Fitness: Groupie Love: 3 Reasons You Should Include More Group Classes In Your Fitness Routine

Having trouble getting up at 5:30 for that Zumba class?

Missed the gym again today… for the 3rd year in a row?

Whether you join a workout group or get your own group of friends together for a workout, here are three reasons why more is merrier for earning your fitness gains.

Motivation

If you’re like me and struggle to get a workout in after a long day at the office or would rather choose an hour of extra zzz’s over a breakfast date with the Stairmaster, than it sure sounds like you can use a dose of group therapy. The group setting is always a great way to re-energize your workout, commitment and goals. Committing to more classes in your regimen even just once a week has shown people who worked out separately had a 43% dropout rate from a particular workout routine, while those who went to the gym with friends or took a group class had only a 6.3% dropout rate.

Accountability

Stanford University found that simply receiving a check-in phone call that asked about your progress every two weeks increased the amount of exercise participants did by 78% on average. So even if you can’t find a buddy to drag you to Sunset Yoga or Hip Hop Ab Blast, just having to answer to someone does wonders for our attendance rate. Heck, sign up for classes that debit you even when you don’t show. Something about risking that extra $15 bucks for 3 days worth of latte’s will make you think twice about being a no-show.

 Stepping up your game

The Kohler Effect is real.  For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it describes not wanting to be the “weakest link” in a group or partnership. Specifically, working out with someone more fit than you will, in turn, make you more fit. Not only will friends and fitness buddies get you more motivated, but there’s a natural tendency when you workout with those who bring their A game, to improve your current fitness level and make you better. Yes. Better. If you work out with people who are faster, stronger or fitter than you, you are going to get in better shape. A study out of Kansas State University found that most “weak links” (usually me!) witness almost a 200% increase in endurance, strength and skill when subjected to working out with groups and individuals “fitter” than them. I mean. Talk about peer pressure.

(Photo Courtesy of Chris Pan Photography. Instructor: Andrea Bogart, Group Fitness Instructor, Body Language Sportswear)