There are massive benefits to working out alone. You manage your own time and perform your own routine without any distraction. Then there are 1:1 workout sessions with a personal trainer, which provide even more benefits. You get guidance from a fitness professional who makes sure you have the right form and helps you learn new movements and techniques.
If neither type of workout sounds appealing to you, there’s a viable alternative: group exercise classes.
Individual exercises vs. group exercise classes: What’s the difference?
Exercising solo and feeling low
When you work out alone, you’re answerable only to yourself. You may struggle to find motivation while juggling daily struggles, busy schedules, and urgent tasks that take time away from a much-needed sweat-out session. You may fall into the trap of doing the same exercises, become unchallenged, and see poor results. Worse, you may work out more infrequently or give up exercise altogether.
On the other hand, having an exercise partner makes you plank harder and longer and pushes you to spend more time on that treadmill than when you’re going at it alone. The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology published a study in which two groups of people performed a series of planks, one with a partner and one without. The study showed that the group who had an exercise partner planked longer compared to those who did it alone.
Even if you don’t like planking, which is a good way to develop your core strength, the above mentioned study and similar research show that working out with a partner makes you exercise longer and improves your performance.
Being motivated by a group of like-minded individuals
Exercising with like-minded people can make a difference in your commitment to your exercise routine. Like-minded people will support you and motivate you to attend classes consistently and push yourself harder. They can positively affect the amount, quality, or intensity of your workouts. And if you’re required to pay for a group exercise class, that’s an extra push too — you don’t want your money to go to waste!
If you go to either one of our EaDo and Heights gyms in Houston, you’ll find an assortment of group fitness classes that’ll get those endorphins flowing.
We are not saying you should only work out with a group. But if you’re feeling down and your exercise mojo is low, know that you have other options to come out of a sweat-out slump and reinvigorate your routine.
Benefits of group exercise classes
Aside from boosting motivation, joining group exercises diversifies your fitness routine. The variety of fitness classes offered at gyms can make your regimen more well-rounded by varying your workout styles.
If your main goal is to lose weight and improve cardiovascular strength, you can sign up for classes that combine aerobic and anaerobic movements to burn fat, gain lean muscle mass, and become stronger. A barre class is a fun fusion of fitness techniques, including Pilates, ballet, and calisthenics, that can tighten and tone muscles without the unwanted bulk.
To improve muscular strength and endurance, choose weight training or boot camp classes. In these classes, you get a full-body workout using resistance bands, dumbbells, and balls in a fun group setting with your fitness besties and coach.
If you've always wanted to try yoga but haven't, now is the time to do it. Your gym likely offers yoga classes. Yoga will get your body moving and your blood flowing while a certified instructor guides you through different poses, breathing techniques, and meditation exercises.
Check out our yoga classes at our Houston gyms:
Flow Yoga – This 60-minute program is an all-levels class with modifications for each student.
Yoga For Strength and Balance – This is slightly more challenging than your average yoga class, focusing on Ashtanga, Forrest and Iyengar styles.
Zen Yoga – This late-night class combines restorative poses and an extended final resting pose, setting you up for a relaxing night’s sleep.
You shouldn’t underestimate the value of exercising with a crowd. A study shows that 95% of people on a group weight-loss program completed the program, compared to only 76% solo flyers who completed it. The research also mentions the group participants were more likely to continue their program.
Joining group exercises can also rouse your competitive nature, which makes exercising more challenging and exciting. A friendly competition with your workout peers and a little push from a training coach can be helpful when you’re trying to reach for a particular goal. At the same time, they can also cheer you on to train harder and longer, do more reps, and beat your previous personal records.
If you’re the social type, joining group exercise classes lets you work with people who share similar fitness goals and can help boost your performance, consistency, and inspiration. If you prefer working out alone, don’t worry. Most people you exercise with or join a group fitness class with you are just as focused on getting fit in an engaging and fun environment.
Further stress reduction
Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that improve mood and boost feelings of relaxation and optimism. Exercising in a lively and vigorous setting may help boost this even further. Not to mention, it’s way more fun. Group workouts foster camaraderie and make you feel more energized and pumped up. Exercising with another person — even if it’s something as simple as doing bicycle exercises — makes you feel calmer and it enhances the stress-reduction benefits of exercise.
Better form and technique
Some of the people you will meet in exercise classes have been working out at an intermediate or an advanced level, or they may have learned proper techniques from their trainers. As such, knowledge sharing is common among group exercise settings.
In group sessions, you’ll see what others are doing, and there are professional instructors who can help you out if you’re having trouble executing a movement. They’ll also teach you and the group the benefits of each type of exercise and demonstrate how to do all of them correctly. Gain insights from them to make the most of your gym membership.
Variety, community, fun. These are the benefits you will get from attending Facet Seven’s group exercise classes. Our EaDo and Heights fitness facilities offer vigorous yet fun and engaging group exercises guided by our certified fitness coaches. Check out our class schedules today and sign up!
About The Author
Founder & Training Director
Layn has spent his life immersed in the worlds of fitness and physical performance. As an athlete, he’s completed multiple endurance events such as the Texas Bandera 50k Trail Run, Austria’s Ironman 70.3, and the Alaskaman Extreme Ironman. He’s been coaching since 2008 with certifications in USA Weightlifting Level 1, CrossFit Level 1, Strong First L1, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.