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What are Group Fitness Classes?

By B. Miller
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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Group fitness classes are classes offered at locations such as gyms, fitness centers, yoga or Pilates studios, or others where a group of people meet a specified period of time, and are led by an instructor in completing various exercises. Many people enjoy the energy of a group class because they find it to be more motivating than working out alone, and also enjoy meeting new people and socializing after class. Group fitness classes may be purchased individually, or they may come as part of a gym membership.

Gym memberships will commonly offer an unlimited number of group fitness classes. For this reason, it is easy to find a class or two to fit into a weekly schedule, and to break up an otherwise boring workout routine. There are many different types of fitness classes available, and group size may range from only a handful of students to more than 50 students, depending on the size of the gym and the area in which the class is offered. Most fitness classes require participants to sign a waiver before signing up for a class, in case an accident or injury should occur.

In a group fitness class, participants are asked to arrive about ten to 15 minutes before class starts in order to find a spot in the room, and to not interrupt a class that is already in progress. The instructor will then arrive and begin class, typically with a gentle warm-up session followed by the actual workout, and then a cool-down period. Instructors may offer modifications for exercises that are too difficult for individual students, and may be able to answer questions during class as well as to provide motivation. Classes generally meet one or two times a week.

Some common group fitness classes include aerobics, kickboxing, spinning, aerobic dance, yoga, Pilates, or even boot-camp style classes where students may use many different pieces of equipment, and keep their heart rates high for the entire class. Some gyms offer free group fitness classes to allow potential students to try a class before signing up and paying for it. This can be a great way to discover new classes.

Group fitness classes can be a great way to lose weight, get in shape, and keep going when you might otherwise want to stop exercising. The classes can also help one learn other types of fitness equipment, and learn new methods for exercising on one's own. If you are nervous to try a group fitness class alone, bring a friend along to give it a try and to motivate each other to go to class.

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