Man Working Out Outside

2020 was a year to remember and turned the fitness world upside down! With the closing of gyms, limited in-person classes, and the expansion of the online fitness world, people can access workouts at the tip of their fingertips. opened its virtual doors in 2020, offering clients and instructors an innovative way to live stream workouts for people across the country to get up and move while maintaining a group-fitness-like atmosphere. 

We’re taking a look at 2020’s fitness trends as we head into 2021. Recess instructors, Eduardo Duran and James Thomas, with over 20 years of experience between them, share their most popular classes, plus tips to consider as you schedule out the rest of the year.

According to ClassPass’s research of 2020 fitness trends, the most popular time of day to get a workout in is Wednesday’s at noon. Reminding clients that a midday workout can be a quick pick-me-up to break up their day is a great way to get them moving and support a healthy lifestyle. Wondering what the top 5 classes were in 2020?

  1. Yoga
  2. HIIT
  3. Pilates
  4. Barre
  5. Dance

With the popularity of yoga increasing by 25%, and HIIT increasing by 26% in 2020, incorporating stretch and full-body flow with an intermediate level of intensity is a win-win. Eduardo and James agree on the popularity of these types of classes too. Eduardo’s signature class, “Mind, Body, and Soul,” is his most popular class while James’s intermediate level “Body Contour” class brings the most clients. Both instructors agree that classes should focus on the whole body and be “tough, but not too tough,” says James. Keeping this in a mind is a sure-fire way to increase client participation and keep them coming back.

Recess Instructor MindBodySoul

Utilizing Recess’ live stream platform allows clients to get back into a workout routine, or start a new one, and to feel connected and supported as they navigate their workouts. Eduardo notes that “people want to see you in real-time: calling out their names and adjusting them via the computer screen. There’s just something about being connected to someone in real-time. You don’t feel as alone.” Being connected is an important aspect of getting your clients to stay committed to workout routines, especially in the new year and as lockdown restrictions tighten around the world.

In a ClassPass poll “89% of subscribers responded they would go back as or more frequently to future classes…after attending their first indoor class since the start of the pandemic.” While this is great news for the future of fitness, COVID-19 restrictions are making this type of working out harder and harder. “I think online platforms are here to stay awhile. But I know for a fact, that people will return to a class the second we reopen!” says Eduardo. “I love both honestly. If anything, I think this will increase turnout for in-person classes because the people who were too shy to come — maybe they took your class online — now feel ready to rock out in class.”

Knowing that online classes are here to stay for a while, it’s important for instructors to remember that clients will be less motivated at home to participate in high-intensity workouts, according to the ClassPass research. James suggests to “keep it simple. A program with full-body in mind. One of the key things I do at the end (of class), after stretching, is to have everyone deep breathe as I speak to them. I have them really appreciate what they were able to accomplish in class, to remember that this is just a moment in their day and to take that same energy and apply it to other aspects of their life.”


Coach James

Whether it’s online or in-person, “people need us right now,” Eduardo says. “They need to move their bodies. They need to forget what’s going on, even if it’s only for 30 minutes. Make it fun. Make it interesting. And for goodness sake, don’t just make it about the physical stuff. We’re going through a lot of emotional stuff right now. Let’s address it.” James agrees, reminding instructors to “give everyone the Hollywood 5-star treatment and respect they deserve.”

Fitness instructors in 2021 have the capacity to motivate their clients, support their emotional journeys, and offer a community to thrive in as they build their way to their best selves. What better time than now to ride the wave of new-year motivation? Join the Recess platform to grow your fitness empire and help others along the way. We can’t wait to see you set the trend for 2021!

Follow us @we_recess and #itsplaytime. Follow Eduardo (photo credit to @thesoulecollective) and James.