I’m a fan of Group Exercise, it was how I first ‘got into’ the gym and I now teach 8+ classes myself a week. I think Group Exercise actually works really well, and I don’t just mean classes – team sports, running clubs – I believe all the ways that people can train with others can have a beneficial effect on people.
- It can help you get started – Going into the gym alone at first can be daunting when you have no idea where to start. A class or a running programme like Couch to 5k provides structure and allows you to get moving in a way you can be confident is safe and effective.
- It keeps you committed – Signing up to a class or joining a team or club where there are set days and times to attend means you are less likely to decide you’d rather go home and veg in front of the TV at the end of a long day.
- It can make you work harder – A team sport encourages you to perform you best for your team mates, running as part of a club can encourage you to keep to a set pace, the music, instructor and people around you in a class can make you try as hard as you can for the whole length of the class. For many there is something about a group that makes you try harder than when you are left to your own devices in the gym.
- You have a ready made exercise support network – Especially relevant when you are starting to create new habits. Your family and friends might not get your commitment to picking a spin class over a Netflix binge at first, the other people in that class will, making all the difference in you not feeling like some kind of freak! And if you ever aren’t sure about something there’s a whole group of people who might be able to help, in particular, you will also have an instructor or coach who has the knowledge to help you improve at whatever you have chosen to do.
- It’s social – You will make friends at a club or in a class. You get to meet people from different backgrounds and get to know people outside of your normal work / social circle. This in itself will make sticking to your exercise plans easier.
- It can increase your confidence – The group environment and having an instructor or coach to hand can give you the confidence to try new tings, maybe adding a new type of class to your week or running a longer distance. All the things above can help create an environment where your confidence can grow.
I do like training in the gym by myself too but for pure enjoyment I would always pick a group exercise class as my training of choice that day.
Do you prefer to train alone or as part of a group?