The Renaissance

Group exercises…daunting to some, motivating to others but part of a tight knit routine to many. The COVID shutdown most likely had gym goers rethink their ways of training, and that is a positive. Now, participants might be hesitant to commit to group trainings again as they have integrated their own self-taught programs into their lives for a certain period of time.

Some of the classic reasons people are attending fitness classes include:

  • Training guidance for a fraction of what a personal coach costs
  • Motivation & accountability
  • Socializing

But are those points enough as gyms and fitness centers are struggling to reinvent themselves?

The benefits of group trainings are huge in terms of pushing the limits of each participants, but are participants really aware of the gains? Are they reaching goals or overreaching them? Are they doing the necessary adjustments to cultivate that fitness and motivation organically? Group fitness can become an untamable beast.

Teach them how to fish…

Having the participant learn how to use and measure workouts intensity, training load, fatigue might be a fantastic way to bring some welcomed interest into the gym schedule.

At Polar, we believe heart rate is evidence. It’s the most important data to look when seeking cardiovascular fitness.

Polar Club becomes a pedagogical approach to group fitness as trainers can prepare the participants to their program by explaining training with heart rate and the direct impact it has on the specific class or the training load it will cause to other activities. It’s the good old principal of ‘’teaching someone how to fish…’’ By doing so the class evolves differently, it’s not just working in out for a good sweat but part of a fitness goal. Goal setting, with appropriate feedback, results in better and higher performances.

Easy to understand visuals also plays a part in catching the attention of the participant. If it’s to dig back into last week group session or evaluating recovery status, it should not feel like a Good Will Hunting moment.

To go a bit deeper into learning how to use heart rate as a tool in group fitness, I suggest the following read:

Having a group that is aware of their heart rate zones is special. In cycling, it’s the equivalent of a roaring peloton blazing through rural landscapes. It looks effortless but the energy within is substantial. That is what group fitness is all about. It’s a discussion. Each participant is sharing their fitness, pushing themselves whilst pushing others.

Developing on that point further, in our social-media heavy era, classes camaraderie can lead to free marketing via attendees networks.

In conclusion

We all understand that enhancing gym experiences across the country will boost attendance for a certain period, but integrating a system where participants are educated in their sessions might help build and retain a strong fitness community.


Brian is currently the Polar Business Manager at Outdoor Gear Canada. He has been in the sport industry for 20 years, and he describes himself as “an avid cyclist, average runner and a mediocre golfer.