Why Group Exercise Gets Better Results
As a mom, escaping the noise and needs for even 20 minutes can make for a much-needed recharge. Some days, my workouts are not just improving my fitness, they are preserving my children's lives. Are you with me?
Except, where results are concerned, research suggests working out in a group can help you better achieve your fitness goals.
I've witnessed it, time and time again. Sharing a workout is very powerful. Maybe it's the sweat in the air. Maybe it's a little friendly competition. Maybe it's seeing you're not the only one who has to wear a sports bra under your sports bra these days. (Thanks babies, for all the breastfeeding memories...)
At Belly Bootcamp I've seen firsthand, in the nearly 1,000 classes we hold each year, the effects that group fitness can have on morale, body confidence, and fitness level!
But blah, blah, blah show me the facts.
There's research to prove that you're not only more likely to EXCEL when you combine socializing with exercising, you're also more likely to stick with it.
That community is the secret sauce of BB.
Mamas come for the safe, effective workouts. They stay for the feeling of belonging. It's magic.
Still not convinced a BB class might push you past your at-home yoga plateau?
Here are the top 4 benefits to group fitness.
We are the sum of the people we spend time with, as they say. Finding positive, supportive workout friends can dramatically improve your fitness success, according to research. She urges us to think of our fitness buddies as coaches, teammates or cheerleaders. "A buddy can motivate you to do one more set, continue when you feel like you have just had enough and want to give up, or when you are feeling hopeless,” says Psychology Professor Dr. Gail Maidenberg, who has studied motivation, goal-setting and group exercise.
I've seen this in action time and time again, especially during group drills or partner activities. Really, it's amazing what you will do so as not to let your buddy down. A friend or workout partner's influence can truly help you bust through a plateau or attempt something you have a mental block around, or believe you are incapable of. The mind is powerful, and it is social.
Friends keep you and your workout routine in check. Mama, I know you've got 100 items on your to-do list every day. Dinner needs cooking. The kids have to be picked up at soccer practice. That Netflix playlist won't watch itself!
It’s easy to give these excuses to yourself but harder to say them out loud and expect others to buy in. After all, do you really think you're THAT much busier than everyone else? Research shows people who share their goals with a friend are 33% more likely to accomplish their goals than those who simply set them privately.
When you tell your friends -- and trainer -- you’ll be at BB every Tuesday, you become accountable to them and feel a greater responsibility to show up than if you only made that promise to yourself.
Trying New Things
Kick your fitness up a notch with a new partner or group challenge. Trying something new can create purpose for your workouts, give you a timeline to look forward to and inspire you to add some variety to your routine.
Change is good, especially when it comes to your workout. Alternating different types of physical activity can save you from boredom, keep your body from getting too used to an exercise (thereby burning fewer calories), and help you avoid overuse injuries. That same old 5K run and set of crunches you've been doing since university is not the key to a lifetime of fitness...sorry to break it to you. Group fitness activities are a great way to try something new, and bootcamps are one of the most popular group fitness options today. A "bootcamp" doesn't have to involve megaphones and army fatigues. It should have a qualified trainer, a variety of strength training and cardio options and drills, and "scaleable" exercises that every body type, ability level and size can do to their best potential.
Apart from getting to try something new and getting a good sweat out of it, group fitness activities are prime venues for making new friends. And WHO doesn't need more mama friends? Mat leave, and motherhood in general, can be a bit like a space mission. Solo.
I know starting a new group class can be intimidating. What if everyone does so much better? Will I look out of place? We hear these questions all the time at Belly Bootcamp from new clients, and we offer a free trial class for just this reason -- so you can come and see that we are all very much in the same boat.
Everyone's baby cries, everyone hasn't worked out in a while, and everyone makes funny faces when they do shoulder exercises. Soon, they are lingering after class to have lunch with their little ones or arriving early just to chat and exchange phone numbers. So, throw those fears away. Joining group fitness classes allows you to become part of a community with a common goal: get fit and stay healthy. If there's one thing I know, it's this: sweat bonds us.
Meeting new people can be tough on the nerves, but without meeting new people, you'd never MEET NEW PEOPLE. Get out there and enrich your life and your social circle.
So if your workout needs a boost and a little (or a lot!) of company, come find your mama tribe at BB. We can't wait to have you join us!