Looking for a workout that boasts the fun factor and will be something you can stick to? Here’s why you should try a group fitness class…

Don’t like working out alone? If you’d choose a group fitness class over hitting the gym floor on your lonesome, you’re not the only one. New data from ClassPass shows that class usage is up 10 per cent compared to pre-pandemic numbers – and for good reason. According to a new study, carried out by Penn State university in the US, fit folk who take part in group exercise experience a greater sense of exertion and satisfaction, plus have a stronger intention to return. Experts chalk this up to the supportive network a group class has to offer, which places a higher level of accountability on the individual and pushes them to work harder alongside others. ‘Human connection offers a greater sense of purpose, belonging, reduces stress and increases overall happiness,’ explains Alana Murin, head of ride at Psycle. ‘To connect through a shared experience with other people while working out not only improves our physical output but also our overall wellbeing.’ Whether you’re a gym goer or an at-home virtual exerciser, here’s why joining others could help you on your fitness journey.

1. Motivation 

It can be tempting to slow down or even quit when the going gets tough and, certainly, no-one will know when you’re exercising alone. But work out with others and you’ll likely get a surge of motivation to exercise harder and for longer. ‘A recent survey of our members revealed that four in five people say they work out harder in a group class setting,’ says Kinsey Livingston, VP of partnerships at ClassPass. ‘People also cite live encouragement from an instructor and wider choice of equipment as motivation to return to in-person exercise.’

2. Accountability 

The secret to garnering great exercise results is to work out consistently. That’s easier said than done, but signing up to a group fitness class or personal training session might help you stick to your goals. ‘Group classes create a sense of accountability and can help people to develop regular, sustainable routines,’ adds Livingston. The net result is you’re less likely to skip a session simply because you don’t feel like it. Winner. 

3. Technique

Good form and proper exercise technique will not only boost your workout results but also reduce your risk of injury. By joining a group fitness class, you’ll have access to an instructor who has a wealth of workout knowledge and will be able to provide the technique tweaks you need. What’s more, the class instructor might introduce you to exercises or exercise combinations that you haven’t tried before.

4. Inspiration 

Being part of a group fitness class means you’ve essentially joined a workout team – this opens up a new variety of moves. Whether partner exercises or a group circuit session during which you tag one another in and out of moves, working out together can be great fun. Plus, there’s nothing like a bit of teamwork and healthy competition for making you dig deep!

5. Happiness 

Chances are, you already know that exercise encourages the release of feel-good chemicals such as endorphins, but research shows that working out with others can provide an additional mood boost. ‘After multiple national lockdowns, fitness enthusiasts are enjoying the social benefits of group exercise,’ adds Livingston. ‘Our data reveals that 60 per cent of people say that working out in person and with a group is better for their mental health compared to an at-home digital routine.’

Choosing a group fitness class 

Pilates, yoga, HIIT, indoor cycling, at-home cycling, virtual workouts…there are so many group fitness classes to choose from these days that it can be difficult to know which one to select. Our handy guides below will help you to find the exercise class that’s right for you and your goals. 

The best group fitness classes for weight loss and toning

Burn fat, tone up and work up a really good sweat with our guide to the best exercise classes for torching calories.

The best group fitness classes for home exercise

If you’re wondering what types of exercise classes are perfect for doing at home, read our home workout guide.

The best group fitness classes for a strong core 

Looking to target your tummy and strengthen those core muscles? Discover the best fitness classes for a strong core 

Your virtual training guide

If you prefer competing with others virtually, then we’ve rounded up 12 of the best-known virtual training services.