It wasn’t too long ago that the term boot camp was reserved for military recruits and virtually all “group rides” took place on Harleys. Those days are long gone as group fitness has forever changed what it means to work out for millions of Americans.
Even participants in traditionally individual sports like cycling and running are finding value in aligning with a core group of training partners to supplement their individual workouts.
Why the shift from fitness as a solitary discipline to a collaborative affair? More importantly, what’s in it for you?
- Group fitness is here to stay
- The inherent benefits of group workouts are many
- By properly integrating team training into any plan, you can enjoy those benefits
Perhaps the most interesting component of the rise of group fitness is the diversity of its adherents. Participants range from schlubby weekend cyclists all the way to extreme cross-fit zealots and everything in-between.
If you are interested, there is a group for you, and the right group can bring a variety of positives.
We’ve all slogged through workouts where we weren’t our best. A variety of ailments or mental hurdles may have prevented us from giving it our all, or even showing up in the first place.
In contrast to an individual plan, when you fail to show up for a fitness group, you are missed. This can prove to be an incredible positive. Encouraging texts and social media posts from your team can be all you need to battle back the next time the snooze button beckons at 5:30am.
What’s more, not only does your team expect you to show, that team expects you to perform. This is another important component of accountability. One only need get “dropped” from a group ride to understand this concept all too well. The aftermath can serve as much needed motivation.
A friend cheering from the side of the course on race day can be helpful, but that same friend actually engaged in the activity with you over weeks or months is much better. The camaraderie you can build via group fitness highlights this value.
Social interactions with fellow team members are natural and can last even after workouts end. Many people are able to build entire new networks of friends based on commonalities discovered through shared fitness. Business connections are possible as well, though this has limits—so leave the Amway recovery drink at home.
As a veteran of a healthy lifestyle, there can be times when fitness is just… boring. Your energy and enthusiasm level can ebb and flow throughout the season. The antidote to this is variety.
Group workouts can help. Instead of slogging through the same or similar routine day after day, simply following someone else’s plan (even once a week) can breathe new life into your workouts, your mental health and your gains.
Most people sign up for group fitness for one reason—interaction. Successful team members use those interactions to not only connect socially, but to get better. By engaging with your workout team and asking questions you can learn about managing injuries, racing tactics and even which gear works best. This can help you crowdsource your best self, a valuable thing for newbies and veterans alike.
At the end of the day, just being able to say “we’re all in this together” feels a lot better than taking on the world alone. By incorporating a few group workouts into your normal routine, you can enjoy these benefits and others, bolstering your performance and your state of mind. Finding the right group that approximates your fitness level and goals is key.
Zoom Performance hosts many group fitness events throughout the year, and we have a vast network of additional groups we can recommend. If you are interested in finding some accountability, camaraderie, variety and leveraging the benefits of shared expertise, we’ve got the perfect group for you.
Contact your coach for details.