What's your gym persona: social butterfly or lone wolf? Are you more likely to hit up a group training class like spinning or Cross-Fit, or head for the solace of a treadmill, solo style? Turns out there are myriad benefits to group training. So if you're typically going it on your own, you may want to reconsider and join a group session or class. Here's why.
Group Training: The Science
First off, the benefits of group training are scientifically proven. A 2017 study of stressed-out medical students, published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, showed that group exercise training improved their quality of life. Conversely, the students who stuck to working out alone did not show a significant decrease in stress. The study concludes that "attending weekly group fitness classes could be a solution to improving the emotional well-being and stress level of medical students." Wow.
It's not hard to imagine that medical school is an extremely high-stress environment, so if group training helped those students, think of what it could do for you. If you're still not convinced, there are plenty of additional reasons why group exercise training can help improve your health and fitness, happiness, social life, and even your financial bottom line.
Group Training: The Common Sense
You'll Train More
Motivation is the key to any successful training program. If you're not motivated to show up and do the work, you won't get very far. And let's face it it can be hard to motivate on your own. If you're the only one who expects you to show up at the gym at 5:00 a.m., chances are high you'll roll over and go back to bed. But if your classmates are saving you a spin bike or a space for your yoga mat, you'll hustle out the door.
That type of accountability is a critical element of motivation, and it's an integral part of any group training program. But there's an equally important aspect to motivation that occurs once you get to class. In a group training setting, you're much more likely to push yourself harder than you would when training alone. Therefore, group training helps you stick with your class commitment and get more out of each workout.
You'll Train Right
When you head to an exercise class, you don't have to think about what to do. That's the instructor or coach's role. They'll be sure you warm up properly, complete a key workout or main set, and cool down. They'll keep an eye on you to ensure you use proper form. And they'll change things up from week to week, keeping you from getting burned out or bored.
You'll Have More Fun
Group exercise training may feel intimidating at first. But give it a try and we guarantee you'll get over your fear, fast. Group training classes are known for being social, supportive, and fun. And since you and your classmates already share a common interest, you may even become friends beyond the gym. You can also encourage your current social circle or co-workers to turn your next coffee date or weekly meeting into a group training activity. Why not hike, ride, or run while catching up?
You May Spend Less
Group training is far less expensive than hiring a personal trainer or a private coach. Many health clubs and rec centers offer classes for free once you've paid your membership fee. Or you can usually find coached workouts, classes, and boot camps at a reasonable rate. And if you rally a bunch of co-workers together for lunchtime walks or runs, you can workout as a group for free.
What are you waiting for? Pick a group training class or workout you'd like to try. Spinning, yoga, and circuit training are all great options to start. And don't forget your favorite BlenderBottle shaker to stay hydrated and fueled. A bottle from our Just For Fun series like Donut Ever Give Up or Let's Taco 'Bout Fitness could be a perfect conversation starter with your new classmates!