Top Tips for Successful Group Workouts
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
If you have not experienced the feeling yourself, maybe you have heard of it. Sweat covered individuals walking away from their group workout exclaiming, “There is no way I would have worked that hard on my own!” These individuals already experience the benefits of training in a group setting. Now it is time for you to experience the same satisfaction.
Working out as part of a group has many benefits. Group training programs take all workout planning out of your hands. With the entire workout prepared and clearly outlined beforehand, there is minimal thought required on your part. All you are required to do is show up, work hard, and leave smiling!
Group training sessions also allow you to meet others with similar health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. This newfound comradery will help create a positive, social experience to keep you coming back for more.
Whether you attend group workouts regularly, or are trying your first session, use the following tips to get the most out of your group workout experience.
Set your expectations - Before attending, be aware of a few common occurrences during group workouts. Compared to training on your own, expect elevated levels of enthusiasm from the instructor and others. Allow this to energize you and create a high-intensity training experience. Also, remember that nobody is an expert exerciser after just one session. Plan to attend at least three sessions to get comfortable with the routine, atmosphere, and instructor before making a final decision if that class is right for you. For example, Zumba is a great way to add a spark to your cardio routine, but it may take a few sessions to find your groove.
Meet and greet - A simple way to make yourself more comfortable within the group training setting is to get acquainted with the instructor and other participants. Introduce yourself to the trainer leading the class and share any injuries or limitations you have with them. Give the instructor an idea of what you hope to get out of the session and how they can help you accomplish this. This information allows the instructor to make the exercise and intensity modifications necessary for you to make the most of your workout. Be friendly with your neighbors as well, as group training sessions are a great place to meet new workouts partners. Try this at your yoga class and notice any self-consciousness melt away with each pose.
Be one of many - It is not uncommon for new exercisers to feel out of place and uncomfortable. New movements and loud music can make group workouts seem intimidating. Remind yourself that the other participants are there for the same reason. People of all experience levels and abilities participate in group exercise because they are trying to get a great workout – just like you. Take comfort in knowing the entire group is in this together and that not all eyes are on you. At your next cycling class, choose the bike in front and experience the extra motivation that comes along with leading the pack.
Participation > Performance - Too often we worry about our performance relative to others. Keep your focus on your participation, train according to your own abilities, and enjoy each workout as part of the process. Not every workout needs to set new records. Success can be found in simply showing up, putting forth genuine effort, and looking forward to the next workout. Consider trying MX4, a 30-minute, fresh take on group training that incorporates various types of exercises and equipment, or our other Small Group Training workouts.
Exercising in groups gives you the opportunity to train hard in the company of others with similar goals. Use these tips to make group training sessions something you look forward to. Incorporate group workouts into your routine and you will experience many health benefits, and may even inspire others in the process.
Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
Workplace Wellness Coordinator & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist