Have a Blast with Group Fitness
How many friends do you have? Okay, that might be a sore subject for the loners out there but I’m sure you can think of 3-4 friends right off the top of your head (give or take). Why not use those friends to help implement one of the biggest pillars in a sustainable training regime: motivation and support.
Group Fitness: Get Results
Grabbing a friend to be your workout partner or even a participant in group exercise/classes can be a great way to ensure you stay on track!
I cannot speak enough about the benefits of having a good core group of people to work out with (and complain with) in achieving your fitness goals; they are the biggest motivators (Jeffery et al 1998).
When it comes to group fitness or workout partners let’s go over four reasons you need to jump on board:
You Actually Show Up
Monday afternoon rolls around, life sucks. It’s been a terrible Monday and the last thing you want to do is get in a workout….you’d rather belly up to your local drinking establishment.
Let’s face it most of the time we skip these workouts. If you are part of a workout group…not so fast on skipping out.
It’s so easy for us to let ourselves down and talk ourselves out of doing things we don’t want to do but when you have a group or partner waiting and depending on you, it’s infinitely harder!
Workout groups hold you accountable to just show up in the first place and once you do get there you can unleash the beast!
As much as you may hate your group for making you show up, you will thank them later!
You Push Yourself to the Max
You’ve finally made it to the gym because you didn’t want to let Bob, Susan, and Jimmy down (in your mind you may be cursing them for making you show up but you still didn’t want to let them down).
You are incredibly sluggish and really don’t expect too much out of this workout, you figure you will just go through the motions…and then human nature takes over.
That competitive streak in you kicks into overdrive. You may not think you have one but everyone does; it’s human nature.
You notice that Bob just did 13 pullups instead of the 10 everyone had planned on doing, or that Susan literally just mopped the floor with you on mountain climbers. Don’t even mention Jimmy…that SOB is making you look like a child amongst grownups. They are not trying to outwork you, they just are.
What do you do? You forget the sluggishness and push yourself as hard as possible. That is one of the beauties of group fitness is that you push each other to reach your peak, your max, your ultimate badassness!
You may not notice it at the time but you will pushup yourself to run faster, lift more, and jump higher!
Competition is a beautiful thing (even if you don’t realize it is occurring).
You Pick One Another Up
You’ve had 3 great workouts this week with the fitness group, but you totally bombed the weekend. Working out went out the window and don’t even mention nutrition…your healthy regime was non-existent.
You are feeling down. You feel like giving up because you gained back the 4 pounds you lost the previous week or so. Why try? Here comes your group to the rescue.
This is another one of the most wonderful things about have that group there as a support system for you. They literally won’t let you give up on yourself because it means you are giving upon them.
They will be there to pick you up and support you and make sure you get your ass back to working out and not feeling depressed.
It works vice versa as well because when you pick someone up you are picking yourself up as well.
You Achieve Results
Go ahead and thank Bob, Susan, and Jimmy (friggin Jimmy) for helping you get to where you want to be. It’s said just committing to a workout group increases your chance of success by around 80%.
The accountability, encouragement, and support that they provide really can add up to some huge results! You may even want to buy them a drink at that local establishment!
I know schedules can conflict which makes having a group fitness or workout partner hard to achieve, but by being flexible and scheduling workouts and classes far in advance you can get all of the benefits listed above.
You can create your own workouts to push each other to the next level (or everyone can work out together).
Grab some friends, start a group fitness class, say goodbye to the excuses, and achieve your goals together…no one wants to be alone!
Jeffery RW, Wing RR, Thorson C, Burton LR (1998) Use of personal trainers and financial incentives to increase exercise in a behavioral weight-loss program. J Con Clin Psych 66: 777.
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