Step training has been a staple in the fitness industry for a quarter of a century. Although participation started to wane a few years ago, it has resurged thanks in part to the fusion of traditional and newer classes. Whether choreographed, stylized or athletic in nature, step training remains a great form of exercise.
Circuit training is one of the group offerings that has shown the most growth in recent years, with 77% of fitness facilities offering it in 2010, compared with 69% in 2002 (Schroeder & Dolan 201). Today, this popular activity is positioned for continued growth. Circuit training’s success can most likely be attributed to its structure and dynamics. The format allows participants to experience a large variety of exercises and equipment at whatever intensity the students choose. They compete only with themselves, and they don’t have to be in sync with others. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great sample class circuit from the IDEA Online Library. Take class participants through a medley of multidimensional movements. As an IDEA member, all of the sample classes in our library are free to you.
If you want to offer quick, exciting, results-driven experiences for participants, Triple Threat is your class formula. This workout uses three forms of resistance, three different exercises and three sets of 8–24 reps that target each of the major muscle groups. The cookie-cutter template can be adapted to fit participants’ goals and the equipment available. You can easily insert different moves into the chest, back, shoulders and legs categories to keep the class fresh. Triple Threat is effective, time-efficient, integrated and multidimensional.
If you want to offer a class that helps participants break out of a rut, leave the group fitness studio behind and head outside to a playing field. Scout out a local football, baseball or soccer field and transform it into a training ground. Use the existing field design and the premarked lines (hash marks, yard line markers and goal lines) to create an exciting and dynamic class. Combine speed, agility, power and body weight strength drills to tap into the inner athlete in everyone. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great sample class from the Online Library. Let the games begin with this fast-paced, full-throttle workout.
Creative group fitness instructors have been developing fun fusion experiences for years now. Bringing together two or more concepts in one class continues to be popular. It’s a great way to offer participants the best of different formats. This class, Iron Fusion, is based on cardio kickboxing and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), with the added benefit of Pilates principles. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great sample class from the IDEA Online Library. Combine kickboxing drills with HIIT and standing Pilates moves for a complete class experience.
At XSport® Fitness in Chicago, participants use a soft weighted ball during Sphere-O-Sculpt™ to increase their strength. This challenging interval class combines cardio and conditioning for a full-body workout.
At David Barton Gym in Miami, participants choose from a variety of intense classes. One such offering, Rush Hour, starts with 15 minutes of calisthenics and core training and is followed by 45 minutes of cardio conditioning focused on the lower body.
Tabata training is a popular high-intensity interval training format consisting of 20 seconds of all-out, intense work followed by 10 seconds of passive recovery, totaling 4 minutes of very strenuous exercise. HIIT protocols such as Tabata are effective and promising for time-crunched exercisers whose goals are weight loss and performance enhancement. Deep-water exercise is a great nonimpact fitness experience that includes full-body movements. Combine the two and you have a powerful HIIT workout that features all the intensity without the impact and joint stress.
Running, jumping and throwing are integral to most sports. A rebounder, also referred to as a fitness trampoline, is a sometimes-forgotten sports conditioning tool that trains all three. In fact, it provides a multidimensional and multifaceted environment. The rebounder is a perfect playground for a multitude of training options, including plyometrics, high-intensity interval drills, explosive movement patterning, balance work, throwing sequences and more.
Fitness “toys” can make a big difference in helping class participants heighten body awareness—especially awareness of their core muscles. Case in point: a small, soft, inflatable exercise ball known as a sponge ball or Pilates miniball. The miniball comes in a range of sizes, from 7 to 12 inches in diameter, and is a great addition to many classes.