Fitness with Friends

Group fitness tests limits and pushes boundaries. It exists in many different formats, from small group training to indoor cycling and even to fitness challenges. In a recent group fitness challenge at our headquarters, participants performed a timed wall sit. As the time passed by, people sank to the floor, one by one. It continued until only Claire remained after four and a half minutes with her back against the wall, legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Claire, to her surprise, won the challenge after discovering she had more ability than she imagined — and she credited the group environment for helping her tap the resolve to test her limits.

“It was more fun with a group. The time went by much faster, and the pain seemed more tolerable,” said Claire. “I definitely felt it. It always feels good to work that hard.”

Claire’s comments capture so much of what makes group training unique. She had done plenty of wall sits in her 30-some years, and yet she never before tried to hold on for as long as she could. Group training makes working out a lot more fun, and it makes it feel less like work. It also adds a level of accountability — friendly rivalries emerge, and participants notice when their friends are missing. Also, it’s totally scalable to the size of the group.

Versatility is another great benefit. Exercises can be designed to fit the people in the class, and modified as the individual’s fitness levels progress. Incorporating various accessories and bodyweight movements into programs offers nearly unlimited options to keep classes exciting and engaging.

Thanks to the support, motivation and flexibility built into group training, this field will only continue to grow and evolve. Getting involved at the beginning will help your center acquire new members now and retain them for many years to come.

 

Becky Jalbert is the global product manager for personal and group exercise at Johnson Health Tech, parent company of Matrix Fitness. Visit matrixfitness.com for information related to group training solutions.

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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