10 Key Benefits of Group Exercise Classes

10 Key Benefits of Group Exercise Classes

Group workouts are becoming increasingly popular as more people realize the immense benefits that come with working out with a group of people. Whether it's a fitness class, a running club, or a group of gym buddies, there are many advantages to working out with a group of people. Here are 10 benefits of exercising in a group:


1. Motivation: Working out with a group of people can motivate and inspire you to push yourself further than you would if you were working out alone. The energy and enthusiasm of your fellow members can help you to do more and make the most out of your workouts.“Working out with a crowd carries a plethora of intertwined benefits that include enhancing consistency, duration, motivation, conversation and inspiration,” says Dian Griesel, Ph.D.


 2. Accountability: When you work out with a group, you are more likely to stay committed and show up for your workouts. After all, nobody wants to let their group down. In an article in the journal of Clinical Psychology 95% of patients that started a weight loss program with a friend completed the program. When you get outside of yourself and have additional support it can mean the difference in adopting the new lifestyle you want and another failed "diet attempt". 


3. Variety: Group workouts often provide a variety of different exercises and activities that you may not have access to when working out alone. This can expose you to new moves, new individuals, and new goals you may never have thought of setting. This can help to keep your workouts fresh and exciting, and prevent you from getting bored with the same routine. 


4. Socialization: Group workouts are a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Working out with a group can help to reduce stress and improve your mental wellbeing, as you are sharing the experience with other people. Not only that but it can help provide you the opportunity to network and connect with others in a non formal setting. It can create a more exciting routine, going to see your buddy can make it that much easier to turn off the Netflix an episode early and set that early morning alarm. 


5. Support: Working out with a group of people can provide you with a sense of camaraderie and support. Knowing that you have people to rely on when times are tough can help to motivate and inspire you. 


6. Guidance: Group workouts often involve an experienced leader or trainer who can provide you with advice and guidance. This can be particularly helpful for those who are new to fitness or are looking to improve their technique. This can also give those more experienced the push that they need to break through plateaus, get out of your own way, or try a new skill that has scared them. Having someone with regular eyes on you can be the difference between making a new p.r. or continually using the same weights over and over again. 


7. Fun: Exercising with a group of people can make the experience more enjoyable. After all, it’s much more fun to do something with a group of friends than by yourself. Just think of how excited you get to see your best friend for a weekend or catch up with family over the holidays. Having a workout buddy or a coach that makes you excited to get to the gym helps you reinforce the lifestyle you want in exercise! 


8. Progress: When you work out with a group of people, it can be easier to track your progress and compare your improvement over time with others in the group. It also leads you to push yourself harder and see more progress in your goals. The Kohler Effect is the idea that no one wants to be the weakest link in a group setting. This means you'll push yourself harder in a group setting then on your own. How much so? Well in one study in the Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology almost 25% more. In a study involving planking when working out with a "fitter" partner participants lasted 24% longer on average than when they attempted it alone. By working out with a friend it will be easier to track your progress and lead to more progress along the way. 


9. Competition: Group workouts often involve friendly competition, which can help to motivate and push you to do your best. A study by the Society of Behavioral Medicine showed that working with a partner, especially in a team format, improved performance, doubling the workout time of those who exercised alone. You'll push for more and try harder a Study out of Kansas State University found a similar result with a 200% increase in time spent exercise and intensity. 



10. Cost: Group workouts are often more budget-friendly than personal training sessions. They can also be a great way to save money on gym memberships or home equipment that tends to go unused besides as a coat rack. That "Coat Rack" on average cost people over $3,000 dollars, between a few pieces of equipment and one cardio machine. It is then more effective for most to get involved in a group workout to see better results and save themselves the money. 


Overall, working out with a group of people can provide many benefits. From motivation to accountability, and competition to cost savings, there are many reasons why group workouts are becoming increasingly popular. This doesn't mean that group exercise is for everyone. Potential pitfalls are; being in classes that aren't structured properly for your fitness level and goals; neglectful coaching, overly crowded classes, overly competitive environment leading to injury. You need to ensure that you find the right environment and coaching for yourself to ensure that you are seeing progress towards your goals. Fitness is only useful if it helps move you toward living a more full life. 


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