Fitness classes are instructor-led workouts held in a studio environment. Classes can be as small as four people or as large as the studio can hold, creating a motivational fitness community to chase your fitness goals, whatever they may be. But what does a fitness class actually have in store? We’ll walk you through it.
What do you do in a fitness class?
There are hundreds of different types of fitness classes, all of which have a different structure and utilize different equipment. Regardless of the class format, fitness classes tend to range in length from thirty to sixty minutes and consist of three major sections: the warm-up, the workout, and the cool-down.
On average, you can expect the warm-up to take up about 5-10% of your total class time. Warm-ups often include stretching and low-intensity exercises used to activate the proper muscles. Warm-ups are essential to get increase blood flow and prep for the class ahead.
This is what you came here for. Depending on the studio and the type of fitness class, your workout may consist of any variety of circuits, intervals, or modules using a variety of equipment. Expect an increased heart rate and no shortage of sweat with appropriate recovery built in to sustain you through the end of class.
The cool down
After a heart-pumping workout, the cool down is an essential time to bring your heart rate back down to normal before you face the rest of your day outside the studio. This section of class may consist of stretching, breath work, or lower-exertion movements. While many may be tempted to skip the cooldown and hurry out of the studio, cool downs are an essential tool for avoiding future injuries.
What are the benefits of fitness classes?
Fitness classes can provide a variety of physical and mental health benefits, including cardiovascular health, endurance training, stress relief, and strength building. Many of these benefits are dependent on the type of class. For example, a cycling intervals class would be beneficial for someone trying to build cardiovascular strength while a restorative yoga class might be better for someone looking to release tension in their body and improve their mental health. Regardless of modality, all fitness classes offer the same four core benefits: they provide expert instruction, motivation, community, and professional fitness equipment to all of their participants.
Fitness classes provide Expert instruction
Fitness classes are led by certified instructors, guide participants of all fitness levels through the workout with proper form. This makes fitness classes an excellent option for anyone new to fitness or looking to avoid injury.Different studios may require different levels of certification of their instructors. Most require specific training in that studio’s equipment and class format, and many require NASM certification, Group Fitness certification, and CPR/general first aid certification. The best fitness instructors aren’t just well educated—they’re high-energy, motivational leaders guiding and inspiring their class through to the cool down.
Fitness classes provide Professional equipment
Some lucky people may have access to a treadmill or free weights at home, but specialized equipment like rowing machines, punching bags, stationary bikes, and Pilates reformers are probably not readily available to you in your home gym (or even at the standard gyms you may belong to). Fitness classes, on the other hand, provide participants with everything they need to complete a successful workout: all the necessary equipment, plus expert instruction to use it properly. When selecting a studio for your fitness classes, be sure to check that high-end, well-maintained equipment is available. Higher quality equipment lowers the chance of injury and provides a better overall class experience. Xponential Fitness studios, which are nationally regarded as the best studios for fitness classes, provide top-of-the-line workout equipment to their participants, including Woodway treadmills in their STRIDE studios and Concept2 rowing machines at their Row House locations.
Fitness classes provide motivation
Just because you can work out alone doesn’t mean you will. Group fitness classes are the perfect way to keep yourself motivated and consistent in your workout routine. If you find yourself skipping the gym or if your old workout routine isn’t exciting you anymore, fitness classes are an excellent way to ignite a newfound love of fitness. Between the high-energy environment, the community, and the efficiency of workouts, there’s no better way to guarantee you get your movement in.
Perhaps the most crucial yet underrated benefit of fitness classes is the community they can provide. Whether you’re working out alongside two other people or twenty, the group fitness environment provides the opportunity to chase your fitness goals alongside other fitness-oriented people. Make new friends or just enjoy having a friendly face alongside you in class. Your fitness community is whatever you make it.