Intensity Levels Of Group Fitness Classes

Intensity Levels Of Group Fitness Classes

September 16, 2023

Let’s be honest. If it were up to every one of us to determine how challenging a fitness class can be, we would all declare our exercises to be the most difficult of them all. 

We must remember that only some classes will be the same whenever we join group fitness classes. Each group class has a particular goal based on the intensity level, type of training session, personal trainer, or coach, among other factors.

We are here to discuss how hard group fitness classes are, the various intensity levels, the benefits each specific group exercise class can provide for your physical and mental health, and the factors influencing a workout routine in group exercise classes.

Understanding Intensity Levels 

When someone discusses the intensity levels of a fitness class, they refer to how hard their body works during physical activity. Their fitness goals, health, and current fitness level are essential in determining their ideal intensity class level.

Typically, we can identify three different levels of intensity: Low, Moderate, and High. Classifying a group class needs to take into account three methods for assessing the magnitude of a group fitness class:

  • Exertion rating scale
  • Talk Test
  • Target heart rate
  • Exercise routine

When the heart rate increases significantly, for example, that signals that our body is exerting a lot of effort—an indication that the training session we are undergoing could be either a moderate or high-intensity class, depending on how fast our heart is pumping.

Factors Influencing Intensity 

Besides some examples we have already mentioned, some other external conditions can also influence the intensity of a group exercise class, such as: 


The instructor responsible for the group class training session is a significant variable in determining the hardness level. The intensity can vary depending on the class’s objectives, the instructor’s experience and expertise, and the difficulty level the trainer chooses for the workout routine. Several group fitness classes offer an excellent fitness program. Still, if the instructor is unfamiliar with the class methodology, it can disadvantage the group.

Participants of the Class 

Believe it or not, the individuals participating in the group class can also play a crucial role. Depending on each person’s fitness level, experience, and effort, you can perceive the intensity of the course differently. The group’s atmosphere and energy levels can also influence this perception.

Class Format, Duration, and Routine 

Each exercise group follows a distinct format aligned with the specific goals of the class. Factors such as the duration and type of routine are determined and implemented to achieve the class’s objectives.

Now that we have discussed the intensity levels and the factors that contribute to the difficulty level of a group fitness class, it’s time to provide some examples for each difficulty category.

High Intensity Group Classes 

(Weigh Hard Cardio, The Athlete’s Workout Classes)

people in group fitness class

High intensity group classes are ideal for gym users with prior experience in workout routines and considerable time spent training at a moderate intensity level. The goal of high-intensity group classes is to challenge you, push your body to its limits, and provide an experience of a high-energy, intense routine.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and CrossFit are examples of high-intensity group classes. These offer full-body workout routines that combine strength and aerobic exercises. These classes are ideal for pushing your capabilities to the maximum and discovering how far you can go regarding your fitness objectives.

While anyone can try high-intensity group classes, we recommend starting with a gradual progression if you are new to high-intensity classes or have yet to gain much experience in the fitness world.

Some benefits of high-intensity group classes include the following:

  • Increases your strength 
  • It keeps your heart healthy
  • Help you burn high fat percentages

Moderate Intensity Group Classes

(The Ride, HIIT, The Road Heavy Milage Classes) 

people in ride class

Moderate Intensity group classes are suitable for gym users who want to experience a well-rounded training session that challenges them without pushing them to their limits. Moderate intensity aims to enhance participants’ fitness levels, equipping them with the tools to progress to the next level with greater ease and enjoyment.

Cycling classes and Circuit Training fall under moderate intensity group classes. A reasonable level of intensity should induce sweating, and your breathing rate should allow you to converse with someone else while performing the routine.

Moderate intensity group classes provide a more enjoyable experience for new gym users seeking a higher-intensity group fitness class. You will find these lessons enjoyable and demanding without taking unnecessary risks.

Some benefits of moderate intensity group classes include the following:

  • Reduce the risk of risky medical conditions 
  • Improve sleep disorders 
  • Support better brain function. 

Low Intensity Group Classes 

(Mash-up: Zumba vs. Hard Knocks, Antigravity Yoga Classes)

antigravity yoga

Low-intensity group classes are ideal for individuals just beginning their fitness journey without background or prior experience. This approach sets the tone for initiating your fitness path, providing essential tools and elements to build the necessary strength for progressing to higher fitness levels.

Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, and Gentle Aerobics fall within low-intensity group classes. However, don’t be mistaken—just because they are low-intensity level classes does not mean you are not engaging in a functional workout or building strength while practicing the routines.

Anyone can join the low-intensity classes and will find them enjoyable and effective, regardless of their goals. Low-intensity classes improve body flexibility and enhance mental well-being alongside strength and fitness conditioning.

Some benefits of low-intensity group fitness classes include the following:

  • Stress reduction 
  • Relaxation 
  • Lower blood cholesterol and sugar levels

Group Fitness Classes World 

Group fitness classes offer an enjoyable and dynamic approach to efficiently pursuing your fitness goals. We encourage you to try out every category level and style you’re interested in experiencing. Incorporating various classes enhances your workout routine and improves different fitness aspects, contributing to an even better overall experience.

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. 


If I am starting a fitness lifestyle, what should I do? 

Ask a personal trainer or team staff to help you find the perfect fit for your needs and fitness goals. They will help you to have the best experience possible. 

Should I go to the classes daily? 

Even though it is essential to be consistent with your routine and workout sessions, it is also important to listen to your body. Resting and giving yourself a break is okay to keep working on your fitness goals healthily and correctly.

Is the group environment important?

Group settings and environments will always be crucial in every workout class. To develop intrinsic motivation in the class members, a warm class setting and a functional fitness routine must create a positive experience in the class environment.

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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