8 Ways YBells Make Group Training More Effective

Posted by Casey Stenehjem on Dec 17th 2021

Aaron “Az” Laurence holds a YBell in an outer grip while coaching a class
Aaron “Az” Laurence teaches a group class using YBells.

8 Ways YBells Make Group Training More Effective

Teaching group classes is likely to be one of the most challenging skills in the fitness industry. Whether you teach in a club, studio, or outdoors, you need to be prepared for anything. Will all 20 registered participants show up? Or only 4? What’s each person’s fitness level? Will you have enough equipment on hand?

You never know what each class will bring. And whether you’re a seasoned group fitness trainer or relatively new, there will always be challenges. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of challenges and obstacles and have an incredible class so that participants keep coming back.

8 Common Challenges of Group Fitness Training

Here are just some of the challenges of group training that your gym may be facing:

1. Group Classes Have Space Limitations

Your club probably has dedicated rooms or spaces for group fitness training. Is there enough room to accommodate the number of people who registered for the class and the various pieces of equipment or workout stations?

2. You Need to Keep a Lot of Equipment on Hand

Whether you’re teaching a cardio routine, HIIT workout, or a strength and conditioning class, you’ll need to have equipment on hand for the class participants. Do you have enough dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls for the entire class to be working on the same exercises simultaneously, or will they need to swap equipment?

3. Equipment Exchanges Can Diminish the Workout

If participants need to swap out equipment during the workout, do you have cleaning supplies on hand? Is that time built into the class structure? Will it interfere with the class flow or bring heart rates down if you’re focusing on high-intensity workouts?

4. Progression and Regression of Movements Can Be Complicated

When you’re teaching a group workout, you’re likely to have participants of varying strength and skill levels. Do you have enough variety in the free weights and weight sizes provided to accommodate movement progression and regression for participants?

5. It’s Difficult to Transition Through the Phases of Training

Do you have the proper equipment to seamlessly transition between warm-up, hypertrophy, and plyometric movements during the workout?

6. It’s Expensive to Replace Equipment

Group training means more and faster wear and tear on your club or studio’s equipment. Do you have the overhead to replace equipment regularly?

7. Workout Variety Is Challenging in Group Training

Most clubs and group classes use traditional workout equipment that clients have access to in their home gyms. How much variety can you add to your class to ensure that clients find the workouts challenging and fun, so they keep coming back?

8. Post-Class Cleanup Can Be Time Consuming

Smaller studios are likely to schedule classes back-to-back in the same room, often with only 10 to 15 minutes between classes. How easy is it to sanitize the equipment, put it away, and set up for the next class?

These are just some of the common challenges that most gyms and studios face regarding group training. Additional challenges may arise depending on the type of fitness your gym specializes in (barre, pilates, spin, strength conditioning, etc.).

The good news with these common challenges is that your gym isn’t alone in facing them, and there are tried and true options that can help make your group workouts more effective for clients and successful for your gym.

One solution that several clubs and studios have implemented is to use YBells for their group training. Adding YBells to your club or studio can be a more effective way to keep your clients engaged in the workout and coming back to your group classes.

How Can YBells Improve Group Fitness?

The YBell Neo was explicitly created to handle these challenges. Aaron “Az” Laurence, the founder of YBell Fitness and inventor of the YBell, has been teaching group fitness courses for over 15 years. He started using traditional fitness equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and med balls to create his own brand of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT). As his class sizes grew, it became impossible to continue incorporating multiple pieces of equipment into each session. Not to mention all of the gear he had to haul out to the beach each morning.

Az’s goal was to create a piece of equipment that would reduce, if not diminish, these challenges and allow him to deliver an exceptional, efficient, and fun class to work for all fitness levels.

The YBell is a 4-in-1 fitness tool that’s compact and portable, offering endless workout options. YBell is a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a medicine ball, and a push-up stand in one. Can you imagine all those pieces of equipment next to each individual in a class vs. one YBell?

With the YBell’s unique multi-handle design, a grip change is an equipment change. You can structure workouts to easily transition from one exercise to the next without the need to change workout stations or swap out equipment. With YBells, it really is as easy as that!

8 Reasons YBells Are a Great Fit for Your Club or Studio

Here’s how YBell addresses the issues created by traditional fitness equipment for group training:

1. YBells Are Fantastic for Limited Space

With a single YBell or a set, each client can stay in their own space for the entire class if they want. There’s no more need for setting up or changing workout stations in the middle of the workout.

2. A Single YBell Replaces 4 Pieces of Traditional Equipment

A single YBell can be used as a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a double grip med ball, and a push-up stand. This drastically cuts down the amount of equipment you need to keep in the classroom for group workouts and equipment for your entire gym. And, you can easily design a beginner or advanced workout with just one YBell for each participant. Or you can have sets on hand for progressions throughout the workout.

3. YBell Grip Transitions Eliminate Equipment Changes

The unique multi-handle design of the YBell offers a variety of grips that allow you to transition from one exercise to the next seamlessly. With the YBell, a grip change is an equipment change, meaning you have a plethora of movements to design a full-body workout. It’s as simple as holding the YBell with a center grip for dumbbell biceps curls, then transitioning into an outer grip for kettlebell alternating high swings, holding it in double grip or outer grip for medicine ball work such as squat presses, or setting it on the ground for any type of push-up or push-up row.

4. YBells Make Movement Progression and Regression a Breeze

With its many capabilities, YBells make it easy for trainers and instructors to provide clients with progressions or regressions as needed without an equipment change. For example, the YBell’s wide base offers greater stability and range of motion for groundwork and bodyweight exercises.

5. YBells Make Transitioning Through the Phases of Training Simple

Going from warm-up movements to hypertrophy to power movements often requires multiple pieces of equipment. However, with the YBell and its signature grip transitions, a single piece of equipment is all a client needs to go from stability work to strength endurance to hypertrophy and even power/plyometric work.

6. YBells Are More Affordable Than Traditional Equipment

As a 4-in-1 tool, having YBells in your club or studio will cut down on the amount of fitness equipment you’ll need to purchase, which can lower your overhead costs. And the non-slip, rust-proof neoprene coating makes YBells highly durable for both indoor and outdoor use.

7. YBells Offer Unlimited Exercise and Workout Variety

YBells are an easy to use and progressive piece of equipment for every skill level and Every Body. While YBells were designed for HIRT, many trainers have used them for HIIT, Tabata, functional training, strength training, mobility training, cardio fitness, and yoga. Whether your gym focuses on all-around fitness or specializes in a niche training modality, YBells can offer a lot of variety for your clients.

8. YBells Are Easy to Set Up for Group Workouts

YBells are compact and easy to set up for any group class. They’re easy to store when they’re not in use, especially when combined with the YBell Vertical Rack, making them easy to put away after each group workout.

Try These YBell Combinations in Your Next Group Class

Here are a few examples to show you the ease of transition in a class setting. These movements would usually require having multiple pieces of equipment on hand and would be nearly impossible to combine in the seamless fashion available with YBells.  

Adjust the reps, sets, and rest to accommodate whatever your focus is with your class.

Combination 1 — Using One YBell

  1. YBell wood chops (replacing a medicine ball) using a double grip, followed by
  2. Single-arm YBell bent over row (replacing a dumbbell) using a center grip, followed by
  3. Single-arm YBell curl to press (replacing a dumbbell), using a center grip

Combination 2 — Using One or Two YBells

  1. Single-arm YBell swings (replacing a kettlebell) using an outer grip, followed by
  2. Single-arm YBell renegade rows (replacing a dumbbell) using a center grip, followed by
  3. Single-arm YBell rack squats (replacing a kettlebell) using a rack grip

Doing this same combination with two YBells would be an excellent progression or a challenge for an advanced class.

Combination 3 — For a Cardio-Focused Class 

  1. YBell low squat to full squat (replacing a medicine ball) using an under grip, followed by
  2. YBell side drop lunge (replacing a medicine ball) using an outdoor and double grip, followed by
  3. YBell single-arm clean to press (replacing a kettlebell) using an outer grip

    Teaching group classes is likely to be one of the most challenging skills in the fitness industry. Whether you teach in a club, studio, or outdoors, you need to be prepared for anything. Will all 20 registered participants show up? Or only 4? What’s each person’s fitness level? Will you have enough equipment on hand?

Casey Stenehjem

Casey has been a health and fitness professional since 2009, after graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. She has helped hundreds of people achieve their fitness goals. From working with beginners, youth, older adults, and almost everyone in between, Casey loves to blend her diverse knowledge and experience to help guide her clients to where they want to be. Her philosophy is simple: meet people where they are today in order to help them learn, grow, and excel through education in nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes unique to them.

Casey’s certifications include:

  • Z-health R-phase, Z-health I-phase, Z-health S-phase, Z-health T-phase, Z-Health Strength and Suppleness  
  • Functional Range Conditioning Level 1
  • NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer  
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1  
  • USA Weightlifting Certified