The Pros and Cons of Working Out in a Group

By Kevin Jones

October 4, 2019   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

working out in a group

Working out in a group has become a very trendy way to stay fit over the past decade. Most gyms now offer group exercise schedules. Plus, studios that specialize in specific group classes are popping up everywhere.

Group fitness classes, however, aren’t a good fit for everyone. You should only participate in a class if it fits your personality, schedule, and fitness goals.

Types of exercise classes

  • Yoga, pilates, and barre- These exercises are great for strength and flexibility.
  • Dance fitness, including Zumba, jazzercise, hip hop, and pole dancing- Fun workout options that work on coordination and getting the heart pumping.
  • Lifting classes- These typically focus on high repetition movements to maximize your body’s endurance.
  • Aerobics classes- These classes include interval training, water aerobics, steps, and circuits.
  • Kickboxing- It’s a great option for stress management while building strength and coordination.
  • Outdoor activities- You can join a workout group that runs, hikes, or exercises in the park together as well.

If you’re considering whether group exercise is a good fit for you, weigh your options below.

The Pros of Group Exercise

pros of working out in a group

It Boosts Accountability

If you join an exercise class filled with people that have similar fitness goals, you will instantly feel the need to stay accountable to them and yourself. In this setting, fitness instructors may call you out if you miss a class or your energy is lacking. Additionally, you can make or bring friends and plan to meet them every week. These are both great ways to stay motivated and keep coming back to the gym!

You Will Work Harder

Group settings tend to bring out the best in us. With encouragement from the instructor and your fellow class goers, you will feel pumped up and ready to push yourself. Plus, your instructors are trained to keep pushing you to be your best self possible while avoiding plateauing.

It Keeps You From Getting Bored

Some people have trouble staying motivated because they’re bored with their standard treadmill or lifting routine. A group class can mix it up and help you feel like you’re in a supportive positive community (rather than alone and uninterested).

All those good vibes will further maximize the release of your body’s endorphins to help you tackle the rest of your day while providing a sense of well-being.

Add A Fun Factor To Your Workout

Outside of just fighting boredom, classes can be a lot of fun and bring joy to your life. Whether it’s lifting, dancing, kickboxing, yoga or cycling, they provide great outlets for you to challenge your body. You’ll be able to find something that you can be passionate about in your workout routine. Looking forward to a fun workout is a great way to stay inspired and healthy.

Improve Your Form

Instructors will do their best to teach good form and correct any major issues that they see with your posture during the exercise class. Plus, group workout rooms usually have mirrors on all four walls, a great way to self-check your form, too.

The Cons of Group Exercise

cons of working out in a group

It Lacks Personalization

If you are recovering from an injury or are struggling with a certain roadblock in your routine, you may need a little more personalized option. If you or your instructor feel comfortable modifying the routine, it may still work. However, if you get too competitive or unsure in group settings, it may not be the best option. A workout partner, trainer, physical therapist or even working out by yourself are all great alternatives.

You Might Get Bored

While classes help some people with workout boredom, some classes can actually start feeling quite mundane when the exercise routine isn’t updated regularly. This can lead to lack of motivation and a fitness plateau.

Lack of Flexibility

Class schedules tend to be early in the morning, mid-morning, and evenings. These times don’t work for everyone. Whether you have a late meeting or work crazy hours, having a set time and routine make it hard to be flexible when life gets unpredictable.

You Feel Anxious

Exercise is a great way to manage stress and maintain good physical fitness. If you’re an introvert and group settings give you anxiety, this may defeat the purpose and benefits of a good sweat session. Group classes have been found to be most beneficial for extroverted personality types.

Find what works for you and get moving!

The great news is that there is no wrong way to exercise, as long as you’re doing something to get moving consistently. The most important thing is that you’re finding a form of exercise that you enjoy and pushes you to be your best.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. Ultimately, you want to find a routine that you will continue for the long-term, whether it’s working out in a group or by yourself.

See Also: According To Science, This Is How Much Exercise You Need In A Week

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones is a freelance writer, researcher and fitness instructor/consultant. Kevin has written extensively in the fitness and health industries, writing for companies such as NordicTrack & other influential health and wellness brands.

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