yoga and dance-based classes would be very popular. This is a great place to start.
Every year, group training continues to be one of the biggest fitness trends. As it evolves and grows, group fitness is much more than loud music and fast movements. Classes can provide social opportunities, health benefits, and psychological support. With advancements in technology and the rise of self-care, the possibilities for group fitness are endless.