Why This Group Fitness Thing Works

I’ve Always Liked the Buddy System

I believed in it, and oftentimes if I didn’t have someone to work out with I wouldn’t go to the gym. Having to meet a friend to work out with guaranteed that showed up when I said I would. This meant that I ate a good dinner the night prior and got some good sleep, because I knew that I would be workout out the next day.

In general, the buddy system meant I was a healthier guy out of the gym and that I pushed myself harder in the gym.

 Working Out In a Group Is a Great Thing

A couple reasons why:

A coach leads the class and:

  1. He/she knows you can do 10 more pounds
  2. He/she can see you’re doing something wrong and correct it
  3. He/she doesn’t care that you hate burpees
  4. There are a room full of witnesses which makes you a lot less likely to dog the last set
  5. Shortchanging yourself by “miscounting” reps is obvious. We know you didn’t finish 2 minutes before everyone else
  6. The positive, encouraging energy and compliments from others is a powerful motivator
  7. Finishing a difficult workout and receiving praise makes a positive mental impression that lasts. This keeps us coming back

Pretty tough to get these sorts of benefits from a dvd, YouTube, or a smartphone app. One must be amongst a group of their peers in order for something psychologists call the Köhler effect to happen.

This Köhler effect means that no one wants to be the weakest link. And as a result the weaker of us in the group will work a lot harder than they would if they were alone!

We Know It Works, How Can We Make It Even Better?

Well, for my next block of programming I’m going to mix in some partner workouts. Working with someone else is useful, because letting the partner down is out of the question!

Also, we can all encourage each other during class. I notice the best classes are those where everyone is talking to each other, pushing each other to keep up.

The buddy system (or the power of the group) works, leverage it to the maximum.

The O-Board Says…

20 Minute PT Grinder

10 Rounds for Max Pushups/Meters
1 Minute of Rowing
1 Minute of Pushups
*Meters are counted between you and a partner
**Pushups are counted by individual

Posted by: Stets