Fitness classes at the gym

If you're looking for variety in your workout then look no further than exercise classes. Flexibility, cardiovascular, resistance-training, core, and more.

If you're looking for variety in your workout then look no further than exercise classes. Flexibility, cardiovascular (CV), resistance-training, core, and combinations of all these disciplines are available with gym classes.

Training in a group or class is motivating and fun. Participating in a range of exercise classes is an excellent way of building all-round fitness and any good health club or fitness center should offer a wide range of studio group sessions.

A wide variety of venues are also generally available, including:

  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Sports centres
  • Gyms
  • Community centres
  • Dedicated studios, for example: Pilates or yoga studios
  • Outdoors

How much are fitness classes?

Class prices are generally inexpensive and gym membership isn’t always necessary as non-members can sometimes pay solely for the classes. Additionally, discounts may be available for block bookings. Sessions run in non-dedicated venues such as community centres are unlikely to have additional facilities, for example changing rooms or showers, but the class prices will reflect this.

What fitness class to join?

When choosing an exercise class, there are several key points to consider:

  • Qualified Instruction
    The class should be run by a qualified instructor in the relevant discipline. Separate qualifications are necessary for different types of classes.
  • Accredited instructors
    The government-supported Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) accredits instructors at three different levels. Your instructor should be accredited for class instruction.
  • Suitability for your fitness levels
    The class is suitable for your fitness levels. Your health club should offer a range of classes throughout the week that cater for different levels of fitness. Some classes are suitable for every fitness level, while others require a course of classes to be completed to build exercise knowledge (for example: Pilates). If in doubt, discuss your concerns with the instructor at enrolment.
  • Adaptability of class to suit abilities
    The instructor should check on each member’s fitness levels and adapt the class as necessary so that everyone can participate.


Guide to exercise classes

The health and fitness industry is continually evolving and it can sometimes be difficult to know which class to enroll for and what the exact benefits are. Here’s our guide to help you decide which exercise classes are most suitable for you:


Exercise class Description Additional information

High energy and intensive all-over conditioning class Excellent all-over cardiovascular and resistance training
Concentrated class focusing on specific and controlled movements Need to follow a course of classes as techniques build each session

A mind and body relaxing flexibility class An intensive ‘Power’ type class

Guaranteed to improve flexibility

Also incorporates Cardiovascular and strength elements
Gentle, weight-supported swimming pool class Ideal for rehabilitating injuries, starting out or returning to fitness

Quite intensive cardiovascular workout

Can be pitched at various levels but need basic cardiovascular fitness to fully participate

Aerobic workout centred around movements on a step Similar to standard aerobics class

Shape and tone
All-over toning class Ideal for a gentle workout
Over 50s
All-over mobility class Tailored towards 50+ exercisers
Gym ball

Core stability workout

Specific exercise routine to strengthen core muscles
Stretch and flex

Relaxing flexibility session

Suitable for any level of fitness and beneficial for everyone

Intensive cardiovascular stationary bicycle class Great for leg training, usually intensive

Crew class
Group rowing machine class

Can be both intensive or more controlled, focusing on technique

Outdoor circuit-type training

Often early morning sessions, based in parks or open spaces. Can be intensive. Excellent for all-over conditioning

Don’t forget when taking an exercise class …

When you start your class, there are a few basic precautions that you should take, which will also enhance your enjoyment and the benefits that you gain from your exercise.

  • Hydrate
    Always take a bottle of water into your class to maintain your hydration levels. Most classes are run in a studio or sports hall and temperatures can rise considerably. To make sure you don’t overheat, top-up with water or a sports drink at frequent intervals.
  • Jewellery
    For safety reasons and to avoid damaging expensive items, it is wise to remove jewelry and watches before the class begins.
  • Gym clothing
    Choose light, comfortable kit for your class as you are likely to break into a sweat at some point!
  • Check for exits
    On starting the class, make sure that you know the emergency exits, not least because you may suddenly feel that you need to take a break or get some fresh air!

Whichever exercise classes you choose, you are certain to enjoy an inexpensive, fun and motivating way to kick-start or progress your fitness. Simply select your exercise class type, turn up and go for it! You could enjoy a broad range of fitness gains.

If you are looking to join a gym, why not use our Find My Nearest facility to help you find a gym or personal trainer.

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