The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is excited to announce new Group Exercise formats! Class additions will include Cardio Step Together, Balance & Flex Together, Strength Train Together, Active Together, and Defend Together. Below you will find some common questions and answers regarding these new formats.

New Formats

Cardio Step Together

Balance and Flex Together

Strength Train Together

Defend Together

Active Together


What research was done to determine there was a need for change in Group Ex formats at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities?

About three years ago, the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities started to notice a decline in participation in specific group classes. In addition, we were hearing through member surveys that members were looking for a wider variety of fitness classes. YUSA was also hearing this nationally.  Both the YUSA and YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities started looking into how to address these issues and based on these findings, entered a formal RFP process to further examine our options.

I haven’t seen Les Mills class participation decline at my branch.

The numbers we looked at reflect overall themes at all YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities locations, so your specific branch may not show the exact same symptoms. It was also a multifaceted decision, looking at more than just class participation, though this was one aspect of the decision.

Who led the research process?

Jennifer Menk, our Senior Director of Fitness, as well as the Expert Team, comprised of individuals from our branches who are experts in Group Exercise.

What was the criteria of the RFP?

There were several key criteria: First, we wanted a variety of formats that our members could enjoy. Second, we wanted our members and fitness instructors to have a voice in future releases and programs offered at the Y. Lastly, we wanted the ability to partner and build new formats for our members in the future with a YMCA-centric approach.

How did you decide on the new format?

After reviewing RFP responses, doing ample research, completing a site visit and participating in demo days, the Expert Team decided MOSSA was the best fit for our organization.

What is MOSSA?

It is an Italian word that means “to move” and the organization offers pre-choreographed group exercise formats. The company has been around for more than 40 years. MOSSA is part of The Step Company, which invented the original Step that Les Mills and many other formats also use. A highly qualified team develops each release for the different formats. 300 hours of research and development goes into every new release prior to launching.

What new classes will be offered?

New classes include: Cardio Step Together, Balance & Flex Together, Strength Train Together, Active Together, and Defend Together.

These are some of the highest quality, most enjoyable group fitness workouts in the health club industry today. They are designed and tested to deliver a fun and effective social exercise experience for a wide variety of individuals.  

MOSSA is a worldwide program. Will they offer the same workouts at YMCAs in New York, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc.?

Classes will be the same everywhere. In addition, YMCA members have the ability to provide feedback for new releases that occur everywhere in the country and in the world to help shape the classes.

What can other YMCA chapters do regarding fitness class formats? Are they all changing formats?

The YMCA is a federated organization so other chapters have the choice to go with whichever formats they choose. Based on our research internally, the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities feels as though MOSSA is the best fit for us, locally. On the other hand, some YMCAs may choose to stay with Les Mills. Several Ys don’t offer pre-choreographed formulas, so they will only provide freestyle formats.

How did cost figure into this decision?

It was not a cost decision. We looked at the numbers because, as a non-profit, we need to be good stewards of our resources, but it wasn’t a primary factor in our decision.

What is the background on MOSSA’s music?

Music is a key to driving motivation and enjoyment for every program workout. The company works hard to create music for a specific format. This approach allows for designing the music to match the desired exercise progressions instead of trying to fit the progression into the set music.

Les Mills instructors have to pay for the programming. Do they have to pay to be certified again?

The YMCA is very sensitive to this situation. We will be training and transitioning instructors at no cost, as well as giving them nine months of releases so they can start to build this new library. We are trying to make the transition as comfortable as possible and minimize any financial burden.

When is the end date for Les Mills classes?

The last BodyFlow class will be on July 29th and new classes will start July 30th. The last BodyStep class will take place on September 29th and new classes will start September 30th.

Is the YMCA removing BodyPump classes?

No, BodyPump will stay as long as participation remains steady. 

Why is the YMCA keeping BodyPump?

BodyPump is offered as a complement to Strength Train Together (formerly ‘Group Power’). Though both of these are strength formats, they offer slightly different benefits for the body. In addition, we want our members to have options since these are the only two barbell classes on the schedule. Currently, we have an abundance of cardio classes and need to ensure that we offer sufficient strength classes so our members can receive those physiological benefits.

What will the YMCA provide as far as mind-body classes?

Our Yoga offerings and participation are on the rise and will continue to grow.  We’re working with the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota to develop a curriculum around mindfulness. We’re going to continue to work on new mind-body programs.

When will the new formats launch at each branch?

Launch dates vary slightly at each branch. Stay tuned for further communications.