Strength In Numbers

Group exercise exploded onto the scene as a huge trend in the late 1970’s and early 80’s creating a brand new fitness culture which still thrives to this day. While step aerobics and the need for spandex may have dwindled the fundamental ideas behind instructor led classes remain the same. We know that many classes have great physical benefits but these group sessions have 4 vital elements that attract those who struggle to train alone:

#1 Community

As a species we are sociable beasts and actively seek out like minded people. Not all group exercise attendees are necessarily looking to build friendships however we are naturally attracted to people with similar aims and thought process’ so this bonding often happens by chance. One of the most powerful attractions is the ability to learn from those around you and discuss solutions to shared lifestyle problems.

#2 Responsibility

When booking into a class you have taken on an increased level of accountability. Being responsible for your own well being is the first big step in goal setting so putting your name down for that class means you have booked an appointment to stick to. Other members of that group and your gym buddy will also help keep you on track, at best motivating you to go along and have fun or at worst making you feel guilty enough that you get up and go to the gym!

#3 Inspiration

Having a social network around you helps inspire and motivate members into action, maintain a consistent schedule of exercise and support when needed. An important part of that network is the instructor that leads the session, they must understand the participants goals and musical tastes as well as continually motivating. We all need a little push every now and then, there is no substitute for having an expert pushing you to your physical limits. The motivation always comes before the perspiration!

#4 Fun

Physical activity should be challenging, practical and functional but above all else it should be fun. Smiling is massively under-rated! As we move are bodies are put under stress so why would you want to have someone adding to that by screaming in your ear or making you move like a one dimensional robot? Training with a group adds a little friendly competition and importantly let’s you interact with people and instructors every time you go along.

Tips

1 – Look for classes which are progressive and change in a structured fashion so that you are being challenged and allowed to adapt positively.

2 – Try, Try and Try Again. If your first experience of a group session was bad then go along to a class run by a different instructor as it could be the music or teaching style that put you off.

3 – Feedback is extremely important as long as it’s constructive. Letting a coach or the facility know what you like and dislike helps them to adjust the program going forwards. But always give your comments as it’s the only way things can change or improve.

So don’t sweat or struggle alone please use the power of community to keep you on track, take advantaged of shared goals and above all have fun.

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