How Group Workout Has Taken Over America

How Group Workout Has Taken Over America
Whereas in past generations, working out has consisted of either home exercise videos or headphones plugged in while running for hours at a treadmill, in recent years, people have started to gravitate towards group workout classes that specialize in a specific type of program. While there's no threat to gyms in terms of membership, the rise in boutique-style exercise programs is an interesting trend that gives non-traditional exercisers more options. Why the sudden trend towards working out together instead of by yourself? Here are a few reasons.

1. Cost

Depending on the gym and experience level, a personal trainer can cost anywhere from $80-120 an hour, which is somewhat out of range for the average person, especially when you consider gym fees, workout clothes, equipment, and other necessities. Group classes, on the other hand, offer all of the benefits of a personal trainer at a drastically reduced cost, since the price is paid by the group instead of the individual. You still receive a somewhat-custom experience, but not nearly as pricey.

2. Friendships

Working out alone has its benefits: you get to determine the speed, duration, and variety of the workouts that you do. However, working out alone can also feel isolating, as you very rarely interact with anyone else in the gym unless you happen to ask to work in a set on a machine. Moreover, since you're by yourself, there's no one to push or encourage you further, which means your intensity can wain. For those reasons, people enjoy going to group classes because they get to see familiar faces, make new friends, and receive the encouragement they need to reach their goals.

3. Intensity

While working out, in whatever form it takes, is taxing on your body, there's something about working out in a group and being told what to do that makes you push yourself harder than if you were by yourself. In addition, the group leader may also integrate variety as well, introducing new exercises that you are not familiar with, which spurs your muscles on to better and faster growth. If you have access to options for different classes, like Zumba, Pilates, or kickboxing, you'll be able to integrate several different workouts into your routine in a short period of time.

4. Accountability

Working out in a group holds you responsible for your own personal health. While no one will penalize you for not showing up to a workout, people will most certainly take notice and ask you why you weren't there - something that almost never happens if you work out by yourself. Group exercises are a great way to make yourself accountable for the goals that you start in the first place, and can give an added incentive to help you attain your fitness goals.

5. Supervision

If you're new to working out, or just new to the specific type of workout that you're doing in your class, you'll benefit greatly from having someone there to show you the proper movements. Not only will this keep you safe by not allowing you to work out in a way that could hurt you, but you'll also maximize your efficiency by having someone close by to tell you when you're slouching off. The people around you will most likely be enough push for you, but nothing beats the eye of a trained professional who knows exactly what to look for. 

6. Competition

The camaraderie aspect of group classes is great, but at some point, working out will get to the point where you want to outdo the people around you, instead of merely working out beside them. Whether that means going faster on your shadow boxing, jumping higher in your cardio, or diving deeper in a yoga class, the fact remains that being around other people who are doing the same thing you do will give you some extra motivation to kick it in high gear.