How Group Workouts Can Help Make You Stronger
Are you someone who normally hops on the treadmill, puts in your earbuds and tunes out the rest of the world? Or, are you someone who enjoys quiet, solo yoga sessions? While you might not necessarily gravitate towards working out in a group, group workouts are an awesome way to get stronger and meet new people. Group fitness classes are about more than just saying hello to others. They are also a surprising way to make you work harder and longer than you might independently. How can group workouts enhance your fitness program? We're glad you asked.
What Makes Group Workouts Important?
When you exercise with another person or in a group, you're more likely to stick to your workout. Psychologically, when we make a commitment to a group or to another person, we are far more likely to show up than if we only make that commitment to ourselves. Some experts think this is because many people are seeking a social comparison against which they can gauge their own fitness or progress. This stems from the psychological Social Comparison Theory that says people conduct assessments based on how they are doing compared to the people around them. Group workouts give you the opportunity to see how you are stacking up against others and grade your progress.
Popular Group Workouts
Today, group workouts are thriving as Crossfit gyms and spin classes make working out together a lot more fun. Part of their popularity stems from the fact that they offer both emotional and physical benefits. People tend to work harder in a group setting, as they are comparing themselves and don’t want to be last in the pack. The emotional benefits are also profound. Humans are naturally drawn to communities, so participating in a fitness community can provide you with support, new friends, and sometimes even awesome new relationships
Striking a Balance
While group workouts are awesome, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore all of your solo workout time in favor of being in a group. In some cases, the same factors that help to keep you motivated can work against you if you are near the bottom of the pack. Some people end up pushing themselves too hard and receiving an injury. Others become discouraged as a result of being far behind and end up feeling more isolated than before. Make sure that, when you choose a fitness group, you are choosing one where you fit well with the group and you're working with an experienced class leader who won’t push you too hard. Discouraged people sometimes give up on fitness altogether.
How Do You Choose a Great Group Fitness Class?
- Keep your fitness level in mind and choose a class that is suitable for your existing state of fitness.
- If you currently work with a personal trainer, ask them for recommendations on what class could work for you.
- Do your friends take group fitness classes? Ask what classes they like, and why, to get some recommendations.
- Try different classes to expand your horizons. Many classes have drop-in passes available, so trying out one or two spinning classes could give you a great idea if it’s right for you before you sign up for a dozen.
Is A Fitness Group Right For You?
Who knows? You're the only one who can answer that question, and you won't know unless you give it a try. Most people who give it a sincere effort tend to thrive in fitness groups for many of the reasons we've noted above. Being pushed or "paced" by a friend or a group is an excellent way to help you advance your progress and to stick with your program. Each feeds off the other. Figure out what kind of group suits you best; spinning, aerobics, pilates or even weightlifting. Then sign up for just a session or two to "audit" the class. When you find the right group, you'll know.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help You Make the Best Choices
If you have questions about joining a workout group in your area and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works hundreds of personal trainers, professional coaches, and nutritionists. We're happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget. And, for some great advice about equipment and accessories, don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.