Anyone can tell you that the most challenging part of any fitness journey is the first step. Fortunately, however, there’s no reason you have to take that step alone.
In the modern fitness industry, group exercise classes for beginners have quickly become one of the most valuable perks of any gym membership. These classes offer profound benefits and can take even a complete beginner and start them on their way toward being a gym veteran.
The question, then, is how to identify beginner workout classes from the dozens of other classes offered at most gyms. In this article, we’ll teach you how to pick out which classes are best for your fitness level, ones you might enjoy, and how to get the most from any group fitness class.
Benefits of a Beginner Workout Class
Most group exercise classes share several general health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, body composition, and muscular endurance. Still, classes for beginners can provide other advantages that are uniquely valuable for those just getting started on their fitness journey.
While a sense of community can be immensely valuable to individuals of any fitness level, it is especially useful for beginner exercisers. By finding a group of like-minded individuals with similar goals and experience levels, you give yourself a support network. Rather than going solo, this network can keep you motivated and push you beyond what you thought you might achieve alone.
Because group exercise classes are generally run by experienced, certified instructors, they provide structure and expertise that many beginners struggle to develop independently. Instructors are an excellent resource for expanding your knowledge, whether it’s questions about different exercises, how many rest days you should be taking, or how to build a routine to target major muscle groups.
If you want more one-on-one instruction, you can even consider sessions with a personal trainer.
Beyond muscle growth or better cardio, one of the most powerful benefits of workout classes for beginners is their ability to inspire confidence. With the often overwhelming amount of online fitness-related information, it can be challenging to know what to trust.
By following a simple, approachable routine like those used in beginner classes, however, you can gauge for yourself what works. Then, you can add what you enjoyed most to your personal routine!
Types of Classes for Beginners
Before you get your feet wet with group exercise classes, it might help to know about the most popular types you might encounter. At Crunch Fitness, we offer a wide range of these classes across our different locations, and you can always take advantage of our free trial class pass to test out the ones that interest you most.
Barbells, resistance bands, medicine balls, or even body weight; strength training classes run the gamut regarding equipment and techniques. While this abundance of choice may be daunting at first, it’s also an opportunity for those looking to sculpt their muscles and improve their strength.
These group classes use movements drawn from ballet and dance to build full-body strength and stability. Although different from traditional strength training, Barre classes are nonetheless highly effective.
Pilates classes use resistance from bands and special machines to increase strength, emphasizing core work. Because Pilates is low impact, it is an excellent choice for injury prevention or if you have other health considerations.
Generally, HIIT classes use short bursts of intense exercise punctuated by a cool-down period. Though they may be intimidating to beginners, HIIT classes are a great way to learn about different equipment and exercises under the guidance of an instructor.
Consistent cardio can challenge even the most disciplined among us. Because of this, the best cardio workouts are the ones you enjoy doing–whether cycling, choreographed aerobics, or interval training.
Some of the most popular forms of group cardio are cycling classes. These fun, community-building classes range from our Rhythm, with modern-music-fueled choreography, to Road, which tests your competitive edge against other riders of a similar fitness level.
Whether it’s Strong by Zumba or our member-favorite Retro-Robics, dance-based cardio classes help put the fun back into exercise. Burn calories to the groove of your favorite music and learn new skills at the same time!
A yoga class is perfect if you’re looking for a slower, more deliberate workout to build muscular strength and coordination. Despite its calming, meditative reputation, however, yoga is still a full-body workout!
A gentler, more meditative form of yoga, Hatha Yoga classes for beginners are an invaluable way to learn about your body. Additionally, Hatha Yoga is invaluable for stress relief and improving posture.
More athletic than some other types of yoga, Vinyasa Yoga uses continuous, flowing movement and structured breathing to develop full body strength and elevate your heart rate.
A Crunch original, our Mana Flow Yoga mixes the physical with the spiritual to teach you about your chakras, align your energy, and give you an amazing workout.
How to Identify Beginner-friendly Classes
Sometimes, it can be challenging to tell which group exercise classes are right for your exercise level and which you might want to leave for later on.
Crunch offers a user-friendly online signup that you can use to find classes for beginners at your Crunch location. Additionally, look for blog content detailing our different classes and what to expect from each.
Talk to a Trainer
Like everyone at Crunch, our trainers are dedicated to helping you achieve your fitness goals. If you’re unsure whether a certain class is right for your experience level or simply looking for suggestions, try asking any of our trainers for advice.
Ask Other Gym Members
As you continue to go to the gym and build a routine, it’s only natural that you’ll start to recognize other regulars with a similar schedule to yours. Having a gym buddy can be an excellent way to improve your workout experience, and Crunch’s no-judgment atmosphere helps build a friendly, helpful community.
How to Prepare for a Beginner Workout Class
Although plenty of group exercise classes are intended for beginners, some people like to prepare before working out in a group setting. If this is true for you, consider trying the following steps.
Test Your Fitness
If this is your first foray into physical fitness, clearly understanding your base fitness level can help prepare you for improvements. Many basic tests use push-ups to evaluate upper body strength, sit-ups to gauge core strength, and a simple one-mile jog to assess cardiovascular health. For both push-ups and sit-ups, try to see how many you can do in one minute.
If you want help testing your fitness, our CrunchONE Kickoff pairs you with a trained instructor to help you start things off on the right foot!
Speak With Instructors
If you have an idea of which group exercise classes you want to try, feel free to reach out to the instructors for those classes. At Crunch, our no judgments environment means our fitness professionals are always happy to help. Whether you have questions about what to expect or how to warm up before the class, your instructor is an excellent resource for information.
Additionally, personal training sessions can give you an excellent reference point for all the classes we offer. If you’re currently receiving personal training, consider asking your trainer for help with specific goals or movements you know you’ll need in a certain class.
Get to Know the Equipment
Depending on the class you choose, you may have to use equipment that you haven’t encountered before. Whether that’s medicine balls, stationary bikes, or weights, taking a bit of time to familiarize yourself with the right equipment can make you feel more comfortable once the class begins.
If you’re learning how to use barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells, always remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase to heavier weights. When you’re just beginning, learning proper technique with less weight is essential to health and success.
Group classes are one of our highest priorities at Crunch, and we make it a point to improve and update our class list continually. If you’re looking for a fun, no-judgment environment where you can get real results and build confidence, consider trying out one of our group exercise classes and revolutionizing your fitness experience. Even if you’re still on the fence, our free class trial pass allows you to experience these classes with no commitment required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Try Classes Without Committing?
Yes! At Crunch Fitness, your Peak Results membership comes with unlimited access to all of our group glasses, so you’re free to try any that interest you without the pressure of added fees. Our Peak membership also offers access to all classes except for smaller groups like our Ride series.
What if a Class is Too Difficult?
If you begin a class only to realize halfway through that it might be beyond your current fitness level, feel free to step out or take a moment to cool down and get more oxygen. And, as with any workout, always stop immediately if you feel pain or serious discomfort.
How Often Should I Workout?
Everyone’s fitness capacity is different, which is why it’s so essential to listen to your body. Although group fitness classes are one of the best ways to get started exercising, rest days are also very important. If you feel yourself getting run down or struggling with a class that used to be easy, consider slowing down for a few days.
Does Every Crunch Location Offer Classes for Beginners?
At Crunch, we believe that a well-crafted, diverse list of group classes is something every gym should have. Although classes vary between our locations, rest assured that each Crunch offers classes for members of all fitness levels.
Crunch’s group fitness classes promote a culture of fun with no judgments. It’s an environment for all types of individuals with various goals. Find a Crunch gym near you to try our free trial membership, or join Crunch now. Your goals are made to be crushed. With Crunch, you’ll have the tools, resources, and support to make it happen.