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Sports Backers Blog

Group Exercise: Believe the Hype!

By: Kofi Nimo, Fitness Warriors intern


Do you feel as if you’ve hit a roadblock in your fitness journey? Is there a lack of motivation to get into the gym and get started on the path to a healthier, more active lifestyle? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone. Many others feel the same way, including myself, at times. What if I were to tell you that you could finally get over that hump and find extra motivation to get active? What if the potential solution to your problem was simple: exercise with a group instead of going solo?

A group exercise setting has a lot to offer, especially if you prefer a high-energy atmosphere. A great benefit of working out with a group of people is the energy that radiates from the instructor and every class participant. This energy is contagious and will not only motivate you to do your workout, but will make it more fun! Another benefit of group exercise is the teamwork that’s involved. If you’ve ever taken a group exercise class, chances are you’ve heard an instructor encourage you to get through a challenging workout by saying something along the lines of “come on team” or “let’s finish this together.” This team mentality is an effective tool to push yourself harder through your workout. By doing your best work, you are in effect helping your team to succeed, and that is a great feeling!

One last benefit of group exercise is a phenomenon called the Kohler effect, which occurs when a person works harder as a member of a group than they would when working alone. In her article titled The Health Benefits of Working Out With a Crowd, Brianna Steinhilber states that “working out with a crowd carries a multitude of intertwined benefits that include enhancing consistency, duration, motivation, conversation and inspiration.” She goes on to explain that researchers at Kansas State University found that people who exercised with someone they thought was better than them increased their workout time and intensity by 200 percent.

There’s a bond that is created when a group struggles, sweats, fights, and grinds their way through a tough workout. Having a partner can even help you do exercises that you couldn’t do on your own. So the question isn’t whether or not you plan to take part in a group fitness experience, but when do you plan to sign up?

To help get you started, Sports Backers has a couple of options that offer the beneficial group exercise experience, including the Fitness Warriors program, where anyone is welcome to participate in the many free fitness classes offered during the week throughout the Richmond region. Through this program, residents also have the opportunity to become fitness instructors and lead their own Fitness Warrior classes. We also offer the YMCA 10k Training Team, which kicks off on January 18th, 2020! The training team provides folks with guidance of experienced coaches and teammates looking to achieve the same goal – conquering the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k on March 28th, 2020. You can learn more about those options, as well as a variety of other active living programs, at www.sportsbackers.org.

Do you still feel like there’s a roadblock in your way preventing you from accomplishing your fitness goals? Come out and get involved in what Sports Backers has to offer and I promise you won’t regret it!