The Power of Other Sweaty Bodies

If you’ve recently started a new exercise class/adventure or are continuing one, you’ve most likely met some new people, even made some new friends. At the very least, you see similar faces in your classes – faces you can count on to be there every time you are. I can tell you that the group dynamic of this program is just as important as what you do during these 30 minutes. I believe that the group makes a HUGE difference. YOU make a difference! How intolerable would it be to come to class by yourself (alone!) and have to sweat, grunt, and groan.  Can you imagine having to do a sandbag circuit or the agility ladder by yourself? Ok – you’d do it, but would you love it? I’d venture to say “eh, not so much”.

Group exercise has benefits way beyond having someone else to share in your pain.  It makes you more accountable.  A class of people expect you to show up and exercise with them.  You are less likely to cancel on a group than yourself, so you go to class more often.  People notice when you’re not in class, I promise you that. Even if you don’t “know” someone, they recognize that you’re missing.  And while you’re in class, you workout a little harder too! This means you get better results!
The class also provides support; an opportunity to work your frustrations out in an environment where other people may be doing the same thing.  You might not know that the person you were paired up with at your station was having a horrible day until being paired with you put a smile on their face. You do have the power to brighten someone’s day, even if you don’t know it. When you’re having a stinker of a day – the support of the group can “unstink” your day!  Also, the energy of the group is greater than that of one person. Just by being in the group, you’re likely to push yourself a little harder, try new things, and smile while you’re doing it.  Why not? Everyone else is!
The group is a dynamic entity that moves you forward in your training! For some people, this is a huge benefit! To others, it’s too much pressure. Please let me assure you that no one is judging you on your performance in class.  You are always encouraged to go at your pace. If you feel like you want to push yourself, that is your choice, when you are comfortable doing so. The group energy can be so contagious that you WANT to bust out all your moves and throw caution to the wind! Do NOT get crazy on me here! Do what YOU can do. This might be the only potential downside to group training: peer pressure or competition. If you can honor your body and listen when it tells you to “slow down” or “stop jumping”, you will be A-ok. 🙂
Be inspired and motivated by the group, but don’t be overthrown. 

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