Are Workout Classes Worth It – Our Science-Backed Breakdown

Are Workout Classes Worth It – Our Science-Backed Breakdown

July 1, 2023

Chances are, you’ve seen a Crunch group class during a solo workout at one of our locations. Maybe you’ve even wondered if a certain class might be worth trying out. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not workout classes deserve the hype, we’ve put together a science-backed assessment of group fitness classes, what they have to offer, and how they can help you reach your fitness goals one workout at a time.

While the ultimate decision is still yours to make, we’re confident that our research will help change your opinion on group fitness and maybe even convince you to try one out for yourself.

The Benefits of Group Fitness Classes

While group classes offer countless benefits depending on the types of exercise they involve, we mostly care about the overall benefits of these classes when gauging whether they’re worth your time and money. To that end, we looked into two main types of benefits, which are:

Health Benefits

At face value, group fitness classes offer obvious health benefits by ensuring good technique and providing better structure for your workouts. When you go a bit deeper, however, you’ll find that these health benefits are far greater than you might expect.

Part of this has to do with the way that humans are hard-wired to try and match the people around them. For fitness, studies found that this habit often meant more effort and engagement for people who work out with a motivated partner or in group settings.

And, since effort is key to success, finding an environment that pushes you to excel can mean better results in the long run.

Social Benefits

Just like studies find that people work harder in a group exercise class, they also showed a significant increase in enjoyment compared to solo workouts. In a two-week survey of almost 100 gym-goers, scientists found that people who felt like they were genuinely part of a group reported not only better results but more happiness and satisfaction after a group fitness class.

Importantly, this benefit only applies to instructors and businesses that recognize the value of emotional quality in their classes. While expert guidance and high-end equipment are amazing, they only work when used in a positive, community-focused environment.

That means that you shouldn’t settle for any class or gym unless it makes you feel like you belong.

people working out

How Much Are Group Classes Actually Worth?

Because many gyms include certain classes in the price of a normal membership, it can be challenging to evaluate the real value of any one fitness class. To get a better perspective, it helps to compare group exercise classes like those offered by Crunch Fitness to so-called “boutique fitness classes,” as well as average personal trainer rates.

Boutique Class Prices

Generally, these classes are run in a small, dedicated space that offers limited normal workout facilities, if any. While prices vary depending on location, the type of boutique fitness class, and package deals, the average attendee can reasonably expect to pay between $20.00 and $60.00 per session. For individuals who prefer taking multiple classes per week, these ultra-expensive fitness classes can quickly become unsustainable.

Personal Training

With one-on-one personal training, you have to factor in the trainer’s experience, the length of your sessions, and how many sessions you schedule per month. At Crunch Fitness, for example, our expert, certified trainers typically charge between $50.00 and $100.00 for a dedicated session.

While this may seem more expensive than boutique fitness classes, it’s important to remember that one-on-one training is usually meant to address specific goals and often provides faster, more profound results than other types of training.

Membership-Included Classes

Some gyms include group fitness classes in the price of monthly membership fees. For our purposes, we’ll use our Peak Results package to determine value. Though a Crunch Peak Results membership varies slightly depending on location, the average monthly cost is about $29.99. For this fee, you gain everything our facilities have to offer, including access to unlimited classes from a constantly-updated list of programs.

Even if you only attend one group fitness class per week, this puts you on par with the most affordable boutique businesses, which charge $20.00 per class. At two classes per week, you’ve already more than paid for the value of your membership, and every class beyond that just increases your value that much further.

Group fitness classes with women

Which Group Fitness Classes Are Most Effective?

Even the most niche group class can yield results with the right instruction, motivation, and resources. That said, history and science have shown that some group workouts work exceptionally well to help you achieve specific goals. Some of the most effective are:

HIIT Classes

Also known as high-intensity interval training, HIIT classes combine circuit-style training with unique, challenging tools like tractor tires or weighted sleds to skyrocket weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, and get you into shape.

Spin Classes

With the right instructor and a good group of fellow cyclists, few settings match the over-the-top energy of a spin class. First pioneered in the 1990s, these classes have rapidly grown to become one of the most popular types of group exercise in the world.

Today, Crunch Fitness continues this tradition with our Rhythm, Ride, and Remix classes, each of which was designed with results and fun in mind.

Strength Classes

Whether it’s weight training or Pilates, strength-based classes are one of the best tools for those interested in building muscle. Due to the booming popularity of these classes, many gyms offer a huge variety of strength classes, both with and without weights.

Additionally, many instructors double as strength-centric personal trainers, so members who want to devote even more time to building impressive muscles can often find one-on-one attention from the people they already trust to run their group classes.

Yoga Classes

Even more than the usual benefits of exercising, yoga classes can lower stress levels, reduce blood pressure, and help you center yourself to better deal with whatever life throws your way. With all of these advantages, it’s no wonder that yoga is one of the most popular types of group fitness classes in the world.

Where to Begin

If you’re currently a Peak or Peak Results member, the first step of your group fitness journey is as simple as showing up for a class. For those who have a specific goal in mind, check out our information on classes near you to get a better feel for what your area has to offer.

While our Base plan doesn’t offer access to group classes, we still invite those members to use our free trial class pass to sample our group classes. By the end of your trial, you’ll either know that a membership upgrade is in order or walk away with three days of free expert instruction. Either way, you’ll end up with some no-strings-attached value and a new perspective on how to stay active.

Crunch’s group fitness classes promote a culture of fun with no judgments. It’s an environment for all types of individuals with various goals. Find a Crunch gym near you to try our free trial membership, or join Crunch now. Your goals are made to be crushed. With Crunch, you’ll have the tools, resources, and support to make it happen.

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