Group workout classes are here to stay – shiny spandex not so much. Here’s what you need to know to navigate the options in a new era of group fitness.
It’s now 40 years since the aerobics movement hit the scene and ‘group workout’ first became a thing. Since then, a lot has changed, and thankfully the shiny spandex and avid hand clapping have gone out the window.
These days there’s a plethora of group workout options on tap:
No longer is the group ex studio the domain of star jumps and step aerobics.
- Weights-based workouts
- Functional training
- Martial arts
- Core conditioning
- New yoga
Whatever your training personality and whatever your goal, there’s a group workout to suit your needs.
Benefits of group Exercise
Firstly, let’s address why working out with others works wonders.
Science shows that group exercise is ideal for long-term results. Back in 2011, Dr. Jinger Gottschall and a team at Penn State University set out to explore how group fitness could nurture a long-term love of exercise and drive key health benefits.
The study highlighted plenty of physical benefits, but most significantly, it showed that when we work out in a group, we are far more likely to stick at exercise than if we go it alone.
Over the 30-week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout – a compliance rate of 98.8 percent – almost unheard of in exercise studies. Gottschall says such a high level of commitment highlights how combining a steady start with the support of others can work wonders.
So, what is it that makes group exercise so engaging?
A 2019 study revealed that exercisers experience increased levels of individual enjoyment, exertion and satisfaction as a result of group exercise. Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research, says these findings simply highlight how we really are social animals when it comes to working out.
“When you maximize the group effect, this leads to a high level of what we’ve termed ‘groupness’. And the higher the level of groupness, the more we see increases in a person’s enjoyment, satisfaction and exertion.”
Thankfully getting our social group exercise fix is now easier than ever, with everything from bootcamps and boutiques to traditional studios delivering the social fitness that is so good for us.
The best experiences come when the power of a group is combined with science-backed techniques, amazing music and top coaching. This is something the team at Les Mills has turned into a fine art. Producing new workouts around the clock, Les Mills is constantly tapping into fresh exercise trends, fusing science, music, movement and ground-breaking technology, and doing whatever possible to create group training options that are at the forefront of fitness.
group workout CLASSES to try in 2020
When you want to…
Feel strong and powerful
Choose BODYPUMP™ – the original barbell workout that has been building long lean muscles and transforming fitness for decades.
In recent years, BODYPUMP has evolved to feature the latest exercise science and techniques. You move in unison to the beat of the great music, challenging all your major muscles to build strength, burn calories and get fit, fast. You power through up to 1000 reps in each workout and recent research it has a significant ongoing impact on metabolism and body composition.
With motivating instructors and your choice of weight, BODYPUMP provides the challenge you need to feel strong, accomplished and powerful. Find a BODYPUMP class.
Push your limits and transform your fitness
Powered by science, coached by the best and stacked with fresh moves and music, LES MILLS GRIT™ workouts combine intense training with periods of rest; shifting your fitness to the next level, unleashing fast-twitch muscle fibers and helping grow lean muscle tissue, burning fat.
Research shows that LES MILLS GRIT will take your training into overdrive, in just 30 minutes you rapidly hit your maximum training zone and burn serious amounts of fat incredibly fast. Find a LES MILLS GRIT workout.
Drive results where it matters most
Try CXWORX™, an intense core workout for functional fitness. This 30-minute personal-training inspired challenge is scientifically designed to build strength, stability and endurance in the muscles that support your core, including the abs, glutes and back. It improves functional strength and assists in injury prevention like nothing else.
After just 30 minutes you feel strong and powerful, with a deep inner burn that confirms you’re driving results where it counts most. Find a CXWORX class.
Experience the future of fitness
THE TRIP™ is a fully immersive cycle experience, combining a multi-peak cycling workout and a cinematic journey through digitally created worlds. It takes motivation and calorie burn to the next level.
An immersive exercise experience like no other, THE TRIP will get you fitter, faster with less discomfort as you lose yourself traveling through unique visual landscapes. Discover THE TRIP.
De-stress and feel calm
BODYBALANCE™ (known as BODYFLOW® in the United States) is a holistic new yoga workout that builds strength and mobility while reducing stress and focusing your mind. With an inspiring instructor guiding you, you move through a carefully structured series of moves and poses set to beautiful music.
BODYBALANCE brings your body into a state of harmony and balance, leaving you feeling strong and empowered with a lasting sense of wellbeing. Find a BODYBALANCE class.
Feel fierce and empowered
Raise your heart rate with BODYCOMBAT, an unbeatable cardio challenge that combines karate, boxing, tae kwon do, capoeira and kickboxing in a carefully structured series of cardio peaks.
With driving music and powerful role model instructors, you strike, punch and kick your way to superior fitness. It’s a fiercely energetic workout that strengthens your whole body and drives phenomenal core strength. It will leave you feeling physically and mentally powerful. Find a BODYCOMBAT class.
Re-energize and feel accomplished
Try BODYATTACK™, a high-energy athletic workout focused on cardio fitness, muscle endurance and agility. Using the power of cardio peak training, it combines sports-inspired training like running, lunging and jumping with strength exercises.
With dynamic instructors and powerful music energizing you, BODYATTACK leaves you feeling sweaty, smiling and challenged – whatever your ability. Find a BODYATTACK class.
Pedal your way to an endorphin high
Step into the cycle studio and experience RPM™, a cardio peak cycle workout that burns calories and improves cardio fitness. You ride to the rhythm of powerful music as an inspiring team coach leads you through hills, flats, mountain peaks, time trials, and interval training.
As you take on the terrain you set your own resistance, discovering your athlete within as you hit an endorphin high. Find a RPM class.
Remember to vary your group workout routine
According to Dr. Jinger Gottschall, kinesiologist and group fitness advocate, the secret to getting the most from these workouts is to mix them up.
“Research shows a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility training fosters long-term engagement and results. We also know that injury incidence is reduced when you balance cardio exercise with flexibility and strength training.”
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.