Group Fitness for Adults, Kids Everyone!

Group fitness has been around for decades with it being popularized in commercial gyms around 1989 with the introduction of Step Aerobics. Today we can see simple varieties of Group Fitness ranging from traditional step classes to Les Mills “Body” sessions, Fitness Boxing, Pilates, Spin or RPM, to Zumba and outdoor and indoor boot-camps. Group Fitness can utilize a multitude of equipment from bikes, to body-building plates and bars, weighted bags, resistance bands or simply just lots of floor space. Most group activities include music and an instructor or some rhythmic component or cueing.

A large percentage of Group Fitness classes are based on some variation of dancing. Perhaps the most popular incarnation currently is Zumba, although it originated in the 90’s. Zumba is a mix of Latin and international music using interval training methods of fast and slow rhythms to create music driven fat burning sessions.

There is no doubting the popularity of music/dance oriented fitness training. It popularized Aerobics and it continues to this day to get people interested and attending Group Fitness sessions. What is also common to these group activities is the lack of true innovation, in fact there is a multitude of group activities that are regurgitating old practices and equipment i.e. Kettle bells, ropes, calisthenics etc. Now of course there is nothing wrong with these proven methods other than the fact that they unoriginal and lack imagination, but for the cautious fitness devotee they are certainly ‘tried and tested’. The old methods are effective, and let’s face it, retro everything seems to be ‘in’, again, but I do wonder if these conventional methods are truly capable of attracting a NEW audience to group fitness, in fact, in many ways the existing methods are a little ‘tired and tested’

Gym managers understand that ‘membership retention’ is key to a successful business operation. Programs like Zumba will certainly improve retention and may go some way to attracting a new demographic but in essence these group fitness formats are already ‘preaching to the converted’. So why aren’t fitness devotees coming out with original, 21st century solutions, why is retro the new black and what happens when they begin running out of eras to replicate? Well perhaps part of the answer lays with the fitness industry itself. Models take years to develop and license or franchise so the industry is not able to adapt to innovations as quickly as other industries. Two industries which are lightning fast to innovate are the technology and gaming sectors.

Now what if we could apply the amazingly innovative entertainment and technology industries to the fitness industry! Well wouldn’t you know it, it’s a done deal and it’s called iDANCE2 by Positive Gaming of Sweden.

Positive Gaming is the premiere producers of technology rhythm dance solutions worldwide. They are key sponsor in the extremely competitive and fast developing sport of Machine Dance and will host the 6th International Positive Gaming Machine Dance World Championship in July this year. Now you may not of heard of this sport, but you will, as the sport and the fitness activity have become available across the globe and now in Australasia.

iDANCE2 is the Group Fitness incarnation of Machine Dance. It was created from the ground up as a professional solution for public and private enterprises. What separates iDANCE2 from every other form of Group Fitness is that it’s based on entertainment technologies, in that regard, it puts FUN first and builds a comprehensive fitness system around that premise.

An iDANCE2 Group Fitness experience is like no other available anywhere! Up to 32 people can experience this fitness phenomenon at the same time. The fitness experience is all encompassing, and utterly accessible to all ages and abilities demonstrated by being able to host three difficulty levels (beginners, intermediate and expert) at the same time, effortlessly. Not only that, but the members in each level can compete (social or self competitiveness is in intrinsic with iDANCE2) equally due to ‘scoring and feedback features’ such as stepping accuracy.

To make the Group Fitness experience unforgettable iDANCE2 uses cutting-edge visual / graphics effects that allow all the class attendees to quickly see their realtime results on a massive large screen easily visible to everyone in the room. The Positive Gaming commissioned, original music is held by a worldwide license (For Australian readers, iDANCE2 is free of PPAC fees!) couple the international mixed genre song list with the compelling visual experience and you have a truly unique and engaging Group Fitness event.

Group Fitness professionals have already found iDANCE2  to be an easily accessible fitness-technology solution that is wonderfully entertaining and, quite simply, a lot of fun! (Please view the video for comments from the fitness experts). What existing professionals notice immediately is how this solution inherits the critical components of Group Fitness class synchronicity, cueing AND improvisation. As iDANCE2 is ‘game led’, this frees the instructor to critique individual members while also controlling the tempo, songs, graphic effects etc of the fitness experience with a huge array of instruction tools all available from a light weight wireless controller. Outstanding control and customization, which is only available due to its intrinsic entertainment-gaming abilities, nice!

By fusing entertainment and fitness technologies Postive Gaming have created a modern and motivating Group Fitness solution that will bring an entirely new sector of the population to the gym, community and fitness centres. It will value add to existing gyms and for the early adopters it will differentiate them from the norm.

The gaming component of iDANCE2 makes the solution extremely motivating as people will return again and again to improve their scores and performances in an equally motivating social environment. iDANCE2 was created for instructors and has a comprehensive teaching, recording and reporting system built in with following updates allowing data to be stored and retrieved online by the instructors and players.

iDANCE2 is an incredibly exciting Group Fitness solution that offers tremendous benefits to all the population. Gym owners will be suitably impressed with iDANCE2 as it offers a view into future fitness revenue streams. This is the future of group fitness because its fun, it works and it encourages all age groups and abilities. Give Exergaming Australia a call if you’d like a demonstration of the future in fitness in your centre today.