Struggling to stay motivated to hit the gym? Why not take Joe Humphries’ advice and call on your friends for help? We catch up with the Orangetheory Fitness guru to find out why group workouts are the key to staying fighting fit and having fun along the way.
If you are like many people, you are familiar with this situation: you walk into the brand new gym close to where you live, eager to sign up for a membership. You sign all the forms, make the deposit, and get the customary tour around the gym floor. This time, you’ll stick to it, right? Maybe you attend steadily for a month or so, and even start to see some great progress. Then, life happens. You suddenly have a plethora of excuses to skip your workout for the sake of convenience. Most people know that having a workout buddy can seriously help with getting the motivation you need to hit the gym — but what if you had ten or twenty of them? Most modern gyms make this possible by offering group workouts, and thank goodness they do, because the benefits are huge.
1. Extra Motivation
When I first began my fitness journey, I would often show up to the gym and immediately become overwhelmed by the amount of equipment around me. Sure, sometimes I would have a vague plan for my workout, but there were so many pieces of equipment available that I would often just wander around trying to figure out where to start. Group workouts eliminate this problem by creating an environment full of like-minded people led by an instructor who knows exactly what he or she is doing. There’s no more time for wandering around or wrestling with indecision; you simply have to show up and get to work.
2. More Accountability
There is a great sense of camaraderie in a group workout environment. Seeing everyone else around you fighting through when the workout gets tough is great motivation! Most good exercise classes use the power of social encouragement, not shame, to motivate their class members. Instead of unhealthy comparison and judgement, there is a “we’re in this together” vibe that is contagiously motivating. It’s hard to slack off when everyone is expected to work just as hard as the person next to them.
3. Community Spirit
The sense of camaraderie present in group exercise classes really does go a long way. Group workouts are a fantastic place to meet new people who you can immediately relate to on at least one level. There are normally anywhere from ten to thirty people in a fitness class, and many people form friendships or even significant others from relationships that began at a group exercise class.
4. Proper Form
One of the primary reasons that people don’t work out is because they feel that they have no idea what they are doing. You might try to figure it out along the way, but that often leads to forming incorrect training habits. Some people choose to purchase personal training sessions, but these can be extremely expensive. Group workout classes gather a large group under the eye of a qualified trainer who can correct your form and give you valuable advice without the price tag of personal training sessions; most gyms offer exercise classes for reasonable rates, or even for free.
5. More Fun
Group exercise classes are, when it comes right down to it, a ton of fun. I have been bored plenty of times working out alone, but I cannot recount a time when working out in a group environment that I have ever been bored. If you are an extrovert, group classes are a great place for you to get started on your fitness journey. The best part is, there is a huge amount of variety in exercise classes that most gyms offer; some common classes that you might find in a commercial gym are dance, water aerobics, weight lifting, bodyweight training, and HIIT. At the end of the day, working out is always more fun when you don’t go at it alone.
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