Going it alone on the gym floor can be a recipe for disaster. If you’re lacking supreme focus, drive and motivation, chances are you’ll walk away from a solo strength training session feeling uninspired, unfatigued and as a result, unchanged.
Research shows that there’s real power in numbers and group strength training is the way to go.
Get Fit Together, a study conducted by Dr Jinger Gottschall and Pennsylvania State University, engaged 25 people in a 30-week group fitness program. This group followed the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for physical activity (a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility exercise). BODYPUMP™ group fitness classes were the primary source of strength training.
The results prove that when you work out with others you achieve more than you would alone.
- Working out together gets you hooked. Over the 30 week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout and the group achieved an overall compliance rate of 98.8 per cent. There’s a sense of community created by group exercise that taps into deeper motivators than just physical improvement. It creates good physical habits and keeps us coming back for more.
- Working out together gets you healthy. Without changing their diets, research participants increased good (HDL) cholesterol and decreased bad (LDL) cholesterol. They also saw a decrease in body fat by seven per cent for men and four per cent for women, and increased muscle mass by an average of six kilograms for men and 1.1 kilograms for women.
- Working out together gets you fit. Participants who had a ‘poor’ fitness reading to begin with graduated to an ‘above average’ level after the 30 week trial; they also increased their aerobic capacity by almost 60 per cent.
Les Mills Head of Research Bryce Hastings says group fitness training like BODYPUMP works thanks to its scientifically-backed exercise combinations, inspirational instructors and great music. However he stresses that it’s more than just good programming.
“When you work out in a group you harness the energy of many. This creates motivation and challenge. It’s a totally addictive experience that keeps people coming back for more.”
And that’s when the real results begin.