Power of Group Fitness: Finding Motivation in Community

Finding the motivation to keep moving forward becomes a whole lot easier when you embrace the power of group fitness.

7 min read

Health & Wellness

Power of Group Fitness: Finding Motivation in Community

More from Wendie Weldon

We all know that maintaining a fitness routine can be challenging. Life's demands often leave us feeling tired, unmotivated, or in search of an excuse to skip the gym. However, finding the motivation to keep moving forward becomes a whole lot easier when you embrace the power of group fitness. In these fitness communities, you'll discover a sense of belonging, support, and motivation that no other workout environment provides. Besides, it's better to celebrate the journey to a healthier, happier you with friends by your side.

 

What Is Group Fitness?

Group fitness refers to any exercise or workout session conducted in a group setting, typically led by an instructor. These sessions can encompass a wide variety of activities, such as yoga, Pilates, dance, cycling, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or even specialized programs like CrossFit. The essential element is that it's a shared experience, with a common goal of improving fitness levels and overall health.

 

Benefits of Group Fitness

There's something undeniably energizing about joining others with similar goals. The group dynamic transforms the fitness journey from a solitary endeavor into a shared experience. Here's why it works:

 

1. Motivation on Tap

We all have those days when the couch seems more appealing than the gym. In group fitness, you're surrounded by like-minded individuals who provide the motivation you need to keep moving.(1) The collective energy is infectious and can pull you out of any fitness rut. Additionally, the accountability of having someone check in on you when you fail to show up will help you keep on track. In fact, 60% of Americans who exercise regularly rated group fitness classes as the most popular method of exercise.(2)

 

2. Accountability and Commitment

When you're part of a group, you're more likely to stick to your fitness routine.(3) The commitment to the group becomes a powerful force that helps you maintain consistency in your workouts. Committing to others and having them rely on you will help you follow through with your promises to yourself and them. Studies have found that group-based exercise programs are superior to individual-based fitness routines in terms of individual adherence to physical activity programs.(4) Basically, the buddy system is best.

 

3. Friendly Competition

Friendly competition can be a great motivator. When you see others around you pushing themselves, it can inspire you to do the same. Group fitness classes often foster an environment where everyone encourages each other to reach their full potential. A study created by the University of Pennsylvania discovered that group fitness fosters competition, which keeps people motivated far longer than if they were going at it alone.(5) The study split participants into four exercise groups: team competition, individual competition, an online non-competitive group, and a control group. Attendance rates for the competitive groups increased by 90% when compared to the non-competitive groups.(6)

 

4. Expert Guidance

Group fitness instructors are trained to motivate and push you to your limits, ensuring you get the most out of your workout. Their guidance can make a world of difference in your progress. Group fitness classes are led by certified instructors who know how to structure effective workouts. Trainer certification programs are designed to address the unique challenges and benefits of group training.(7) Their expertise ensures that you get the most out of each session while minimizing the risk of injury. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about constructing your own exercise program. They plan everything for you! All you have to do is show up.

 

5. Variety and Fun

Group fitness classes come in various forms, from high-energy dance classes to calming yoga sessions. This variety can keep your workouts exciting and fun, making you look forward to each session. With a plethora of class options available, you can choose activities that resonate with you. This variety keeps your workouts exciting and helps you avoid the monotony that often plagues individual routines. Before the pandemic forced us into online fitness or solo workouts, Mindbody released its 2019 Wellness Index Report: Fitness in America, which reported that the top four group fitness classes were: (1) Yoga, (2) Weight/strength training, (3) Combat-themed group workouts, (4) Swimming.(8) While maybe an uncommon belief, exercising can and should be fun!

 

Is Group Fitness for You?

Group fitness is for everyone, regardless of fitness level or age. It's adaptable to various goals, and you can choose classes that match your interests and needs. The only prerequisite is a willingness to embrace a sense of community and share your fitness journey with others.

 

Tips for Finding the Right Group Fitness Community

Try a Variety of Classes

Explore different classes to find the one that resonates with you the most. Whether it's cycling, barre, or CrossFit, there's a class out there that will become your fitness haven. It’s also normal to desire variety to keep you motivated so if you like to switch up your routine with a HIIT class one day and a Yoga class the next, then that is perfect!

 

Check the Schedule

Ensure the class timings align with your daily routine. Consistency is key to seeing results. Schedule your workouts at the beginning of the week and make them nonnegotiable. Without a schedule, important tasks and meetings will cause you to bump your workout to later in the day. This becomes problematic for a lot of people because moving it later and later will often result in the workout never happening.

 

Connect with the Instructors

Get to know the instructors, and choose those whose style and personality motivate you. Great instructors will know you by name and know if you have any injuries that might need modifications. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or correction on your form. That’s what they’re there for!

 

Set Realistic Goals

Discuss your fitness goals with your instructors and fellow classmates. This will help you receive the support and encouragement you need.

 

Joining the SunnyFit® App Community

If you haven’t downloaded the SunnyFit® App, now is the time! The SunnyFit® App was designed to keep you accountable no matter where you are on your fitness journey. Train at the convenience of a mobile device in the comfort of your home, at a hotel, or anywhere you find yourself. You can unlock over 1000 workouts, challenges, and Star Programs on the SunnyFit® App.

One of the best perks of the app is the live fitness community that is available at any time. There are team rides, social boards, and ways to share your progress every day. You can compete with your friends and family on the leaderboard for nonstop motivation and you can connect with like-minded individuals through the app!

 

Group fitness isn't just about shedding pounds or building muscle; it's about finding a community that supports your health journey. The power of group fitness lies in the relationships you build, the encouragement you receive, and the motivation that becomes an integral part of your fitness regimen. So, if you're looking to infuse some enthusiasm into your workouts, consider joining a group fitness class and discover the incredible strength of community on your path to a healthier, happier you.

 

1. Debra A. Laverie (1998) Motivations for ongoing participation in a fitness activity, Leisure Sciences, 20(4), 277-302, DOI: 10.1080/01490409809512287. Accessed 10 November 2023.
2. American Sports and Fitness Association. (n.d). Get fit together: The power of group fitness. American Sports and Fitness Association. https://www.americansportandfitness.com/blogs/fitness-blog/get-fit-together-the-power-of-group-fitness. Accessed 10 November 2023.
3. Graupensperger, S., Gottschall, J. S., Benson, A. J., Eys, M., Hastings, B., & Evans, M. B. (2019). Perceptions of groupness during fitness classes positively predict recalled perceptions of exertion, enjoyment, and affective valence: An intensive longitudinal investigation. Sport, exercise, and performance psychology, 8(3), 290–304. https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000157. Accessed 10 November 2023.
4. Burke, Shauna & Carron, Albert & Eys, Mark & Ntoumanis, Nikos & Estabrooks, Paul. (2005). Group versus Individual Approach? A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Interventions to promote physical activity. Sport Exer Psychol Rev. 2. 10.53841/bpssepr.2006.2.1.13.. Accessed 10 November 2023.
5-6. University of Pennsylvania. (2016, October 27). Want to exercise more? Get yourself some competition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 13, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161027122554.htm. Accessed 10 November 2023.
7. American Sports and Fitness Association. (n.d). Boosting your client base with group fitness. American Sports and Fitness Association. https://www.americansportandfitness.com/blogs/fitness-blog/6176830-boosting-revenue-through-group-fitness. Accessed 10 November 2023.
8. Les Mills. (n.d). Revealed: The most popular group workout categories for members. Les Mills. https://www.lesmills.com/us/clubs-and-facilities/research-insights/audience-insights/revealed-the-most-popular-group-workout-categories/. Accessed 10 November 2023.

 

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1 comment

Stark Fitness Studio

I read the blog post and it was really helpful. The way it was written was also enjoyable to read. Keep it up and please share more content. Cheers!