With Guest Blogger, Andy Stern
Group fitness may not be a new concept, but we have seen a massive international trend over the past twenty years in group fitness classes. All around the world gyms are now offering group fitness classes from boxing classes to high intensity weight lifting sessions, but that’s not all; there is also a surge in “boutique fitness studios” popping up which typically only offer group classes, for example Rumble Boxing. There is a captive audience of people who are looking to shake up the traditional workout and join this #FitFam craze. But what is all the fuss really about? Are group fitness classes all they are cracked up to be?
Working out with a group has a ton of benefits including enhancing consistency, efficiency, motivation, social interactions, and, arguably most importantly, commitment.
Fitness Studios help improve our consistency because they involve a commitment to a schedule. We schedule a spot in a class, often 1-2 weeks in advance, and commit to going. With the cost of these classes ranging from $20 – $50, the enrollment is not only a personal commitment but also a financial commitment. Often times studios will charge you for late cancellations or not showing up to the class which can help to ensure that you are not skipping those workouts. In addition, the set duration of the class, typically 30 – 60 minutes, allows us a sense of security knowing our time will be maximized for optimal results. Being provided a start and end time for a class, we are better able to plan out our exercise routine and make sure that we fit it into our day.
Our peers in the class also help keep us accountable for going. Many of us will feel a sense of responsibility to show up because we know that our peers are going. Therefore, the other people in the class are often driving positive forces to not cancel or no-show the class. For most people, it’s difficult to stay consistent with workout routines, but having a certain group there waiting for you provides you with the motivation and accountability everyone needs to be successful.
When you are working out with the same group of people a couple of times of week, each and every week, you get to know them all. You form a bond over the shared workout, the endorphin rush from pushing yourself harder than you ever have before, and they become your #FitFam. They push you, you push them, and you all work together to keep each other accountable.
Not only do the other people in the class help keep you accountable, they can also help ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout and using 100% of your effort. The Kohler Effect is the idea that no one wants to be the weakest link in a group setting. When it comes to fitness, this translates to pushing yourself harder when tasked with working out with other people. Group settings can lead to a positive competitiveness. For instance, wanting to keep up with those around you can make you push yourself harder than you would on your own.
Many of our favorite group fitness classes are also in dark settings. This plays a huge role in not feeling like the “weakest link.” Many of us may be self-conscious when it comes to exercise, but we feel comfort when others around us can’t see what we are doing.
It seems that opting for a group class for at least a few workouts a week may help you push yourself past the threshold you tend to hit when working out solo — whether that be in time or intensity. So, give it a try, sign up for a class, find a new activity that you enjoy, and create your own #FitFam. If you have trouble staying consistent with your workout routine, or if you struggle with pushing yourself to the necessary levels, group fitness classes may be the answer you are looking for.