Fitness Classes 101: How to Choose the Best Group Class for You

Best_Group_Exercise_Classes_for_Beginners.jpgWant a reason to look forward to going to the gym? Group exercise classes can keep you on a schedule, provide a supportive group atmosphere, and help make exercise fun as you just get started!

With 12 group exercise classes to choose from as well as various XLAB sessions you can join, we’re breaking down some great options to check out for your first classes.

Tips for Choosing the Right Class for You

When choosing a fitness class that’s right for you, follow these tips:

  • Keep your fitness level in mind. Some classes are designed specifically for beginners, while others are designed for people with advanced skill sets. Now is not the time to be aggressive. Be honest with yourself about your current fitness level and choose fitness classes that match. You can always advance if you find the class isn’t challenging enough. But better to do that than to injure yourself.
  • Get recommendations from a personal trainer. If you’re working with a personal trainer, she or he can guide you regarding fitness classes that will help you achieve your goals. Plus, if your trainer is affiliated with your gym, he or she will likely have inside “scoop” on the best classes.
  • Ask friends about the types of classes they like. You know your friends, and they know you. So ask them about the fitness classes they enjoy—and why.
  • Think seasonally. Perhaps during the summer you get plenty of aerobic activity outside, thanks to the nicer weather. So the fitness classes you choose May-September might not be about aerobic activity, but rather something else, like core strength training. In the winter, you might add in fitness classes that get your heart pumping, especially if you find yourself cooped up all day due to inclement weather.
  • Try different classes. Sometimes you won’t know if a fitness class is a good fit until you try it. The setting, the instructor, even the music can affect whether you like a class. The most important thing is that you’re willing to give the fitness class a couple of tries (with different instructors, different times of day, and so forth) to see if you can find a magic combo that works for you.
  • Keep in mind that no fitness class is forever. Once you select a fitness class, it doesn’t mean you have to stick with that class forever. Variety is the spice of life. And it’s always a good idea to mix up your workouts instead of doing the same thing over and over.

Start a Routine with These Group Exercise Classes

Group ActiveActive.jpg

Group Active is perfect for the new or infrequent exerciser since the program design incorporates all elements of fitness in just 60 minutes. Not one thing is too much to handle and you will feel successful in no time as you learn the fundamentals of exercise.

Group Active is a great option for the experienced exerciser who is crunched for time and wants to get it all. You can make The STEP® 10″ high to really get your heart pumping and add as much as 35lbs. on each dumbbell as you choose to really work those muscles!

Group Active is designed to be done 1-3 times per week. Be sure your body recovers for at least 24 hours between classes.


Group BlastBlast.jpg

Group BLAST OFF your workout with 60 minutes of cardio training that uses The STEP® in highly effective, athletic ways. Group Blast will get your heart pounding and sweat pouring as you improve your fitness, agility, coordination, and strength with exciting music and group energy. HAVE A BLAST!


Group CoreCore.jpg

Train like an athlete in 30 action-packed minutes. A strong core, from your shoulders to your hips, will improve your athletic performance, will help prevent back pain and will give you ripped abs! Expert coaching and motivating music will guide you through functional and integrated exercises using your body weight, weight plates, a towel, and a platform-all to challenger you like never before, Reach Your Peak with Group Core.

Group Centergy


Train like an athlete in 30 action-packed minutes. A strong core, from your shoulders to your hips, will improve your athletic performance, will help prevent back pain and will give you ripped abs! Expert coaching and motivating music will guide you through functional and integrated exercises using your body weight, weight plates, a towel, and a platform-all to challenger you like never before, Reach Your Peak with Group Core.


Group GrooveGroove.jpg

Group Groove borrows moves from three styles of dance; club, urban, and Latin. These styles include many types of dance for each such as house, techno, disco and rock n’ roll for club, hip hop, rap, R&B, trash jazz, and funk for urban. Latin includes samba, salsa, house Latin and merengue.

Each class starts with a warm-up to get you loose and ready to Move! You’ll then experience seven songs taking you through the different dance styles. You will literally get to stomp, flick, shimmy,and smile! Because Group Groove is a cardiovascular fitness program, you can do it once a week or groove everyday! In addition, the more you groove, the more your balance and coordination will improve.


Group FightFight.jpg

Group Fight borrows movements from boxing, kickboxing,and various martial art disciplines. The movements are programmed to dynamic music to create a simple, fun and effective method to workout in groups.

The class starts out with a comprehensive warm-up, then moves along to specific songs that offer effective sequencing for quick learning, and a suitable work-to-rest ratio. The class ends with a stretch and cool-down that offers not only physical, but mental and relaxation benefits. Group Fight is for anyone that wants a challenging, athletic, and motivating workout in a realistic time frame. Because Group Fight is a cardiovascular training class, you can do it once a week or you can do it every day!


Group RideRide.jpg

Group Ride uses cycling principles and matches speeds, positions, and resistance levels to music, creating a simple, fun and effective way to cardio train in groups. The class is broken up into nine songs of different terrains, speeds and intensity. One minute you will be climbing the Alps, the next minute you will be hanging onto the back of a peloton, just cruising — all to a jamming soundtrack.

Group Ride has very controlled speeds to ensure that everyone can “keep up.” As you gain confidence and increase your fitness level, you just keep cranking up the resistance to work harder and challenge yourself even more. It attracts many different users because of the ability to ride your own bike and control the gears. Group Ride is for anybody who wants to improve their cardiovascular fitness, burn calories, burn fat, shape and strengthen their lower body, and have fun doing it.


PilatesPilates is the art of using controlled movements that condition the body by creating long lean muscles without the bulk. Strengthen, lengthen, and tone all core and stabilization areas while increasing flexibility, range of motion, and perfecting posture.

Through Pilates your body will be better aligned, your mind will be more capable of dealing with daily stress and you will actually feel taller, not just in height but in spirit. But the best part is, Pilates can be adapted to work for any fitness level. Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or are looking to strengthen and tone, Pilates is for you!



Zumba is perfect for everybody and every body! Each class is designed to bring people together to sweat it off! Zumba takes the “work” out of workouts, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba classes are often called exercise in disguise. Super effective? Super fun? Check and check.


Barre_Logo_Gray_BlueThis is not your daughter’s ballet class. If you’re looking to keep a slim body through the holiday season, Barre will provide you with a low impact exercise to avoid injury as it uses smaller movements to engage muscles. What this means for you is muscle toning to shape long, lean legs and sculpted arms under your holiday sweater. Barre workouts are dance based, and results driven. Like yoga and Pilates, Barre lengthens and tones your body while strengthening your core.

Boot Camp

Boot_Camp_LogoWork every muscle in your body and burn up to 1,200+ calories with Boot Camp, an intense 60-minute team inspired workout. Participants work together to push through workouts that combine sport-specific, functional, core and plyometric training that helps rev-up your metabolism. If you’re looking for a high-intensity, motivating workout where the planning is entirely off your plate, then Boot Camp is for you.

Each of these classes will help teach the fundamentals of exercise used in many other classes. Ease into the group atmosphere, following an instructor, and find which types of classes you enjoy most. There is something for everyone and many more classes to learn and continually improve with!

Make workouts fun through group training fit for all fitness levels by popping into your local Jersey Strong, the top gym in NJ!