As any parent knows, one of the best ways to get your child to move fast is to challenge them to a race. At the count of “3, 2, 1, go!” they bolt into action and spring to life with a speed that seemingly comes out of nowhere.
When challenged to a race or contest, we are biologically programmed to push ourselves harder than we otherwise might. The added competition motivates us to move a bit faster to win. The same mindset applies in group fitness class.
Research suggests this could have to do with the KöhlerEffect – the idea that in a group setting, no one wants to be the weakest link. This study found that when participants did a plank beside a more-fit partner, the participants increased their plank times by 24 percent. This suggests that we push ourselves harder when working out with others.
Whether you’re still a beginner or the most fit in the class, group fitness classes offer many benefits. According to a study published in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association, working out in a group lowered perceived stress by 26 percent and significantly improved quality of life. Those who exercised individually also saw a boost in quality of life, but no significant changes to their stress levels.
Everyone has reasons why they enjoy a particular style of workouts. Maybe you are looking for an extra push of motivation or something that is just more fun. Here are some reasons to consider trying a group fitness class:
- Motivation: Pumped up music and enthusiastic instructors rev up your energy and may push you harder than you would push yourself.
- Accountability: Meeting your friend at the gym holds you accountable when you otherwise might not go. Some classes even have you sign up for the class beforehand to reserve a spot – so there’s more pressure to follow through.
- Variety: Instructors, music, and exercises vary. The change is good to keep things exciting and to work different parts of your body.
- Structure: After a long day at work, the thought of thinking about what exercises to do can feel overwhelming and make you avoid the gym completely. But group fitness classes guide you through your workout from beginning to end – no additional planning required.
- Fun: And of course, group fitness classes are meant to be fun. Whether it’s joking around with your friends or hearing that one throwback song you used to love, coaches at CrossFit Southpaw plan their classes to be enjoyable, social and fun.
If you find yourself in a rut or not wanting to workout anymore – consider trying a group fitness class. At CrossFit Southpaw, we have found that our members experience the incredible benefits listed above and more. Schedule your Free Consultation with one of our coaches today by visiting crossfitsouthpaw.com/get-started. What do you have to lose?