Halloween candy is in the bargain bin and holiday sales are on the horizon, which means it’s time to start thinking about 2019. For fitness professionals, that means anticipating what the top exercise trends will be next year. To get an idea of what’s in store for the future, the American College of Sports Medicine surveyed thousands of fitness professionals about health and fitness trends via an electronic questionnaire. The results went public this week in ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal.

Respondents were asked to rank 39 possible trends—25 of which were trends from previous years—from 1 (least likely to be a trend) to 10 (most likely to be a trend). ACSM received 2,038 responses from across the globe, from ACSM-certified professionals, subscribers to FIT (their content digest), and more. This is the 13th year of ACSM’s annual survey, and each time around, it hones in more specifically on the nuances of the industry. (Last year, for example, the survey asked participants about “dance workouts.” This year, the question was specified to “dance-based workouts,” to phase out the workouts where dance isn’t the primary form of exercise.) The point is to give every establishment from gyms to businesses to corporate wellness programs an understanding of what’s going on in the industry. If you’re passionate about working out, it’s probably interesting intel for you, too.

Ahead, the top 10 predicted fitness trends for 2019, according to the pros.

1. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology, like smart watches, fitness trackers, heart monitors, and more, has ranked in the ACSM’s top three trends every year since 2016. The merging of fitness and tech shows no signs of going anywhere, so expect to see even more ways to track and monitor your fitness in 2019.

2. Group Training

ACSM defines group training as any workout with more than five participants. It first appeared among its top 20 trends in 2017, and innovation in the industry—like online group workout classes—are keeping it high on the list.

3. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT took the top spot in 2018 (and in 2014), but despite its small drop, experts still see it playing a big role in the industry this coming year. A HIIT workout, according to ACSM, involves “short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest.” They’re usually 30 minutes or less, though they can be longer. But the main point is to get a quick and very efficient workout. The best part? You can try a HIIT workout right from your living room.

4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults

As the population ages, it’s only sensical that fitness offerings would age along with us. These programs “emphasize and cater to the fitness needs of the Baby Boom and older generations,” says the ACSM. Which is wise, considering exercising is a great way for people to maintain bone density and muscle mass as they age, plus reap the numerous other health benefits that come with being active.

5. Bodyweight Training

This modality uses just your bodyweight—think push-ups and planks—to get you sweating. We’re big fans of no-equipment or DIY equipment workouts because they’re extremely convenient—great for any time, any where. And, well, they work. Your body itself is truly a great resistance training tool.

6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

As the fitness industry grows, there’s an increased importance and emphasis on hiring certified professionals. ACSM predicts that next year, just like last year, the industry will continue prioritizing hiring professionals that have been accredited through “educational programs and certification programs that are fully accredited for health/fitness professionals.” No snake oil here, please.

7. Yoga

The ancient practice has been on the list for many years. ACSM notes that in 2018, yoga has taken on many forms, like “Power Yoga, Yogilates, yoga in hot environments,” and more. Now that we’ve seen goat yoga, who knows what other forms of yoga the future holds?

8. Personal Training

ACSM defines personal training as “fitness testing and goal setting with a trainer working one-on-one with a client.” It’s been one of the top 10 trends since the survey first started 13 years ago, but now, we have innovative iterations like online personal training to make it even more accessible.

9. Functional Fitness Training

One of the most practical items on the list, functional fitness training is using exercise “to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance to improve activities of daily living.” A squat, for example, is a functional exercise because it can mimic the motions it takes to bend down and pick something up off the floor. According to ACSM, this trend is on the rise in part thanks to the increase of fitness programs that cater to older adults.

10. Exercise Is Medicine

Exercise Is Medicine is ACSM’s own global health initiative that encourages health-care providers to get their patients on an exercise regimen and analyze physical activity as part of regular check-ups. Since the survey was sent out to mostly ACSM members and affiliates, this is a bit of a self-selecting pool.

Honorable Mentions

A few of our favorite trends didn’t crack the top 10, but that doesn’t make them any less worth talking about (and trying at home.) At #14, “Mobility/Myofascial Devices” are on the rise from #15 in 2018 and #20 the year before. Foam rolling isn’t just for pro athletes; it’s a popular recovery method many exercisers use to release tight muscles and increase range of motion. “Outdoor Activities” (#17) is also on the rise for next year. The trend is self-explanatory; it includes activities like group walks, group bike rides, or hiking trips. Whether or not it’s trendy, there’s always just something so badass about climbing a mountain.

As ACSM explains, this list represents overall trends, so it may be missing regional-specific trends (think hip-hop yoga or ax throwing) that are on the rise in your hometown. Trends like virtual/online training, boutique fitness studios, boot camp, and mixed martial arts were all included in the survey this year, but none of them ranked in the top 20. Trends that may seem popular, like circuit weight training, core training, and sport-specific training, all fell out of the top 20 this year.

As 2019 approaches, we’ll be watching and waiting to see how these predictions stack up.


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Also on our radar, Girlfriend Collective’s understated activewear that recycles post-consumer water bottles, and London-based Adrenna that produces locally and uses eco and non-toxic dyes. As they say, ‘the planet shouldn’t have to sweat while you do’.

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Cool summer 💦 Shop our Core Sports Bra and Leggings online via bio. #londonfitness #stretching #quads #

A post shared by Adrenna (@adrennalondon) on Jul 5, 2018 at 8:53am PDT


One Size Doesn’t Fit All

We all respond to workouts differently, which is why more and more studios are providing bespoke packages to make sure you’re not just fitness-freewheeling with little to no results.

Another_Space has launched a Transform package which focuses on education and goal-setting through personal training, advice from pH Nutrition based on your own diet and habits, as well as 111 Cryo sessions and sports massages.

While Psycle’s The Energy Project focuses on achieving goals through nutrition, positive lifestyle habits and exercises that are made to suit you.


New Openings & Classes For 2019

BLOKMove – after opening a new outpost in Manchester in 2019, BLOK is introducing a new class called BLOKMove. The drill-based body weight class has an emphasis on both strength and flexibility. Most people tend to be, or lean towards, one or the other, but this class will focus on getting the balance right. Using both repeated drills (to bring about change and improvement) and flow, you’ll get to know your own range of movement and how to improve it – like doing that back bend you never thought you could do without snapping yourself in two.


Psycle – the boutique fitness studio opens its fourth London studio at the very end of 2019. In Westbourne Grove, expect the usual sleek interiors, a 56-bike Ride-only studio and an all-day Energy Kitchen serving shakes, coffee, breakfast and grab-and-go food with a menu created by Pscyle founder and woman of many talents Rhian Stephenson.

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Come for the workout, stay for the breakfast.

A post shared by PSYCLE (@psyclelondon) on Oct 22, 2019 at 2:07am PDT

SoulCycle – The LA favourite is expanding rapidly over in the UK with two new studios opening at the start of 2020, one in Chelsea and the other in Marylebone. These new studios will have the SoulCycle blessing, performed during a special private ride by the team using an amethyst crystal. Just one of the reasons why you come out of a SoulCycle class feeling so good!

Louisa Drake Method – She’s trained the likes of Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, and now Louisa Drake is opening a brand new studio in Fitzrovia. Currently based out of the studio below The Detox Kitchen, the new space will be much bigger with shower facilities. Expect a fusion of yoga, pilates, barre, ballet, cardio, resistance and conditioning. Oh and I longer, leaner body.

F45, Soho – the fitness franchise slowly taking over the world is opening in Soho. The 170sqm studio will be in Dufours Place just off Carnaby Street. In January they’re launching discounted foundation memberships. Hello, New Year fitness regime.

1Rebel x TechnoGym – The fastest-growing boutique gym in London 1Rebel is teaming up with TechnoGym to rival Peloton’s at-home cycling offering. If you love 1Rebel’s signature ‘Ride’ class then this partnership could revolutionise your workout regime – you’ll be able to buy the TechnoGym bike in monthly instalments, making that endorphin rush accessible in more ways than one.

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The Biggest Trends In Gyms And The Fitness Industry

Fitness trends are evolving

Photo credit Paul Sky

With the concepts of wellness and mindfulness becoming ever more important for consumers, fitness has become a more relevant goal for many people. Work done by LatentView Analytics looked at approximately 150 million data points including information on products, product usage, product reviews as well as search terms and social media conversations over the last 10 years. The data revealed the following major trends about gyms and fitness:

– Working out at home is not a trend. It is a seasonal fad that peaks in the winter months when people have made New Year’s resolutions and home workouts are not likely to grow overall. There are a few companies that have grown rapidly in the home workout market and they are rare exceptions. Most notable is Peloton but most other equipment makers are targeted at clubs or have not been nearly as successful as Peloton in reaching consumers buying home workout equipment.

– Community in gym workouts is the top motivator for consumers to go to gyms. The data are not clear whether the social motivator for going to gyms is the obligation to a trainer or class or whether the social interactions consumers have with fellow members is the catalyst or whether it’s just having other people around. But social experiences at gyms is by far the highest motivating factor for joining and going. Having a professional setup in a gym is also rated highly.

– Technology development in fitness is growing and consumers are driving that growth. Although technology is not spurring more interest in home workouts, fitness apps are widely used at gyms and in outdoor workout and fitness settings. Fitbit is the best known of such devices; interest in that specific product has peaked. (Google has agreed to buy Fitbit, no doubt to leverage the health information it has gathered. With revenues and earnings off its peak, the deal could be a good way to reinvigorate the brand.)

I recently caught up with my colleague, Kim Karmitz, who has been studying the fitness industry and is on a related panel of experts for the upcoming Fitness and Active Brands Summit next month. That conference is awarding innovative fitness startups and, not coincidentally based on the LatentView data, its awards are largely to fitness technology companies. The technology driving fitness now breaks down into three categories: performance improvement, experiencing the gym in new ways and marketplaces.

Coaching And Performance Improvement

Two companies are using new technology to help amateurs be better at their sport with real-time, personalized instruction that uses artificial intelligence (AI). In the video below, the female voice you hear is an AI program created by a company called Asensei which puts sensors in your workout clothes to monitor your movements. It can then give you highly specific instructions about how to move your body based on what it senses through your clothing. At the moment, it works for yoga and rowing and Asensei is developing other sport modules. Asensei is working with apparel manufacturers to incorporate its technology into branded garments.

A different approach to market is being taken by another company, Sensoria whose founder previously ran a $14 billion business at Microsoft. Sensoria has taken an “Intel inside” approach to developing a platform for wearables of all types that uses artificial intelligence to help amateur athletes perform their sports better. The video below demonstrates how Sensoria helps a runner perform better, faster, safer, with greater endurance. Sensoria’s software can be incorporated into any garment or footwear by a manufacturer.

Moving The Gym To New Venues

Two companies are changing the way gyms are experienced. One brings gaming into gyms. If you’re over 40, Black Box VR will not be very interesting. But if you’re under 40, it will be one of the most interesting, exciting things you’ve ever seen. A user in a gym puts on a virtual reality headset and attaches to weights made for the purpose. A video game begins in which there’s no hand-held controller, the user’s body movements control the game. As the user moves, the weights are lifted. Because of the weights a user gets a complete workout by the time a game is over. If you love playing video games but are not highly motivated to work out in a gym, this will bring you in and keep you there. Like other video games, it is always changing and evolving based on your skill. It is designed to be played either against the computer or against other people who can be either nearby or anywhere else in the world. The video below demonstrates.

Another company called Forte moves the gym class to any other location in the world. It installs hardware and software into workout studios and gyms to bring live and on-demand fitness classes to consumers when they can’t make classes at the gym. Interestingly, Forte has found that consumers prefer live classes because they are real and authentic over recorded or repeated content. Consumers want new content all the time and don’t want to watch a repeat of exercise classes they’ve already taken. It’s consistent with the LatentView data indicating that social experiences are a key driver of gym memberships.

A Forte customer participating in a class

Courtesy Forte


Like so many other sectors, gyms and fitness are seeing the development of marketplaces that match providers with users. One of those is Athlete’s Guide, a digital marketplace that connects NCAA athletes with high school athletes to help them train better and mentor the younger athletes. The appeal of the experience is for high school athletes to work with a role model in something that the younger students are highly engaged with. Parents of high school students like it as a way to enhance their child’s skill as well as keep them involved with sports.

Athlete’s guide workout

Photo credit Busta Anderson

These technology-driven businesses are the kind of companies that are now driving the fitness business. Consumers interest in new fitness technology coupled with the continued desire for gyms is clearly how consumers want to manage their own fitness. Whether gyms and studios can keep up with the desire for new technology will determine their future success.

Karmitz says that data gathering is one of the economic drivers of new technology in fitness and gyms as we are already seeing in the acquisition of Fitbit by Google and that there will be more such deals. Karmitz points out that having Google enter the industry proves that big tech companies want to be players in the industry, won’t be afraid to invest big money and will push valuations up. She says the market now is in a land-grab mode, companies that can get on a path to gather consumer data and sell their technology profitably will be highly valuable in the future. That means timing is important now in the fitness business. No one knows how long this trend will last and companies that can embed their technology into consumer habits and gain share will become highly valuable. Their investors will be able to exit at very attractive multiples. Companies that don’t have the resources to grow now may miss the trend. As a result, we are likely to see a lot of technology innovation in the fitness and gym industry as well as a great deal of capital coming into the industry.

3 Program Ideas for Group Workouts

There’s no question that group workouts are growing in popularity. Noted as a fitness trend that we’ll be seeing even more of in 2020, they offer a fun and convenient way for people to exercise and deliver a sense of community.

As outlined in 8 reasons your gym needs to offer group training; there’s a host of benefits to providing this type of class. Plus, you can tap into a new market that you might not be reaching already. If your studio is new to the idea of group fitness, it can be hard to know where to start. In this article, we’ll outline how to create group workout programs that’ll keep your members happy, motivated, and coming back for more.

Skip ahead to:

  • Build a Community
  • Plan Your Program
  • 3 Program ideas for group workouts
  • Density Workout
  • Metabolic Conditioning
  • Strength Training

Build a Community with Group Workouts

There are a ton of benefits for both your business and your members in group workouts. Compared to a gym-only member; exercisers are 26% less likely to cancel a group class, and 35% remain loyal compared to 29% of gym attendees.

Group training is an opportunity for your members to become part of a community. This will increase your retention and beyond fitness goals; the sense of belonging is what will keep your members turning up to class and coming back. However, a community won’t build itself! It’s up to you to foster this kind of environment. Here are 4 ways to develop and maintain a sense of community with group fitness at your gym.

1. Personalize Your Service

Get to know your class members individually. It will build a sense of trust, make them feel appreciated, and help you bring everyone together. Once you establish regular members for the class, you could introduce a ‘member of the month’ feature. Create a profile detailing their fitness progress so far at your studio. Add some information about their life outside of the gym; this can help members get to know each other better.

2. Create a Challenge

Get your members feeling motivated and excited to work out in your class – create a class-based challenge that pulls everyone together. Keep the task simple; the goal here is to encourage a bit of light-hearted competition. At the end of the class, for example, split members into two groups. Choose a basic exercise, like jumping jacks, that everyone’s comfortable with and have the teams complete it for as long as they can. The first team with someone to stop looses.

3. Offer a Referral Program for the Class

You may already have an effective referral scheme in place, but there’s nothing wrong with tailoring one specifically to your classes. Try hosting a bring a friend week, where members can bring a friend along for free. Some people find going to a class for the first time intimidating, but going together with a friend makes it more accessible. It’s a great way to allow a new prospect to get a taste of the class.

4. Use Social Media

Get your members involved and engaged outside of your studio! Post photos of your group in class and tag their social accounts, or share them on your Instagram stories. If they’re engaging with and resharing the content, it’s essentially free marketing for your business.

Plan Your Program

When you start planning the physical exercises that you want to include in your program, you’ll need to consider the format. Think about elements like how long the class should be and what part of your studio will work best for group workouts.


Try to keep classes at a 6:1 ratio of members to trainers to make sure everyone has the best experience. A good structure for group workouts helps coaches get the best out of members and enables members to create a foundation for more advanced training later on.

For example, many group classes like HIIT workouts follow a timed interval formula as it’s a great way to get everyone working up a sweat and keep training engaging and fun. But this wouldn’t be right the setup to teach members more sophisticated techniques. For teaching these moves, experiment with a format that lets members hold a movement or execute it slowly and steadily so they can understand the method and how to perform it right.


All group workouts should start with a warm-up. It gets the muscles ready for exercise, and it’s also great for getting members in the right mindset to take on the class. What you choose for your warmups will depend on the class. As a guide, plan a 5-10 minute dynamic warm-up focusing on the following areas:

Loosen up. Focus on the muscles and parts of the body that will be getting used most during the class. This is also an excellent time to check if your members have any injuries or tighter muscles that you might want to focus on – you could incorporate foam rollers as part of the warmup to help.

Stretch. When your members aren’t exercising, most will spend a lot of their day hunched at a desk; putting a strain on their knees, hips, and spine. Incorporate movements that extend, stretch, and lengthen, especially in areas like the back and hamstrings.

Full range of motion. As above, many people are sedentary throughout the day, so its good to get all of the joints moving. Even something as simple as jump squats is perfect for this.


Not everyone can train large groups of people; group exercise is very different from personal training. Group exercise will bring together people of all different fitness levels, and things can get hectic!

If you plan on teaching the class yourself and are comfortable in your ability, you’re off to a strong start. If a staff member will be taking the class, have them give a demo class beforehand so you can see if they’re suited to the role. The best way to get comfortable is with practice, and you can learn how to teach a great class by taking part in different classes yourself to see how it’s done.

A safe and effective group workout needs to include a variety of exercises to address different areas and muscle groups. Let’s begin with some warm-up ideas to get everyone going.

8 Dynamic Warmup Exercises

Complete the activities below for 30 seconds each. You can swap some options out, or change them up, depending on the space you have to work with.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Walking nee hugs
  • Side shuffles
  • Squat to stands
  • Back peddling
  • Leg swings
  • Inchworms

Think about combining a mixture of aerobic, strength training, and flexibility exercises to improve long-term fitness. It’s easiest to split workouts into categories, as it helps to narrow down what practices you’ll use in the class. To give an outline of a program guide for group workouts, let’s say you’re offering 3 classes a week. One will be a density day, one will be for metabolic conditioning, and one will focus on strength.

1. Density Workout

A density workout is based on how much you’re able to do in a set amount of time. High-intensity interval training is a great structure to use for this type of group exercise. Try formatting the class to include 30 seconds on each exercise, for two rounds, then a 15-second rest. This is a pretty straightforward structure to follow; it will make keeping an eye on all of your members easier and free you up to help them if need be.

This video from Heather Robertson is a good example that you can adapt to suit your class; we’ve listed some exercises you can swap in below. The video includes a 5-minute warmup.

Video workout round 1:

  • Knee drive (R)
  • Knee drive (L)
  • Jack press
  • Russian twists
  • 1 arm swing (R)
  • 1 arm swing (L)
  • Boxer burpee

Alternative exercises to incorporate:

  • Battle Ropes
  • Dumbbell chainsaw row (right arm)
  • Dumbbell chainsaw row (left arm)
  • Battle Ropes
  • Butterfly crunches
  • Ball slams
  • Air bike
  • Wallball toss
  • Battle Ropes
  • Lunges

2. Metabolic Conditioning

Metabolic conditioning involves intense, quick burst exercises to maximize calorie burn; both during and after your workout. This workout from Tone and Tighten is a good example to get you started. The video uses a 30-second interval format with 7 exercises. We’ve also outlined an example of a program you can split between two groups below.

This format is best suited to a class of members who’ve tried HIIT workouts before, as it uses intense drills. Set a time frame of 12 minutes and have members work through the exercises at each station as many times as they can before time’s up.

Station 1

  • Deadlifts x 12
  • Russian twists x 30
  • Pushups x 12
  • Bent over dumbbell row x 12 (each arm)

Station 2

  • Barbell squats x 8
  • Dumbbell bench press x 8
  • Renegade rows x 8 (4 each side)
  • Kettlebell side bends x 12

Finishing round
3 rounds at 30 seconds each

  • Kettlebell squats
  • Mountain climbers
  • Ball slams side to side

3. Strength Training

Strength training focuses on resistance to contract the muscles. Long-term, this improves bone density and anaerobic endurance. (And of course, strength). This 30-minute workout from Bodybuilding.com outlines a simple yet effective strength workout that you can easily adapt to suit a group.

We’ve outlined another example group workout for strength training below, for this, you’ll need to set up two stations. Split your class into two groups and have them swap over after 15 minutes. You can adapt the method where you need to, depending on how many members you have in a class. This mainly applies to the finishing rounds, so we’ve outlined a few examples to choose from for this section. These exercises should be steady, with members move straight on to something the next round.

Station 1

  • Deadlift x 6
  • Pull-up x 6
  • Kettlebell swings x 12
  • Burpees x 6

Station 2

  • Kettlebell single leg deadlift x 8 (each leg)
  • Push press x 8
  • Cable X row x 8
  • Shoulder taps x 30

Finishing round
3 rounds at 30 seconds each.

  • Battle ropes
  • Sled pushes
  • Ball slams
  • Dumbbell squats

In Summary

Group workouts are at the heart of boutique fitness, and we know that this is more than a fitness fad. Boutique fitness has reshaped the fitness industry and with it; changed the way people are working out. Venturing into group exercise is an exciting time for any fitness business owner. It’s a trend that’s only getting bigger, so even if you start small, it’s a concept you need to embrace. If you do it right, you’ll see new referrals coming in, and your retention rates increase. And you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t offer group fitness sooner!

9 Energizing Group Fitness Class Ideas

Group fitness classes have exploded in popularity in recent years, with new signature workouts popping up left and right. It isn’t enough to just get a few certifications and teach Zumba, barre, and cycle. As a group exercise instructor, you must build your own personal brand and design your classes so that they stand out. To get people out of the house or away from boring gym routines, you need exciting group fitness class ideas that will revolutionize the way people view working out. If you can transform exercise from a chore to an experience, your clients won’t want to work out with anyone else! These group fitness class ideas will help you share the joy of movement and keep students coming back to your studio.

1. Make it a themed class

Choose a theme and plan your playlist and outfit around it. Ask your students via social media or email to come to class dressed in costumes, but make sure whatever they wear will still allow them to meet the physical demands of the class. For example, you could host an ’80s-themed exercise class where students come in legwarmers and lots of neon colors, or a superhero-themed class where they can wear T-shirts and colored leggings. As a finishing touch, plan a mixer after the class, with refreshments that go along with the theme. For a Harry Potter-inspired class, that could be colorful juices from a local juice bar that are labeled with the names of potions from the series.

Explore Peerspace

2. Sweat for a good cause

Partner with a local charity and donate a portion of your group exercise class proceeds to their cause. This way, you can leverage both your and the organization’s networks, garner some good publicity through your local media outlets, and support something that is meaningful to you. Consider charities working on natural disaster relief funds, building homeless shelters, or operating food pantries. Do some research to find out what the most pressing needs are in your local community.

If the organization prefers in-kind donations, set up donation bins in your workshop and ask attendees to bring in donations of canned food, clothing, blankets, toys, or whatever the need might be. This is among the top group fitness class ideas for the holiday season.

3. Get the whole family moving

Make your class family-friendly to draw in even more students. You may have to modify your usual workouts for little ones, but opening your class up to all ages can be a great way to win over busy parents who otherwise would not be able to attend. Elevate the experience by providing snacks and setting up fun activities like games and coloring stations, so kids can play and parents can mingle after the class.

4. Host a mashup

Put all of your certifications to the test with a mashup class. Or, partner with other instructors at your studio to host one big epic class. For example, for an hour-long class, you can host four different styles for 15 minutes each. Or, you can simply choose two complementary classes like Zumba and Pound for music-lovers. Just be sure to provide information about each part of the mashup to new students beforehand. This way, everyone can be prepared for each type of class.

5. Let clients bring along a friend for a day

It’s always easier to hit the gym when you have a workout buddy. Ask all of your regulars to bring a friend (or two!) to class with them, and offer them a discount on future classes as an incentive for doing so. This is a great way to gain new clients and motivate regulars to keep coming back.

6. Host a cooking demo after class

Food and fitness go hand in hand. So why not partner with a chef or dietitian to host a cooking demo? It can be as simple as a smoothie recipe or as elaborate as a three-course meal, depending on what your venue provides as far as kitchen appliances and dining space. Be sure to send out a survey to everyone who registered for the class to make sure you take note of any allergies and/or dietary restrictions before you finalize the menu for the cooking demo.

Explore Peerspace

7. Get out of the studio

Ditch the shiny floors and floor-length mirrors to host your class in an exciting new setting! A spacious loft, an industrial space, or even an art gallery — you can make anything your studio. Find and book a unique venue for your fitness class on Peerspace. Unlike most venues, our spaces only charge by the hour (and sometimes an hour is all you need for a class). You don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel to give your group fitness class ideas a makeover. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to reengage students and get new clients hooked on your class.

8. Take it outside

A night of Zumba under the stars? Or maybe indoor cycling… outdoors. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re willing and able to move the equipment! Find a park with a spacious lawn, or if your gym has basketball courts outside, set up there. You can also find outdoor venues on Peerspace. If your students love the outdoors but prefer the style of indoor classes, among the best group fitness class ideas is this, as it works as a compromise. In addition, it offers an opportunity for everyone to get out into the fresh air without disrupting their favorite workout routine.

9. Pick a playlist theme

Theme your class around a playlist! You can pick two artists and, for example, call the class “Taylor Swift vs. Lizzo” (or insert musicians’ names). Gather input from your regulars by putting a song request box out at one of your earlier classes, or send out a request for song suggestions on your social media or email list. Once you have a good number of songs that fit the theme, design your workouts to fit the music.

Group exercise doesn’t have to involve the same old routine every week. Whether you’re teaching Pilates or cycling, you can use one of these group fitness class ideas to create a memorable experience for your clients.

While there’s no “right” way to get sweaty, there’s no question that fitness trends can influence how people work out. And with the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual survey, we’re getting a look at what’s going to be big this year. They’ve pinpointed the top fitness trends of 2018 to watch for, and chances are, if you haven’t gotten in on any of them yet, you just might soon.

Published in the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, more than 4,000 fitness professionals (including trainers, exercise physiologists, and fitness directors) gave their thoughts on the trends they think will be big in 2018. The survey respondents represented organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, National Council on Strength and Fitness, and The Cooper Institute. The responses were international, too, coming from 41 countries across the world and nearly every continent.

In the survey, the ACSM made an important distinction between a trend and a fad to the participants. While a trend was defined as “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving,” a fad was “a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period.” (Shout-out to ’80s Jazzercise and ’90s Tae Bo.) For the purposes of this survey, the ACSM was interested in trends, which have more staying power. Survey respondents were asked to rank 40 potential fitness trends on a 10-point scale, where 1 was least likely to be a trend in 2018, and 10 was most likely to be a trend in 2018.

Here are the top 10 fitness trends of 2018, according to the pros—and what you need to know about each one.

1. High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (or HIIT) took the top spot in this year’s survey (it was also number one in 2014). A HIIT training session involves bursts of maximum-effort, very hard work (typically about 20 to 90 seconds), followed by a period of low-intensity recovery. The goal is to recover enough that you can go hard again during your next work interval. If you’re a beginner, you might have longer rest intervals, or work intervals that are challenging but not at maximum effort.

The ACSM says HIIT workouts are typically 30 minutes or less, although they can be longer. But while they may be short, they definitely aren’t sweet. As the name suggests, HIIT workouts are designed to be high intensity, and a major part of the appeal is that they’re an incredibly efficient and effective way to get your cardio in and burn lots of calories (if that’s something that matters to you) without requiring a ton of time.

That said, because they’re so intense, you shouldn’t be doing HIIT workouts every day. This can lead to overtraining and an increased risk of injury (which survey respondents expressed concerns about, according to the ACSM). Read more about how to correctly do HIIT workouts here.

2. Group Training

Group training (or group fitness classes) didn’t make the top 20 trends until 2017, but their popularity is rapidly rising. The ACSM defines group training as a workout for five or more people led by an instructor, designed to be motivational and effective for people of different fitness levels. This could be anything from trendy HIIT classes like OrangeTheory Fitness, to dance cardio classes, to old-school step classes at the YMCA.

No matter here are plenty of benefits of group fitness classes. They can be a great way to try a new workout or mix up your routine (many boutique fitness studios offer free or discounted first classes, as a bonus). There’s also a social aspect—classes can be a fun way to sweat it out with friends or meet new people. Plus, when you sign up for a class, you’re committing to your workout, which can help you stay on track with your routine.

3. Wearable Technology

Activity trackers, smart watches, and heart rate monitors are as popular as ever—if you’re into seeing your workouts by the numbers, wearable technology can give you interesting feedback about how you move. Many estimate your steps, sleep, standing time, calories burned, and time spent working out.

Top Fitness Trends For 2018: Back To Basics

Fitness routines that require little equipment, such as yoga and high-intensity interval training, are predicted to be more popular in 2018. Ryan J. Lane/Getty Images/iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption Ryan J. Lane/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fitness routines that require little equipment, such as yoga and high-intensity interval training, are predicted to be more popular in 2018.

Ryan J. Lane/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Enough already with the activity trackers and fitness apps. They’re so 2017. If you’re tired of tech and of exercising solo and are ready to simplify your routine — maybe even join a group exercise class — you’ll be in good company this new year.

The latest annual survey of fitness professionals suggests 2018 will find more of us ditching the gadgets and getting back to basics in the way we work out: more resistance training, yoga and jump-ropes; fewer earbuds and iWatches.

In the recent survey, the American College of Sports Medicine checked in with more than 4,000 fitness professionals around the world and asked them to look beyond marketing and discern exercise trends from fads.

Among the top findings: Many of us prefer quick fitness routines, perhaps because we’re busier than ever. For the second year in a row, the survey’s results show high-intensity interval training tops the list of fitness trends, according to Walter R. Thompson, a research physiologist at Georgia State University and president of the ACSM.

Typically, the high-intensity routines are simple, Thompson explains, involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting or jumping rope, followed by a short period of rest or recovery, and can take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Best of all, “it works,” says Dr. Robert Sallis, a family and sports medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, in Fontana, Calif. The quick, high-intensity routines are designed to stress the body in all the areas affected by exercise, from the heart to the muscle to the metabolic system, and “all are pushed to the limit,” Sallis says.

Equinox’s rope class involves exercising with a jump rope. Courtesy of Equinox hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Equinox

Equinox’s rope class involves exercising with a jump rope.

Courtesy of Equinox

The body’s response to that is to function more efficiently, he says, so it allows us to get into shape quicker than moderate-intensity exercise. Sallis points to studies showing that just five to 10 minutes of high-intensity exercise can deliver the same results as 45 minutes of moderate exercise can.

If you’re not an athletic 25-year-old, you can still benefit from increasing the intensity of your workout, Sallis says. Just check with your doctor first, and get guidance on how to adapt the routine to your own physical status and limits.

“As we get older, our muscles are not as elastic and pliable and we may not be able to tolerate these intense workouts,” Sallis says, “so it’s important to go into them gradually — maybe once a week and work up to perhaps three times a week.”

For example, he says, if you’re accustomed to jogging at a moderate pace, you might try pushing it up and go as fast as you can for a block or two before returning to your normal pace. Do that every five minutes or so during your jog.

Back-to-basics routines surge in popularity

The No. 2 fitness trend as we head into 2018 might surprise you: group exercise classes, with minimal equipment.

Based on the new survey, Thompson says fewer people will be plugging in their earbuds and zoning out on fancy new pieces of electronic gym equipment.

“Commercial clubs are moving away from the shiny new bells and whistles into more basic kinds of exercise programs.” This means more simple things like body weight exercises, lunges, pushups and planks.

If there is equipment, it is likely to be minimal, such as weights, body bars, kettle bells or jump-ropes, according to Amy Dixon, director of group fitness programming for Equinox Fitness Clubs, a global network of gyms.

Dixon and colleagues have come up with a new high-intensity interval training class that centers on the old-fashioned jump-rope.

“Obviously jump-roping has been around since our childhood,” she says. “But we added style.” And weight. Her classes include two jump-ropes — one lightweight agility rope and one weighted rope called “the fury.”

“That’s the big boy,” she says, “and you have to work a little bit harder. You change your grip on the handles to turn the rope and it improves your vertical leap. And, when you do that you’re able to work harder and sustain high intensities.”

During her classes, participants alternate between jumping, cardio drills, and kicking and punching moves that are inspired by martial arts. The entire workout lasts just 30 minutes.

Exercising together beats exercising alone

The jump-rope classes also offer what individual exercise often does not — a connection to others, motivation and supervision from a pro.

“In our clubs, those who work out in group classes are the most consistent,” says Dixon.

Thompson says research suggests this “connection” to others in working toward a common fitness goal can make a big difference in being able to stick with a routine — which may be why personal training is less popular this year and group training is up.

“Wearable technology” as fitness aids — including activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices — certainly haven’t gone away, Thompson says, they’re just slipping in popularity, according to the survey.

At first, Thompson says, “everyone wanted to talk about wearable tech because it accurately counted your steps and heart rate; but it turns out, that’s all it did.”

One workout that holds steady in popularity, year after year, Thompson says, is different types of yoga.

“Yoga instructors continue to reinvent themselves and create new forms of yoga so that the program doesn’t become the boring same old exercise every time you walk into the gym,” he says.

Money Crashers

Group fitness classes such as Zumba and Spinning are a lot like fashion in that, as Heidi Klum says, “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.” The beauty of this ever-changing industry is that there are always new, creative takes on traditional exercise classes, as well as the promise of never-before-seen experiences.

If you’re interested in spicing up your workout routine, then consider the many new group fitness classes taking place around the country, and check local listings to see if you can find them in your area.

Creative Group Exercise Trends

For the Dancers

If you love Zumba, chances are you’ll love these classes, too.

  • Broadway Bodies. Think “Glee,” in real life. With studios in New York and Los Angeles, students dance and sing their way through a workout, embracing their inner divas while waving their jazz hands.
  • Bokwa. Perfect for students with two left feet, Bokwa choreography is based on “spelling out” numbers and letters with your body. Once you’ve mastered the steps for the letter “C,” you’ll know exactly what to do when the instructor includes it in a sequence. After picking up the footwork, keep things exciting by adding arm and hip movements.
  • BUTI. A mix of tribal dance, plyometrics, and yoga, BUTI increases your heart rate and keeps it high throughout this full-body routine.

Both Bokwa and BUTI are available at select studios and fitness centers around the country.

For the Beach Bums

Wish summer would last all year? Make the most of every day with this beach body workout.

  • SURFSET. Even if you’re stuck in a landlocked state, SURFSET classes enable you to “catch a wave” on a special surfboard made specifically for group exercise. While taking part, you must balance on the board while moving through a series of body weight exercises all designed to help you burn calories, increase strength, and improve balance. Classes are popping up around the country, so check for locations on the SURFSET website. Formal classes supply the board for you, but if you want to try this trend at home, you can purchase a board for personal use.

For the Yogis

When your traditional asanas start to feel a little tired, add some power to your yoga routine.

  • CrossFit Yoga. Yes, you heard that right. Offered at Momentum by IRON in Los Angeles, this exercise combines the intensity of a CrossFit workout with the graceful flow of a yoga routine. CrossFit, or the “sport of fitness,” is focused on short, high-intensity training programs designed to improve strength, cardiovascular health, agility, and power. By adding yoga to the mix, you can also improve flexibility – another important factor in total-body fitness.
  • OnBoard SUP. Take your yoga routine to the water. The OnBoard SUP classes offered in Southern California feature yoga flows performed on a standup paddle board. Challenge your balance and limber up while enjoying the tranquility of the water.

For the Fighters

When you want to blow off some steam after a tough day at work, you can’t go wrong with these kickboxing twists.

  • 9Round. Unlike other group exercise classes, you don’t have to be tied to a schedule to complete this workout. Since a new round starts every three minutes, all you have to do is show up and join in. Led by certified trainers, 9Round moves you through nine three-minute stations in a circuit, performing “old school” boxing and kickboxing exercises designed to condition and strengthen your body. With 30 locations currently open and 60 more franchises sold, there’s likely to be a 9Round center near you soon.
  • Barre Brawl. Who says dancers can’t be fighters? The Barre Brawl class incorporates the killer leg exercises of a ballet-inspired barre workout with intense kickboxing sequences. Barre Bee Fit studios are currently open in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis, with locations opening soon in Dallas and Detroit.

For the Rock Stars

  • Pound. Let your inner drummer come alive as you pound out your cares using lightly weighted drumsticks as you move through cardio, Pilates, and plyometric exercises. You can burn up to 900 calories per hour without even realizing it as you jam out to your favorite tunes. Pound classes are available across the country and online.
  • CYC. Forget traditional group cycling classes, and take things up a notch. CYC studios in Madison, Wisconsin, and Austin, Texas base their choreography around the music in every workout. With themed rides such as “One Hit Wonders” and “Beyonce and Jay-Z,” you can let the music move you as your workout flies by.

Final Word

Variety is the spice of life, and while it’s important to find and stick with a workout you love, there’s certainly no harm in trying something new. And as experts in the fitness field know, cross-training actually makes you a more well-rounded athlete, targeting weaknesses you may not even realize you have. So go ahead and skip your 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and test out a new class. Even if you decide it’s not right for you, the experience will keep your routine fresh and fun.

Which group exercise programs have you tried recently?

3 Ways to Make Your Group Fitness Classes More Effective

Great group fitness instructors are constantly looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of classes to keep members coming back for more. While this typically includes refining exercise selection, adding new tools, tricks and toys, as well as varying the music we play, I’d like to explore three ways we can increase our effectiveness that have nothing to do with the typical top three.

The landscape of fitness, in general, is changing. With the increase of boutique studios, small-group training programming and more convenient methods of getting your sweat on (think apps and on-demand players), a group fitness instructor needs to take a look in the mirror and make sure he or she is still relevant. Let’s take a look at the three P’s of professional group fitness instructors that will help you stand out this year.


Personalize certainly encompasses the standard protocol: learn names, greet members, talk to the newbies and offer modifications. But, what I’m suggesting goes beyond these common to-dos.

Truly personalizing the experience in your class means understanding that there are three different types of “group” participants:

1. Social participants come for the interaction. They like high fives, they’re vocal, they like team challenges or partner work, and they want credit for showing up.

2. Competitive participants need the group environment to push themselves. Some seek an instructor’s approval or public recognition, but some simply compete in silence, using the performance of others in the room to help them get the most from their workouts.

3. Agnostic participants come for accountability. They like putting workouts on their calendar, they live somewhere in the middle or back of the room and they want little attention, but they like the structure and education that comes with group classes.

Start by realizing you fall into one of these categories and your workouts and cues typically come from a place of what you need in a group class. Take stock and commit to rounding out your class to address the needs and motivation of each group. Make sure there’s time for socialization, but if someone doesn’t want to be social it won’t affect the workout. Include some competitive elements, but don’t let the push to go harder, faster and better hijack the experience for those that couldn’t care less. And, yes, we must let some people BE and call what they’re doing good enough.

Remember that your participants’ goals and motivations are unique. Your job, in a group setting, is to acknowledge, but know you can’t win them all. It is better to focus on the promise of the specific class that you’re teaching. If it’s a cardio class, give them the best cardio experience. If it’s strength, give them the best strength experience. And then educate participants about how it all comes together and the additional resources at the facility available to help each individual reach his or her goals. You don’t have to be everything to everyone—health and wellness is a team sport and it’s time all professionals in the industry realized this. You play a very important role, but it is just one part. As they say, it takes a village.


Building on the team concept from above, to be more effective you must recognize the consumption of group fitness is a bit different now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Not only are the class types different, and more diverse than ever, many members hold more than one membership or utilize non-traditional resources to get their group fitness fix. More than ever, group fitness connoisseurs scout the options and craft their perfect workout experiences with the class schedule at the club, other options at local boutique studios, as well as additional resources that are convenient and personalized, such as apps and on demand programs.

This shouldn’t be viewed as a negative, but as an opportunity to reprioritize your goals in class to ensure the experience the members have is exactly what they need at that very moment, and that your contribution to their fitness journey aligns with their overall needs. It’s time we become less obsessed about creating a group of regulars and coming up with ways to keep people in our classes week after week, month after month and year after year. Trust that being a part of a member’s journey is incredibly important. Empowering people to do what they need to live their most-fit lives is the best gift you can provide.

With this in mind, here is your new game plan:

1. Prioritize purposeful education.

Consistently educate participants about the goal of the class you are teaching in that very moment (endurance, strength, flexibility, stabilization, etc.) and how this singular workout fits into the grander scheme. Educate them about complementary workouts and resources for additional wellness topics such as nutrition, sleep and stress reduction. Give up the notion that you must be everything to everyone; your worth is in being the conduit for the member.

2. Prioritize positive experiences.

Beyond anything participants receive, they should leave the studio with a positive feeling which will help them stay committed to getting to a healthier place. Refer to the personalization information from above, as creating positives experiences is very different for each person that is in your class. Allow enough flexibility in your plans to be certain everyone has a chance to “get it right.” Planting opportunities for small victories throughout your class is a great way to leave everyone feeling good after any workout. For example, during the warm-up for a strength class have everyone perform 20 body-weight squats and provide one singular focus, such as keeping the chest up. Have participants partner up and give the other person a thumbs-up when they are keeping their chest up. Think of more scenarios such as this to plan throughout the workout.

3. Prioritize planned outcomes.

Provide a promise based on the description of your class and then stick to it. At the end, reframe what happened during the class and congratulate the group on the outcome. Pair this with educating on how this fits into the member’s bigger fitness journey and reflect on all the “wins” each person achieved along the way. This is the recipe for creating fans for life.


Finally, plan, plan and plan some more. You can’t personalize if you don’t plan. And you can’t prioritize if you don’t plan. If you’re still winging it and trusting the music and entertainment value of your performance will you get you through, you will start to see your numbers dwindle. Your overall effectiveness as a group fitness instructor hinges on these three ingredients:

1. Research

Read, listen and watch anything you can get your hands on for updated ideas, techniques and tools. Utilize professional resources, including those offered by ACE, from inside and outside of the fitness industry. Get to conventions; don’t rely solely on online resources. But also keep an eye on the consumer side of things as well, if only to debunk myths and answer questions your participants might ask. Take classes, watch reality television, subscribe to the “fun” magazines that dole out fitness advice. Never stop researching.

2. Review

Review your own performance. You may not get an annual review like clockwork at a club, but you should constantly review how you’re doing. After each class, take a moment to reflect. Did your plan go well? What could you have done better? How did people react? What did you promise for next week? What do you need to research? Don’t wait for someone to tell you how to up your game—take it upon yourself to continuously push yourself to grow.

3. Reinvent

Finally, know that what made you “popular” in 1997 is not the same thing that will make you a trusted resource now. Members are different. Fitness is different. YOU are different. Respect that—honor it. You were put on this planet with a specific talent that speaks to a specific group audience. Find the intersection of your knowledge, passion and interest to keep yourself excited and engaged.

Today’s article is from Laura Jackson. A few weeks she shared with us her story about leaving her corporate job starting her bootcamp for women. Today she is sharing part 2 on how she took that new bootcamp to a consistently full classes.

I’ll let her take it away. – Kyle

When I first launched FIT CHICKS, we had 1 location in Toronto and 7 chicks showed up. Within a year, we had spread like wildfire to over 20 locations across Canada and were receiving daily emails and phone calls from women wanting us to launch programs in their area.

We didn’t spend thousands of dollars on marketing.

At the time we had a very limited website with little functionality.

But we were in HIGH DEMAND (and have been ever since).

So what did we do that was different than our competition?

The reality is there are a million bootcamps, classes and trainers that your clients can choose from. So why are they going to choose you and CONTINUE to choose you?

It’s not for the coupons, discounts or time slots that you offer classes.

The BEST way to build SOLD OUT programs is to not focus on HOW to get clients into your class BUT to focus on WHAT you are delivering at EVERY class. (And we will show you how..read on)

Here are 4 of our tips to building awesome (and packed!) classes…FIT CHICKS Style!

1. Create A True Experience

When it comes to teaching boot camp, one of the biggest mistakes trainers make is not creating a true EXPERIENCE for their clients. Yes, they may teach killer classes and workouts but they are losing clients and not understanding why.

The thing is people are not just paying to get their booty’s kicked, but for the full experience they have in your class…(or they would just join the gym!)

Think about a hairdresser. When choosing a salon where you get the same awesome haircut, would you go to the dark, drafty place where no one knows your name (or cares to know it!) OR the bright, warm, cheery studio where you get a warm intro and a nice cup of tea?

Both offer the same great product but I guarantee you would be choosing to spend your time and money where you feel comfortable, appreciated and is fun any day of the week!

The same goes for boot camp classes. You have to not only focus on the workout but the WHOLE experience your client is having at EVERY class.

In every FIT CHICKS class, we make a clear introduction of what the workout is for the day, what to expect from the workout pattern and how awesome the class is going to be to get the PUMPED. Throughout the workout we offer levels so EVERY chick can be included but always challenged. And we wrap up the classes with the same energy we started with and give a sneak peek what to expect at the next class.

We know all of our clients by first name, follow up outside of class with weekly tips, recipes and workout videos and have a packed exclusive Member’s Only section.

Clients know when they join us, they will not get this type of community, class or awesome support anywhere else and we make sure we deliver it EVERY class.

Stop treating your classes as just a workout and start creating “experiences” like no other. You will stand out from the competition in no time!

2. Include ‘Make It Memorable’ Moments

Your clients are your BIGGEST marketing tool. They are walking testimonials, social media marketers and the best referrers your classes will ever have.

But they can not do that for you if you are not giving them something to talk about.

At FIT CHICKS, we ensure that every class includes a “make it memorable” moment. This has to be something that your clients would not get anywhere else. It will leave your clients thinking “Wow, that was totally unexpected / challenging / crazy but awesome!” and telling their friends, coworkers and family “You will never believe what Susie had us do at boot camp last night….it was INSANE!”

Examples could be a super cool partner drill, a fierce challenge, an exercise that is completely “out of the norm” or a crazy, fun boot camp game.

Just remember, when planning EVERY class, that you are including a stand out / make it memorable moment that will keep your peeps coming back for more and telling others how awesome your class is!

3. Create Signature Workouts

At FIT CHICKS, we offer what we call our “signature workouts”. These are high intensity interval patterns that you can ONLY get at our locations including “The Dirty 30”, “Fab & Focused”, “The Eliminator”. “54321” and “8 Steps to Fabulous” to name a few. (Click here to download a free copy of a our FIT CHICKS Signature Workout “54321 – Give me all you got girl!“)

By creating workouts that are signature to our brand, our style and our vibe, we are able to deliver consistency across locations but also use them as great marketing tools for our programs.

When you create signature workouts, you are providing your clients something they know that they can not get these at ANY other gym or program.

They feel value. They feel exclusive. They feel special.

And they will pick YOUR class over the competition because they KNOW your “signature workouts” are awesome.

4. Make It Different… Every. Single. Time!

I can’t tell you how many boot camp classes I have been to where the clients come in, roll out their mats and put their stuff in the same spot. At every class!

It honestly feels like the “Ground Hog Day” of boot camp for the whole session aka BORING.

This is a big NO NO. If your clients wanted routine, they would def not be joining a boot camp program.

They are looking for something different, unique, challenging and FUN.

To make sure you always deliver for them, your workouts and exercises should be different at every class (even if you create a signature workout pattern, change the exercises!).

The way you set up and use your indoor and outdoor space should be different.

Where you stand. Your music. Your equipment. Your warm up. Your stretch.

Different EVERY time.

Your clients should feel excited about what is about to happen at every single class.

You want them to feel FOMO (ie. Fear of Missing Out!) so they WANT to come to every class so they don’t miss one of your incredible workouts.

And the more they attend, the more results they get and in turn, the more peeps they will tell to help build your classes.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many people you get in your classes if you can’t keep them. Your clients have to love it, see value and want to bring their friends, families and coworkers to check it out.

Focus on delivering true experiences, “make it memorable” moments, signature workouts to YOUR brand or style and make it different – every single time.

If you do, we can almost guarantee that your clients will fall in LOVE your programs so much that they will do the selling for you!

Have a fab day!


PS. Want to add these strategies but not sure how? Don’t stress – we cover in depth how to create and build sold out programs in our upcoming 200hr Fitness & Nutrition Expert Certification online program to help you rock in the bootcamp biz and doing what you love.

About Laura

Laura Jackson is Co Founder / Head Chick of FIT CHICKS, the largest women’s only fitness company in Canada. With a focus on fierce fitness for ALL women, FIT CHICKS offers 8 week award winning boot camp style programs at over 20 locations as well as weekend health retreats and at home DVD programs. Since its launch in 2008, FIT CHICKS has helped thousands of women get fit and fierce.

Certified Personal Trainer, IDFA Fitness Competitor, Culinary Nutrition Expert and Holistic Nutritionist, Laura is the TV Host of “Shape Up with FIT CHICKS” on Rogers TV. She is also a fitness and nutrition contributor to national publications and TV Shows such as The Huffington Post, National Post, Breakfast Television and CTV Morning Live as well as a health blogger for The Calgary Herald.

Laura’s passion & commitment to women’s health has also earned her the title as 2015 Top 3 Fitness Professionals in Canada by Can FIT Pro and 2013 Stevie Award for Women in Business – Health & Wellness Company of the Year.

Laura will continue her mission of getting women pumped about health on Season 9 of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, bringing FIT CHICKS “Fierce In 8” DVD programs to The Shopping Channel in Jan 2015 and the internationally recognized Fitness & Nutrition Expert certification program for female fitness professionals.

Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.

Fitness Class A-Z

Gym & Workouts

Looking for a class to kick-start your fitness? Here’s an A-Z guide of the different fitness classes out there.

Looking for a class to kick-start your fitness? Here’s an A-Z guide of the different fitness classes out there.

So, you have made the decision to get in better shape through exercise and like the idea of doing so in a group environment or fitness class. The camaraderie of a fitness class – along with the motivation, instruction and expertise of the instructor – can help to ensure you get the most out of your workout. With options including different forms of aerobics through to circuit training, boxercise, dance and yoga, you’re sure to find a fitness class to suit you.


is for Aerobics

Aerobics is one of the earliest forms of class fitness, doing pretty much what is says on the label; engaging your aerobic system. It involves the repetition of movements to music, getting the calories burnt and the heart pumping. Whether you prefer a more dance and choreography based class or just a simple workout, aerobics varies from class to class and is all about what you prefer and what intensity you desire.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Low
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Ranges between classes
Benefits CV improvement, weight loss, increased bone density


is for Bodypump

The great thing about Bodypump and other resistance classes is that it’s a great way to add some weight training, working the whole body, and burning a decent amount of calories- around 600 for a 1hour class. Set to music, the class involves doing weighted reps to varying beats and speeds, working legs, back, arms, triceps and abs. If you increase the weight, bodypump is great to push you strength and improve fitness and resistance ability, more so than simple body conditioning classes. Its also a great place to start if you’ve never weight trained before, as you can learn new exercises and establish good technique – very important for weight training!

CV fitness rating Low
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Low
Benefits Improves strength and muscle definition, weight loss, great place to start for weight/resistance training


is for Crossfit

If you’re looking for a challenging new class to push your limits then crossfit is for you, combining a mix of exercises including olympic weightlifting, calisthenics, cardio and interval training. Crossfit definitely gets your heart pumping and muscles working hard. This class if definitely not for the faint-hearted, but is a great way to get fit quick! Crossfit improves nearly all areas of exercise due to the spectrum of exercises involved including; fitness, mobility, strength, balance, endurance, flexibility and so on. You won’t be feeling bored after a few classes of this, due is expansive inclusion of different exercises and equipment, crossfit targets a variety of muscles whilst making you work hard and keeping you on your toes.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Works nearly every area of fitness, high in cardio and resistance training, improves endurance, flexibility, balance and so on.


is for Dancercise

Dance can be one of the best exercises to tone your body and strip you of fat, without feeling like you’re slaving away in the gym. Great for toning up those abs and building glutes and leg muscles, dancercise is a great way to add a bit of fun and variety into your normal cardio training. You wont turn into the next dancer on the west end, but you will certainly feel the benefits of burning some calories and injecting some fun through popular music routines. Dance classes are a lot of fun and tend to be very sociable – plus the high concentration factor means you’ll hardly be aware that you are doing a ‘workout’. That said, there are so many different types of dance to try that you are sure to get the hang of one of them.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Low
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity High
Benefits Improves coordination and rhythm whilst working the cardiovascular system


is for Extend

Is perfect for the older generation and those with disabilities to have some fun and add a bit of exercise to their routine, without the hard impact of regular fitness classes. Extend is a great way to include the benefits of a fitness class without the strain of regular classes. Carried out in a chair, you may think that a workout sitting down isn’t much of a workout, but even those with good fitness levels can work hard and feel that burn whilst sitting down.

CV fitness rating Moderate
Strength rating Low-Moderate
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Low
Benefits Helps relieve symptoms of age and disabilities, whilst a good addition of fitness and exercise.


is for Fusion

Getting bored of your bog standard spin or yoga class, then fusion is the answer for you, fusing two or more types of exercise together to make you work twice as hard. The combinations of different fitness classes means you get double the benefits, anywhere from fitness and endurance to flexibility and mobility, anything and everything involved in exercise is improved in some way by fusion’s combinatory nature. Anything from Hydroride, Piloxing and Disco yoga, the combinations are endless, it’s just about finding a class that appeals and works best for you.

CV fitness rating Moderate-high
Strength rating Dependent on the type of class
Flexibility rating Dependent on the type of class
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Multiple benefits from the varied forms of exercise, including fitness, strength, duration


is for Gymnastics

Dont worry, were not expecting you to embark upon an olympic career after joining a gymnastics class, but gymnastics can be great to gain overall body strength, flexibility and balance. Unlike weight training, gymnastics is a great way to gain overall body strength in one session, as you’re not just using the one or two muscles with resistance, instead you are fully engaging entire body strength, particularly working that core. Gymnastics is a great way to sculpt and tone your body, burning those calories with calisthenic exercises, whilst limbering you up and helping you into the splits in no time!

CV fitness rating Low
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating High
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Flexibility, strength -particularly core- and balance


is for HIIT

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a popular exercise amongst many athletes and gym-goers, burning up a crazy amount of calories for such short periods of exercise. Putting your body in anaerobic mode, whilst strengthening and working muscles and the cardio system. As a great all body workout and perfect for short gym sessions, HIIT is great for those who are stuck for time to exercise. 20 minutes of HIIT, three times a week, showed a significant increase of body fat than those doing longer periods of steady-paced cardio.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits Fat and weight loss, improving fitness considerably and strengthening the muscles


is for Insanity

Combining cardio, resistance and circuit training, using no gym equipment but purely bodyweight resistance, insanity does what it says on the label, work you body to insane levels. As one of the hardest workouts, insanity pushes your body to the max in set routines over weeks, using three-minute intervals and 30 second recovery periods. Insanity increases your cardio and strength intensity with high-impact exercises and demanding interval programs. Perfect for those who have limited schedules and cannot find time to go the gym, insanity is perfect for working the body hard without the time or money commitment.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Burns a high number of calories, and builds fitness and muscle strength


is for Jumping®

Jumping® is the crazy new fitness class that involves a high cardio workout of basic choreographed jumping around on an individual trampoline to fast paced music. As an exciting new form of fitness. Jumping is a great way to increase your cardio whilst working the legs and bum. Any youtube video will show a high energy leg workout as the class does some fast paced jumps whilst holding on the handles. Guaranteed to burn those calories whilst working those muscles.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits Has a high cardio yield whilst engaging muscle tone and strength


is for Kickboxercise

Boxercise and kickboxercise are derivatives of boxing and kickboxing and use the drills and techniques of their respective sports in a non-contact setting, usually in the form of a circuit. For example, you might find yourself shadow boxing, skipping, using punch bags or teaming up with a partner to punch or kick focus pads. Both are considered one of the best all-round high intensity exercise classes to get you in great shape. One study found that people felt more calm, more focused and less anxious after a kickboxing class. Taking out all that aggression on a punch bag can therefore be a great stress reliever!

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Improves technique, fitness and muscle strength. Plus punching out your built-up stress or anxiety


is for LBT (Legs, Bum, Tum)

LBT is great if you have certain areas to improve, instead of a general fitness improvement or weight loss aims. As a fully toning class, this is not ideal if you are looking for a high cardio class, as this works you hard, but is focused on area improvement instead of a general workout. Including a variety of exercises such as crunches and squats, these conditioning classes are great for trimming up any problem areas. But don’t worry, these classes will still push you hard, working those muscles and burning those calories, brilliant for weight loss when combined with a cardio exercise.

CV fitness rating Moderate
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Low
Benefits Ideal to teach you technique and additional exercises, muscle conditioning and strength


is for Metcon

Metabolic Conditioning, or Metcon for short, is similar to HIIT and Insanity, involving short, fast-paced interval training, aimed at increasing your metabolism and cardiovascular capacity. Metcon involves a full body workout of exercises such as push-ups and squats followed by shuttle runs and high knees. The combination of body resistance training with high-paced cardio training makes for a full cardio and weight training workout at high intensity, hitting every area of the body. Stuck for time and need a class that will work every area of your body? Then Metcon is perfect for those of us who have limiting schedules.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits Weight loss, muscle tone and strength, increased fitness and stamina


is for Nia technique

Nia is a new form of exercise thats ideal form of low-impact dance exercise, engaging both the mind and body through cardio movements and strength training. Concerning 52 dance movements, inspired by a variety of dance forms, including modern, tai chi and taekwondo to a multitude of music genres, whilst mixing it up with a bit of yoga. If you’re getting bored of the standard dance classes, nia-technique is a less impactive and alternative version of regular dance exercise, whilst still engaging the cardio and strength forms of exercise.

CV fitness rating Moderate
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating High
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Strength increase, less intense cv improvement and increased flexibility and balance


is for Outdoor Bootcamp

Perfect thing about outdoor bootcamp is its a high intensity workout, but you still get to enjoy some fresh air and the outdoors. Most fitness centres will offer some form of a bootcamp, as one of the first fitness classes, demanding a high intensity cardio and muscle workout. Improving both your fitness and stamina, whilst helping you gain strength and muscle definition. If you like a tough trainer encouraging you to power through the elements and your workout, then bootcamp is perfect to go military style and get your body working.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits Increases stamina and fitness, improves strength and muscle definition.


is for Pilates

Similar to yoga, Pilates uses controlled movements, calming the mind, but demandng more of your muscles and control than the balance centred yoga moves. Pilates usually involves alternating and repeating movements whilst holding your body and core still and controlled. This exercise is perfect for cooling down after some cardio, yet still engaging your muscles for a hard workout, whilst clearing the mind and learning good breath control. If you’re getting bored of resistance training, pilates is a great alternative to really engage your muscles and improve core strength and stability.

CV fitness rating Low
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating High
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Benefits Improves muscle strength, flexibility, balance and mobility, and improves relaxation


is for Quads and Glutes

Similar to LBT, targeting areas is great to get in a high intensity muscle workout, particularly if you are struggling for exercises to do by yourself. But only best used when you want to improve on muscle strength and muscle endurance, if improving cardio or weight loss, weight training is still key, but you would probably benefit from other classes that include both cardio and resistance training. Perfect for establishing a good technique and developing leg muscles, adding this class to your list will mean you will never skip leg day again!

CV fitness rating Low
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits Improves muscle strength and endurance, toning and shaping the upper leg


is for Rope Training

Such a simple form of training, but rope classes are a great way to include an intense muscle workout whilst having a bit of fun! Let’s face it waving big ropes around as fast as you can for a short period of time is a very intense workout, feeling it in the upper body immediately. Plus when working together the motivation bouncing off each other is ideal to get those arms pumping faster. Sometimes trying new things in the gym can be daunting, for fear of doing it wrong or looking weak and feeble, but joining a rope class is a great way to get started without the funny looks you may get in the gym.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits Despite the static movement, the high intensity gets the heart pumping and the muscles working hard


is for Spin

Being around for a while, spin is a very popular class, perfect for a very high intensity cardio and leg workout. It is doubtful that anyone has walked out of a spin class without being covered in sweat and out of breath. Spin class is a great high-cardio class, getting those legs working and heart pumping to some motivating music as the instructor pushes you through the climbs and sprints. Perfect for weight loss and fitness stamina, whilst working the leg muscle to add strength and tone.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Low
Benefits High CV workout, improving fitness and stamina, whilst aiding leg muscles strength


is for Tai-chi

Tai Chi has been described as ‘meditation in motion’ — and one look at a Tai Chi class in action will tell you why. It is a slow, flowing sequence of movements, known as ‘the form’, which has been practiced in China for centuries. There is a strong focus on how to breathe, drawing in your mind to focus on your body and its precise movements. Well known for being a good stress reliever, research has shown that Tai Chi can help to lower blood pressure, improve the body’s immunity and alleviate back pain. Perfect if you’re in need of a more relaxing and cooling fitness class.

CV fitness rating Low
Strength rating Low-Moderate
Flexibility rating High
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Benefits Improved coordination, balance, posture, flexibility and a good stress reliever


is for Urban Rebound

Urban rebounding is similar to Jumping, involving fast paced bounces of a choreographed routine to music, to tone a variety of muscles, including abs, legs and arms. Focusing on the range of motions, involving the arms and abs to add variety and addition to a simple trampoline workout. As a great cardio workout, Urban Rebound encompasses all the benefits of improved fitness and weight loss, whilst engaging a less intense muscle workout, to keep the muscles in check without overdoing the intensity.

CV fitness rating Moderate-High
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Improves fitness and weight loss, Strengthens muscles and aids mobility


is for Voga

Is your exercise routine missing a bit of 80’s flare, well Voga is the perfect addition for you! Combining yoga stretches and the 80’s dance style vogue, is a great way to add a bit of fun and sass to your workout. Although not as relaxing or engaging the same deep stretches f yoga, voga gets the heart pumping a little more than yoga would, and adds a bit of musical fun to your class. Plus who can’t do with an extra bit of sass in their workouts?

CV fitness rating Low-Moderate
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating Moderate-High
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Engages the CV system, increased flexibility and balance and endless fun for your workout.


is for Werq

Werq is a new form of dance fitness, combining a variety of dance forms and aerobics moves to embrace your sexy and fierce dance moves. Mainly dance based, for those who have two left feet, this one is probably not the ideal class for you, but otherwise, is a fun addition and alternative to standard zumba classes, embracing more of your hip-hop and salsa side. A great cardio boost, getting the heart pumping and sweat pouring, a great way to burn some calories and improve fitness.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity High
Benefits Burns a high calorie rate aiding weight loss, fitness improvement and stamina.


is for XSport

XSport is a fitness group that has developed their own new class, aimed at adding the edge for athletic performance for whatever aims you have. Competitive drills and circuits aimed at enhancing results from your standard workouts. These workouts of high intensity are not for the beginner, but someone in need of an increased addition to a standard workout will suit XTC well.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating High
Flexibility rating Low
Complexity Moderate
Benefits High intensity means high CV and weight training, improving fitness, strength and stamina


is for Yoga

Yoga strengthens muscles, improves joint flexibility, and enhances balance, coordination and posture through a series of diverse poses.There are many types of yoga. For example, ashtanga yoga is more energetic than viniyoga. Yoga works on the whole body without favouring one side (unlike daily life!), and includes forward and backward bending, twists, balances and inversions. Focusing the mind of breathing and balance to relax and centre your mind.

CV fitness rating Low
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating High
Complexity Low
Benefits Aids relaxation, balance, flexibility, coordination and breathing control.


is for Zumba

One of the nation’s favourite dance classes, Zumba, is the perfect way add a bit of rhythm and fun into your workout schedule. Based on a mix of Latin dance choreography from styles such as salsa and rumba, Zumba is a cardiovascular and aerobic exercise routine that alternates between fast-paced and slow paced dance moves. The workout tones the body by using repetitive, resistance exercises which work in a way similar to interval training due to the varying speeds at which the routines are performed. This makes it a fun and uncomplicated way to learn quite difficult dance moves and means you need relatively little dance skill to get into Zumba.

CV fitness rating High
Strength rating Moderate
Flexibility rating Moderate
Complexity Moderate
Benefits Burns calories, increases fitness, stamina, suppleness, mobility and weight loss


Improve flexibility, build strength, and develop control and endurance in the entire body through controlled movements.

Relax your mind and improve your flexibility through various levels of this physical, mental, and spiritual practice.

A unique exercise program that blends together Pilates and yoga.

Group Cycle
Build endurance and make some competitive friends in the process with this group fitness class.

The ideal workout for anyone looking to get lean, toned and fit – fast.

Les Mills RPM™
A group indoor cycling workout where you control the intensity. It’s fun, low impact, and you can burn plenty of calories in the process.

Les Mills SPRINT™
A 30-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, using an indoor bike to achieve fast results.

Les Mills BodyCombat™
A high-energy martial arts-inspired workout that is totally non-contact.

Les Mills BodyFlow™
A yoga-based fitness class that will improve your mind, body, and life.

Les Mills CXWORX™
A challenging exercise that works the muscles around the core.

Les Mills GRIT™
A 30-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, designed to improve strength, cardiovascular fitness and build lean muscle.


Aqua Fit (Any Level)

A shallow water, medium intensity workout, using water and equipment for resistance to strengthen muscles and increase endurance.

Boom! Fit for Life (Any Level)

Class designed for anyone needing to improve balance, core strength, and stability. Light weights and stretch bands are used for resistance training, light dancing, and chairs are incorporated throughout class to make workout appropriate and fun!

Bootcamp (Any Level)

Utilizing primarily body weight exercises, this class challenges your cardiovascular and muscular stamina. All exercises can be modified to fit all ages and fitness levels.

Hustle & Flow Step – Any Level

Need a calorie busting, total body workout that will have you pouring sweat? Then come join this party, with a fresh mix of pop, R&B, and hip-hop, partnered with fun dance moves. You’ve never experienced a class like this!

HydroBox – Any Level

Experience the BEST of cardio and strength! HydroBox crosses generations with choreography that features an edgy kickboxing flavor. Enjoy this high energy water class suited for all fitness levels.

Pickleball – Seniors Only

Come join the fun in a game resembling tennis in which players use paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. This time designate for seniors only.

REFIT – Any Level

This class creates fitness experiences that change people from inside out, by focusing on the heart as a muscle AND a soul. People don’t have to get fit in order to be fit at REFIT – workouts are designed for everybody regardless of age, shape, and size.

Spin – Any Level

Get a great sweat in with 50 minutes of fun and hard work on the bike. Utilizing various pedal speeds and intensity levels, this class will provide participants with a great cardiorespiratory workout.

Spin HIIT – Any Level

On the spin bike, certified instructors will lead participants through various timed intervals with short spurts of rest, utilizing speed and resistance variables. Sure to deliver a fantastic workout!

TABATA – Any Level

Want to accomplish a great workout but you’re limited on time? TABATA is your answer! A form of high intensity interval training (HIIT), TABATA is a total of 4-5 TABATA intervals, utilizing body weight exercises.

TABATA Water – Any Level

Utilize the 4 min. High Intensity Interval Training protocol of TABATA in the water. Get your heart pumping and calories burning while benefiting from low impact in the pool.

Twinges In The Hinges – Any Level

Designed to improve range of motion, flexibility, and muscular strength. Low impact and low intensity. Takes place in the heated therapy pool.


Yoga classes improve flexibility and core strength. Classes are for beginners to advanced yoga enthusiasts.

Chair (Any Level)

This gentle yoga practice consists of using a chair for seated poses, as well as a balance point for standing poses. Perfect for anyone who has balance issues or are not comfortable with getting onto & up off the floor.

Core Centered (Any Level)

Core centered yoga strengthens and empowers the body, mind, and spirit. This practice aims to teach students to communicate with the body and build their core, focus, and strength, establishing inner mental and physical power. Please bring own mat.

Fusion Flow (Any Level)

Carefully crafted fusion of several yoga styles geared to build your yoga practice from the ground up. The flow of sequences will build strength and flexibility, allowing you the opportunity to grow your practice, no matter your skill level. Bring mat.

Gentle Flow (Any Level)

An all levels class incorporating yoga postures, breath connected with motion, and a focused mind to improve balance & flexibility. Tone the body, tune the mind, and dampen your stress response. Learn calmness, focus energy, and regain inner peace. Bring mat.

Vinyasa Flow (Any Level)

A flowing, dynamic sequence of yoga postures that synchronizes mindful movement with the breath, allowing student to become more engaged and focused. This all-levels class is for anyone from beginners to the more advanced. Please bring own mat.

Zumba – Any Level

Grooving to beats of salsa, flamenco, and merengue music feels more like a dance party than a workout. This Latin-inspired dance workout is one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world. You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome.

Zumba – Water (Any Level)

Blends Zumba philosophy with water resistance, for a pool party you shouldn’t miss! Less impact on your joints so you can really let loose. Water creates natural resistance which means every step is more challenging helping increase muscular strength.

New fitness classes 2017

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