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Best Group Exercise Classes to Try in 2020

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I’m always up to Try something new. There’s so much beauty in novelty, and sometimes, the unknown can really surprise us. Plus, I’m often attracted to people who fall into one of two categories. First, they’re so dialed and passionate about something that they can offer up every fact on the subject. Or second, they have such a robust repertoire of things they’ve seen or experienced, that they always contribute unique and interesting insights. I am drawn to both types, but I tend towards the latter. After watching a few episodes of Hard Knocks with Miami DolphinsI have discovered my new deep dive into the world NFL. But I digress.

Featured Image from Our Interview with Kate Waitzkin.

The Best Group Exercise Classes to Try in 2020

Back to trying something new. I’ve been feeling in a bit of an exercise rutI’m relying on my favourite trail walking to get me moving. I love it but wanted to challenge my body and move in new ways. I decided to take a week off from my regular workouts and try out a few new ones. The goal was for me to have some fun, add variety, and reconnect my body in a fresh way. Plus, I love finding the best group fitness class to revisit with my friends.

This wasn’t about seeing results—after all, it was just one week. I was pleasantly shocked by the change in my mindset and confidence within a week. It’s true that trying something new, no matter the outcome can help you feel all the more empowered to keep experimenting. Here’s what I tried during my week of new workouts.

Note: To help connect you with the best workout that fits your schedule, fitness goals and preferences, I reviewed a few classes I’ve tried before but love. Isabelle, our Managing Editor was more than happy to share with me her two favorite fitness classes. Continue reading to get my honest reviews.

Y7 Yoga class.

Y7 yoga

Sarah Larson Levey brought Y7 yoga to Austin and everyone was thrilled, even me. I’ve long known about Y7 from my New York friends, and when Sarah moved to Austin, I had a feeling an opening was on the horizon.

This isn’t your traditional yoga class. All studios use infrared heat technology to heat the room to 80-90°F. What about the music? Some of the best playlists I’ve ever heard. There’s something about doing yoga to Rhianna that makes the class even more enjoyable. The dark room was my favorite part of the class. I could go at my own pace and take a child’s pose if I needed without worrying what anyone else thought. The next day I was sore, but in the best kind of way. Other heated studios do get a bit chilly. You can also read more aboutThe heat pushed me to my limits and helped me improve my postures. They also offer Online classes if you’re not in a city with a studio.

  • Virtual and In-Studio
  • Prices vary by studio // New client specials available
Evlo Fitness workout.

Evlo Fitness

My sister first introduced me to Evlo Fitness several years ago. Her physical therapist suggested the online workouts, as Shannon Ritchey’s approach is based on gentle strength training to achieve long-term results.

Evlo is an antithesis of group bootcamp style workouts (i.e. movements that are likely to cause injury). Evlo is a training method that takes a scientific, educational approach. It helps you to understand how certain movements affect your muscles. Evlo has left me stronger, energized, motivated, and ready to tackle other forms of movement.

Shannon has a podcast as well. Fit Body, Happy jointsThis provides an educational perspective on the fitness industry. The episodes debunk fitness myths and shed light on what marketing leaves out. I love how she always takes a scientific and sound approach to health. For even more of Shannon’s insights, listen to her interview on The Skinny Confidential. Evlo is an online platform, but Shannon recently moved to Austin so I’m holding out hope for in-person training soon. 

  • Virtual Only
  • $55.99 monthly or $559 annually // Free Trial Available
Forward space workout.


This is the class for you if you love to dance. And even if you don’t love dance, you may be surprised by how much you connect with this class. I’m biased as I know the founder, Kristin Sudeikis, but this class injects a level of fun into my life that I didn’t know was missing.

Kristin uses her professional dance background to design her classes for every level. I was excited to take the class in NYC, but had to cancel at the last moment. Forward Space has a downloadable PDF. 7-day Virtual Free TrialYou can take the classes from home. If I’m ever having a bad day, I’m just going to dance it off. With live and on-demand classes, there’s something for everyone. I felt like I had a great workout and really enjoyed myself. 

  • Virtual and In-Studio
  • One Class for $38, Packages available // 7-Day Virtual Free trial
Peloton Outdoor Class

Peloton Outdoor Class

Because I hit the trail almost every day, I thought I’d shake it up and try a guided class. Insert Peloton’s Outdoor Series. As a former Peloton bike owner, I already knew they’d have a plethora of options. And I was right—almost to the point where I was overwhelmed with the number of workouts. Think about walking meditations, power walking, recovery runs, HIIT and more.

I chose “Beginner Workout”Did you do a? Interval Run for 30 minutes with Oliva Amato. It’s been a good 6-7 months since I went for a run, and this was a perfect way to jump back in. I took it at my own pace, as encouraged by the instructor, but also pushed myself more than I would’ve had I set out to do this on my own. I love the ease of being able to do this from the road, even if I’m stuck inside a hotel gym vs. outdoors.

  • Virtual Only
  • Memberships starting at $12.99 per month // Free classes available
The Sculpt Society

The Sculpt Society

As I was in a rush, I needed a quick and easy virtual class that I could do from home. I’ve been following Megan RoupI had been on social media for a while and was familiar with The Sculpt Society. Megan is an ex-dancer for the New York Knicks who incorporates dance and sculpture into her workouts. I already knew dance from Forward Space so I took the Sculpt class. Megan sells props on her website, but luckily my gym had the equipment I needed. This class was a real burner, even though we didn’t lift heavy weights. Megan is a great instructor and she has a lot to offer. I was sweating within minutes. Bonus points if you have a free 7-day trial to give it a try.

  • Virtual Only
  • $19.99 monthly or $179.99 annually // 7-Day Free trial Available
SoulCycle class.


SoulCycle was not new to me and I was excited when they opened their first Austin Studio eight years ago. This is perfect for the high intensity cardio that I don’t always get from my trail walks and certainly not in Pilates or yoga. If I’m feeling a little off cardio-wise, I’ll book a bike in the back of the dimly-lit room and let the loud music wake my body up. And when I’m feeling really adventurous and like I can stay on beat, you can usually find me in the front row. If any of you have tried a SoulCycle class, you know that arm section is not for the faint of heart—who knew that two-pound weights could burn so good? If you’re in Austin (or have a SoulCycle bike at home), take Chris Chandler’s classes. He brings incredible energy to each workout.

  • Virtual and In-Studio
  • In-Studio : $20 for your first class // Virtual : $39.99 monthly for unlimited classes
Barry's Bootcamp class

Barry’s Bootcamp

When I lived in LA 15 years ago, I lived right next door to Barry’s first location in West Hollywood. After a friend told me that they had thrown up in their first class, i resolved to never try it. (I never did check my source to see if they were hungover or if it was really that hard… ) However, the class format has shifted in the last 15 years, and can truly say, it IS a tough workout. But as with any class—go at your own pace.

I love a Barry’s as most places I travel for work have enough studios for me to choose from. Most traditional classes are a treadmill/weight-training hybrid. You can choose if you’d like to start with tread (running), floor (weights), or double floor (no tread, double the weight portion). I listen to my body to determine what I need, but my all-time favorite class is Barry’s Weights. Weight training only, no treadmill or running. I used to be super intimidated by lifting and even more intimidated to do a treadmill class, but I’m playing for the class—so I have no fear in taking what I need and leaving what I don’t.

  • Virtual and In-Studio
  • In-Studio $43 for 3 classes (New clients only) // Online: 30-Day Trial, then $39.99 per month for Unlimited Classes
DOGPOUND workout


Disclaimer: I received a private group session for free to try it. It was a great experience. I’m sure you’ve heard this is where most of Victoria’s Secret angels work out, not to mention a host of celebrities who come for private training. While I didn’t walk out an angel, I had the most fun. DOGPOUND focuses on private personal training sessions, unless a group session is booked. I did box jumps, tire flips, ball slams, etc. Our session was more functional, which is something I really appreciate, as group fitness and gym classes can sometimes get a little boring. I wish I lived in LA, or NYC to do this because I know that half of my salary would go towards private training. There’s something about a program designed specifically for me that makes me feel more invested and attached to both the program and the process. 

  • Virtual Training Options are Available by Contacting DOGPOUND Directly
  • Pricing options vary, starting at $50/class for groups classes


If you’re at all interested in health and wellness on social media, you’ve likely come across FORM. (It’s not just the good marketing—everyone’s talking about the workout.) Co-founded by Sami Clarke, and Sami Bernstein SpalterFORM is about intuitive, effective movements that you can perform at home. Think of Pilates or strength-based routines, which can be done either with or without props. The movements can be small but spicy. Sami C. is the motivating best friend you’ve always wanted to work out with and who will cheer you on even through the toughest postures. Weekly workout schedules have been curated to give you the exact balance you need between a healthy burn and intentional rest. I love that all I have to do is find that day’s workout and press play. (Oh—and their recipe library is gold!) — Isabelle

  • Virtual Only
  • $28 monthly or $119.99 annually // 7-Day Free trial Available
Barre3 workout


Let me introduce you to the workout that helped me *actually* fall in love with fitness. I’ve been doing barre3 both online and at my local Chicago studio for the past six years. Barre3 is available in over 175 studios throughout the US and Canada. The classes are designed to be challenging, but also feel good in your body. I’m a 6 a.m. regular, and I always say that it’s my favorite way to wake up. While the name may lead you to believe that this is a classic barre workout, it is much more. It combines strength training, cardio and mindfulness for a dynamic full-body workout. Each class draws inspirations from Pilates and yoga to help strengthen your body, prevent injury, and build endurance. What’s my favorite part of the class? All classes end with guided breathing, which helps regulate your nervous systems and wind down after an energy-boosting exercise. — Isabelle

  • Virtual and In-Studio
  • Prices Vary by Studio // $29.99 per month or $239.88 per year, 14-day Free Trial Available
Women doing yoga outside.

The Takeaway 

The best group fitness classes I tried this month were challenging and fun. Yes, I was tired but I also felt the need to move more. I thought I’d leave this experiment declaring a favorite workout, but instead found a few group fitness classes I can rely on for whatever I need. Whether that’s an extra push, a shift in mindset, or a gentle, grounding day.

Y7 is going to be perfect during my cycle. Forward Space helps me to get out of my own head before a big presentation (jamming is a great way to do that), and Peloton works well when I want someone to push me. Evlo is solid for helping me build strength safely and effectively—seriously, everyone should try it. Finally, The Sculpt Society is the perfect burner when I’m in a pinch. And with more options in the mix, I’m excited to switch things up week to week.

I had so much fun and encourage you to try new things as much as possible—fitness-related or not. 

‘ Credit:
Original content by “Best Group Fitness Class to Try in 2024”

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