Do you look forward to hitting the gym floor by yourself, only to be accompanied by whatever Spotify playlist you’re obsessed with at the moment? Or do you look forward to checking your gym’s group training schedule?
Turns out that the latter example may be your best option. According to a study by the American Osteopathic Association, people who participate in group exercise reported a perceived improvement in their mental, physical and emotional health. Those who exercised alone worked out twice as long and did not see any changes in their physical or emotional health1. While being the gym’s lone wolf might seem like the perfect way to clear your head and get more done, group workouts may just offer even more benefits.
When you’ve committed to working out in a group – whether it’s a class or group personal training – you’re more likely to show up. When it’s just you, it can be easier to sleep in or go to happy hour with co-workers instead of the gym. When there are people waiting for you, it can be hard to let them down and as a result, let yourself down.
Your group coach’s job is to be there to support you, put you through a safe and productive workout, and to keep boredom from setting in. Knowing your training coach has your best interests at heart can build anticipation and motivation to keep coming back.
When you’re on your own workout time, it can be tough to figure out what to work on and how hard to push yourself. With a group workout, the planning is already done for you and the coach is there to push you harder than you would be if you worked out on your own.
Practicing good form increases awareness to prevent injury and imbalance. But while you may think your lunges, bicep curls and running gait are flawless, having your coach’s eyes on you to give you expert instruction can be a game changer.
The camaraderie of working alongside people with similar interests and goals can provide endless support and motivation to work harder. The more consistently you show up, the more you can get to know the other people in class who can add to the fun and accountability of group workouts.
While everyone’s workout style is different, one thing remains the same. In a group setting or on your own, your style should give you the most opportunities to achieve your best workout results.
1ScienceDaily. (2019). Group exercise improves quality of life, reduces stress far more than individual workouts. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171030092917.htm [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].