Ever met anyone who just doesn’t need any help with training? They motivate themselves, they workout on their own, no coaching, no classes. They just live and breathe the solo gym hit. Yeah, us neither.
There are LOADS of reasons why group workouts are awesome and effective and we are yet to meet anyone who only works out by themselves. We all get by with a little help from our friends. Mike Russell, personal trainer and owner of ECHO Athletics explains the benefits of group training.
Why it’s better to train with others
That said, lots of people have the motivation, discipline and desire to train on their own. Their training schedules might not cater to working out with others all the time and for some people it just suits them to fly solo. For me though, I find far more enjoyment, encouragement and inspiration training in a group. It’s the business model Echo centres on. I want to give people the support and coaching similar to the experience you get 1-1 there’s something extra you get when training with a friend, a partner or a group. We’ve found that our members get more from training in a group setting but we keep it to 4 people max so it still feels personal. In this setting, You get to work hard, get the right coaching but also feed off other people's energy and feel inspired by what others are doing.
Going it alone can be challenging when you’re just not feeling it but doing it with like-minded individuals draws out a little more motivation, makes the work a bit more enjoyable and adds just the right amount of competition to keep you striving.
Here’s my Top 5 Reasons why group training is awesome.
Classes, whether they are Zumba, spinning, circuit or our own Echo SWEAT classes are a way to get your conditioning in without the stress of coming up with your own programme. Having a professional sort out the key activities + movements means you’re free to focus on your body, your pace and the accuracy of each exercise. You get to just show up alongside a crew of people there for the same purpose and just switch off, get sweaty and leave happier + healthier!
The motivation to get up in the morning and go to the gym, or head out in the dark after a long day at the office, especially as we head into the colder months, can be almost non-existent. If you’re flying solo, the temptation to stay under the covers or head straight home and plop yourself in front of the telly is strong. But if you know there’ll be a group of people there that show up and are expecting you to show up too, that might be all you need to keep yourself accountable when motivation is lacking.
Pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle is something that I always encourage people to do for themselves first + foremost. But there’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to keep you motivated and to push you into the next level. Training alongside people who are a little further along in their journey can be just the thing to push you further in yours and keep you hitting PBs as you train. The flipside of that is exercising with those who need a little more assistance: you can be the person who helps them to improve their form! Either way, you’re keeping your execution tight and continually moving forward.
The benefits of group exercise continue and celebrating is just better with a crew. Whether it’s working as a team to achieve a goal or having your teammates help celebrate your own personal wins, there’s nothing like sharing in a massive goal achieved or a lofty target hit. You can encourage or be encouraged by the people around you, sharing stories with those who’ve done the same things, or being the ‘this is possible’ beacon for those still on their way.
Being part of a Community
Okay so, camaraderie and community could be conflated but to me, they’re a little different. In my line of work I’ve been so fortunate to see people making not just training connections, but personal bonds for life. We’ve seen once-strangers head on holidays together, recent immigrants to Ireland meet a new set of friends, and two of our members who met in froup training session recently got married. There’s something incredibly special about that and it shows how the benefits of group training can go way beyond just the 45 minutes you’re at the gym for, expanding wider than you might ever have thought.
Ready to hit the gym? Check out our recommendations for the perfect sports bra here.