Group fitness arouses nostalgia and feels like “home” for many exercisers, both avid and novice. As the backbone of the fitness industry, it has ebbed and flowed over the past three decades (and counting). People love exercising to music and sharing endorphins. In fact, fitness facility members are thriving on creative class options, demanding more varied opportunities and driving the industry forward. What can you, as a group fitness professional, do to meet the needs of a growing market?
“Linda,” a longtime member at your fitness facility, is a group exercise fanatic and has become a regular in your classes. Your friendship starts with a little chitchat. She loves your teaching style and engages you in small talk after class. As time goes on, your relationship grows. She shares stories about her family, brings in baked goods and is always nice enough to give you a small holiday gift.
Suspension exercise combines body weight and anchored, seatbelt-like straps to provide an alternative to free weights and machines. The question on a lot of trainers's minds is whether these strap-based training systems work as well as more traditional resistance training tools. Though research into this question has been somewhat sparse, studies are starting to paint a picture of effective ways to integrate suspension exercise into a workout program.
offered at Anderson’s Martial Arts Academy in New York, combines Muay Thai with Russian kettlebell training. The class is offered only to women; however, men are invited to join a few select classes each month. According to the online description, the 60-minute, no-impact workout burns 800–1,000 calories and aims to increase flexibility, agility and strength.
In today’s complicated world, just listening to the evening news on television or radio can raise cortisol rates in the body. High stress levels, combined with current technological advancements, almost unending sensorial bombardment, and the ever-changing dietary habits of many developed countries, can deny the body time for repose and resynthesis.
Sunrise Savage, offered at Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville, Massachusetts, is a 1-hour morning fitness program that employs an unconventional hybrid obstacle course. Playful attendees throw spears, climb ropes and cargo nets, swing on rings, scale walls, flip tires and use sledgehammers. “Anyone can and should do this class,” says class participant John Langan. “You get to do things you can’t find in other gyms: swing across rings like Tarzan, climb cargo nets like Spider-Man, and smash tires with sledgehammers like Thor.”
The last chapter of a novel ties all the previous pages together in one simple, dramatic or thought-provoking conclusion. An indoor cycling class is not unlike a good read. You have an attention-grabbing warm-up, various engaging “chapters” that explore cardio ranges, and a cool-down that seamlessly brings it all together. Without all three elements, a book—or an exercise class—may never make it onto the “best-seller list.”
At The Barre Code® in Pittsburgh, members can choose from a variety of classes, including Brawl. This session combines kickboxing with strength training that focuses on the thighs and glutes for an intense lower-body workout.
O Dance in Boulder, Colorado, transports its members to Latin locations with Latin Soul Play. This hourlong dance experience is set to soulful Latin rhythms and teaches footwork and body mechanics for a playful workout.