Group Fitness: Pros & Cons

Group Fitness: Pros & Cons

Staying physically active is crucial for maintaining good health. There are many options to help you achieve your goals—group fitness training being one that is cost-effective.

Working out with others can help you achieve your goals while boosting motivation and accountability, but group training may not be for everyone. Here are some pros and cons to consider:



  • Accountability, motivation and support:
    • Working out with friends or people in general can help keep you accountable. In fact, many find that just the instructor knowing who they are is enough to hold them accountable and ensure they attend class regularly! Group training offers both motivation and support from fellow participants and the instructor.
    • Between work, home life and trying to fit everything else into a day, group training incorporates social time into your workout time.
  • Expert guidance:
    • Properly trained group fitness instructors leading group classes are trained professionals with expertise in designing and instructing effective fitness classes. They are equipped to give guidance, help with proper form, offer modifications, and ensure exercise safety.
  • Structure:
    • The fitness industry is saturated with trends and conflicting information. For many, this leads to a feeling of helplessness about what to do when at the gym. Group training takes the stress off you to come up with your programming. The instructor has taken the guesswork out of designing the workout. You just show up and work hard.
  • Variety of exercise options:
    • Group fitness classes offer a variety of exercise options suited to different interests and fitness levels. From low-impact aerobic workouts (aqua fitness) to strength training, dance, to spin classes.
    • Some group classes are done in a circuit-style workout: doing various exercises for a short time before moving on to the next. In a good class, the exercises will be creative and fun. The intense nature of a circuit also helps the time fly by.
    • Other types of group training can include yoga and spin, where generally the same sequence is done in each class, but with the instructor’s variation and style.
    • It’s important to find a class that suits your abilities, preferences and that you enjoy and have fun.
  • Competitive drive:
    • Some people thrive on a sense of healthy competition. A good group fitness class may allow a competitive spirit to flourish, thereby helping you challenge yourself more than if you exercise alone. By pushing yourself harder, there is a greater sense of accomplishment and, subsequently, more significant physical fitness improvements. Being surrounded by people with similar outcomes can create a friendly yet motivating environment that drives you to perform at your best!



  • Class sizes:
    • Depending on where you choose to take classes, there can be upwards of 20+ people per class. With only one instructor, you may not receive the individual attention required to ensure you’re using the proper form. This can increase the risk of injury. Be sure to choose somewhere that offers small class sizes. Alternatively, if you choose larger classes, choose an exercise that doesn’t involve high-risk exercises or complexity.
  • One size fits all fitness:
    • Group fitness means everyone does the same workout. This can mean that you have a wide range of abilities in one class, and it might be too hard to begin with, especially if you’re new to fitness. Therefore finding an instructor who can quickly offer modifications and adjustments depending on your current fitness level is essential. Sometimes depending on the group, this might not be possible.
  • Under-educated instructors:
    • Unlike personal trainers, almost anyone can teach a group fitness class. It’s important to check your instructor’s certifications to ensure they’re qualified. They don’t necessarily need a degree to be qualified, but they should have some education. Make sure to ask about qualifications before you sign up!
  • Too much variety:
    • Variety is good, but to get better, you need consistency in how you’re training. A good group class will build on prior classes so that there is a measurable weekly improvement. Too much variety will mean that you don’t make any real progress.
  • Scheduling and location constraints:
    • Finding group fitness classes that fit with personal schedules and other commitments, and are located in an area that makes sense can be challenging. It is important to consider these things to help you stay accountable and consistent.
  • Specific health concerns:
    • People living with health concerns or medical conditions that require personalized attention and modifications may not be fully addressed in a group fitness setting. It is important that if you are new to exercise or navigating health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, joint and tendon problems, or severe asthma, you require medical clearance from your doctor and additional supervision before undertaking any tailored exercise programs.
  • Self-consciousness and embarrassment:
    • It is normal for people to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable when exercising in a group setting. If you struggle with this, exploring personalized, one-on-one training settings to build confidence and gradually transition to group fitness may be beneficial. It is also important to find facilities and trainers that are nonjudgmental, non-bias and respectful of you, your body and your goals.


Group fitness classes can be a valuable method of exercise for people looking to start a supervised exercise regimen. It can be a cost-effective exercise method that enables a more focused and efficient workout that is fun, beneficial, and rewarding! Before getting started, reflect on your goals and what you want to achieve to stay accountable.