A Beginner’s Guide to Group Exercise Classes

Although beginning a workout regimen can be scary, group exercise courses for beginners make becoming fit more manageable than ever. Depending on the format, some classes may require special equipment or be more advanced than others.

It is helpful to arrive at class a little early to familiarize yourself with the environment and to let your instructor know you are new. It will help you avoid taking a class that is too challenging for you.


Barre classes are low-impact workouts that target muscle toning and strengthening. This class format often incorporates strength, core, and cardio exercises into one 60-minute session. Many gyms have branded and trademarked barre classes, and these classes have specific objectives that are consistent wherever the class is taught. Other gyms have a more open-ended approach to barre classes, allowing instructors to create unique routines.


Pilates is an effective full-body exercise that strengthens and tones significant muscles. It also helps improve balance, posture, and flexibility. Despite its simple movements, it’s a challenging workout that requires precision and focus. It’s best done with an instructor and can help prevent injuries, especially if you’re new to the format.

There are several types of pilates classes, including mat and reformer. Mat Pilates follows the classical system and is ideal for beginners or those with back pain. Reformer Pilates is a more advanced option with a bed-like frame, platform, and springs to provide constant movement that burns more calories.

Both styles are suitable for any fitness level, but some instructors specialize in specific areas like pre and postnatal pilates, diastasis recti recovery, or pelvic floor stability. Some studios offer private, semi-private, or small group sessions. Some even have dedicated instructors who can tailor a workout to fit your individual needs and fitness goals.

There are also hybrid classes that combine a variety of disciplines to create an intense workout. This class is challenging, but it’s a great way to tone the body and burn fat. If you’re looking for a new type of workout, consider these group exercise classes in San Jose.


HIIT workouts may seem intimidating, especially for those new to exercise or who have not worked out regularly. However, HIIT is designed to be accessible to people of all fitness levels.

Research has shown that a HIIT program yields the same fitness benefits as long periods of moderate-intensity exercises. It helps lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, strengthens skeletal muscle, and improves metabolic health. It can also help you burn more calories, thanks to the metabolism boost that lasts hours after your workout.

A HIIT workout triggers the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which breaks down fat cells by binding to specialized receptors. It is why HIIT workouts are so effective at burning body fat.

HIIT is also safe for most healthy adults, although anyone with unstable angina or severe heart conditions should speak to their doctor before starting this type of exercise. It’s also important to check your heart rate frequently during a HIIT workout. An excellent place to do that is using a fitness tracker or a journal, which can help you set goals and see your progress.

Hi-Lo Aerobics

This high-cardio, low-impact class is fun and efficient at burning calories. A 30-minute session of a Hi-Lo aerobics class burns 205 calories in a 155-pound person. In a Hi-Lo class, instructors use alternating periods of low and high-impact exercises so participants can choose the level of intensity appropriate for their fitness goals. This approach allows beginners to benefit from a high-intensity class without overdoing it and risking injury.

The need for Hi-Lo classes evolved in the 1980s when it was discovered that many people were injured in traditional aerobics classes on hard studio floors. Hi-Lo aerobics classes combine low-impact, walking-based moves with higher-impact jump-based movements such as jumping jacks, marching in place, and knee lifts. The low-impact choreography lets beginners perform manageable, low-impact moves while advanced students are challenged with higher-intensity aerobics.

Adding grounded movement to the water exercise format reduces impact by 50%. Grounded movement adds intensity to the class, increases muscular endurance, makes it easier to teach on deck, and adds creativity to your workouts.