Today I’m sharing the basics of Group Power and what to expect when you take a class.

I’ve been going to Group Fitness classes for a few months now so I thought it was time that I give a basic run down of what it is and what to expect from your first class.

What is it?

Group Power is the Y’s version of Body Pump. It’s an hour long full body strength training workout that uses a barbell, different sized plates, a step, and a mat. The workout is based on high rep low weight and each song works a different body part.

The format

Each song focuses on a specific body part (shoulders, glutes, biceps, etc.) using several different exercises. For instance, for a lower body song you’ll do squats and lunges with the dumbbell.

Group Power classes will start with a warm up song that will typically include most of the exercises that will be done later on in the workout. These will be done with either no weight or a lower weight than you’ll use later on.

Once all the strength training is done, the teacher will guide you through a core track and finish off with a stretching track. The 60 minutes includes basically everything you’ll need for a well rounded full body strength workout.

How much weight to use

Group Power is a high rep low weight workout. That means that you’ll be doing each exercise a lot of times, so you’ll want to use a lower weight than you usually would.

If you’re new to strength training or Body Pump or coming back to workout after an injury, I would recommend that you start light or even just use your bodyweight. You can always add weight for the next class, but it’s hard to undo an injury from having too much weight on your barbell.

Depending on the exercise and the body parts used, you’ll need to change the weight on your bar. The instructor will tell you if the track is a normal weight factor, decreased weight factor, or an increased weight factor. These weights are all based on the weight that you pick for your warm up. They won’t tell you a specific number to use because that will be different for each person in the class. Generally you’ll want to use more weight for lower body exercises and less weight for upper body ones.

Music

I have to admit that the music is pretty good for the most part. I go to two to three classes per week and I don’t often get tired of the songs. Every release has new music (to go with a whole new routine), so the music changes every month to six weeks.

Equipment

You’ll need a step and several risers (it depends on the release how you’ll set up your bench so ask your instructor if it’s been awhile since you last attended a class), a barbell and two clips (one for each end), several plates of different sizes, and a mat for the floor work.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have a clear area around your bench so that you can move a few steps in all directions. At times you’ll be stepping forwards/backwards for lunges as well as side to side. You don’t want to have to worry about tripping over plates or your water bottle.

Ask questions

As always, talk to your instructor before class if you’re new to Group Power or have any questions. The people who teach at my gym are awesome and want to make sure that everyone has a great workout. They’ll be more than happy to help you set up for your first class.

What’s your favorite group fitness class?

Group Power Class