The American College of Sport Medicine releases an annual survey that identifies the biggest trends in fitness for the year ahead. In 2017, group fitness classes broke into the top 20 for the first time. For 2019, it ranks at number two!
“As more and more boutique gyms with a unique class offering are opening, many folks are finding that their own local gyms have so many more interesting class options than they used to,” commented Margo Donohue, an AFAA certified fitness instructor for 8 years and co-host and producer of the Fit Bottomed Girls podcast. “Smart programmers are creating interesting schedules that are engaging more of their members to take classes versus just using the cardio equipment and leaving.”
If you’re a total extrovert, these classes can boost motivation, provide a social outlet, and add a layer of accountability. If you’re an introvert, you share those benefits but may not have a particular interest or desire to show up. If you struggle with the desire to go, but feel painfully shy, stay in the back, let the instructor know you’d like to be left to your own, and take a friend who provides you a safe zone.
Gyms and niche boutiques aren’t going to tire of the old standards anytime soon, like Body Pump, Zumba, Spinning, and Pilates, nor should they. But if you feel like you need a break or enjoy experimenting with your workouts, these are some of the hot new group fitness classes on the scene this year.
If you like the physicality of kickboxing, or just want to beat the hell out of something, Muay Thai adds knees and elbows to an 8-point strike system (compared to kickboxing’s 4-point).
If you love rowing but don’t love the isolation, dive into the hot new scene of group rowing classes. Intensify the experience that complements this raging calorie burn.
Climbing gym openings have doubled in the last 10 years, fueling a surge in interest for this outdoor sport that’s got a lot of indoor appeal. Rock climbing offers a laid back experience that provides a rigorous total body workout.
These classes focus on everyday movements that develop range of motion, core strength, and flexibility that provide a foundation for strength that easily supports your effort in other workouts.