February is coming to an end super soon and if you’re yet to step foot into a gym this year – even after you promised yourself that THIS is the year that you get fitter, leaner, and healthier – then it might be time to call a friend. While there are loads of way to encourage yourself to stick with your new workout routine it turns out group training or working out with a buddy is still one of the best. We all know that one of the keys to any successful exercise plan and any real results is consistency. But, the challenges of exercising can be daunting for many, and it’s not uncommon for people to give up after only a short period of time. That’s why it’s good to workout with other people, and not just the little voice in your head yelling at you to please make it stop. A small group or gym buddy can help you to stay motivated, track your progress, and of course, have a lot more fun while you train. Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why working out with a friend or in a group will help you get fitter faster.
1. You’ll be more motivated
You’ve had the worst day at work and all you want to do is go home, wrap yourself in a blanket and eat ice cream. While it might be easy to cancel plans on yourself you won’t be so quick to cancel on your gym buddy who’s counting on you or a group class you’ve booked and paid for. Having a set time booked with a friend or a group of people makes it easier for you to commit to being there while making tentative plans to just hit the gym by yourself after work is an easy thing to skip out on.
When it comes to committing to group training I’ve found that subscribing to an app like FitKey, which gives you access to over 250 gym locations and more than 6000 classes per month, has been the best motivator for me over the past few months. I’ve managed to keep up a steady program of exercising 3 – 4 times per week using the app and I never bail out on workouts. The key is to take the time to plan your weekly workouts at the end of each week. Each Sunday I log on to the FitKey app, diary in hand, and book my fitness classes for the week. I then write them down in my diary so they’re set in stone. Most of the classes on the app can’t be cancelled less than an hour or two before the class so you won’t be able to duck out at the last minute. For me just knowing that someone at the gym is going to get an email saying they should expect me at the class is enough to get my butt down there.
2. Your workouts can be more fun
Believe it or not, slogging away on the treadmill by yourself isn’t the most exciting way to pass the time at the gym – it’s also not the quickest or best way to get results. But, with a workout buddy or group fitness classes you can inject a little bit of fun and something different into your exercise sessions. To spice things up, challenge your gym buddy to a game of squash or team up for an outdoor Bootcamp session, yoga class, or boxing fitness.
I love heading to fitness classes with a friend because, as strange as it may sound, it does help knowing someone close to you is suffering in solidarity. But, even you if you don’t have a buddy willing to sweat it out with you, group fitness classes are a great way to force yourself to commit to a workout and have more fun with others while doing it. Group training has a definite community feel to it and there’s no doubt that training together brings people closer and builds a real tribal feeling which is why group classes have become one of my favourite ways to stay fit. A lof of the classes I attend also use upbeat music to keep workouts entertaining and I like that the classes always offers something different than what I would usually do by myself on a gym floor.
3. You’ll work out harder
If you’ve ever trained in a group setting or with a buddy before then you will know that when you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone. Of course, finding a gym buddy or group that is on the same level as you is key. Choose a gym buddy or class that is equal to your fitness levels or abilities because while it might sound like a good idea to workout with your super fit friend you will regret it when they’re lapping you around the track.
If you’re competitive like me then group training sessions will be a great motivator. Because let’s face it; no one wants to be the last one in the class to finish the HIIT circuit or complete 30 push ups. But, having said that, make sure you only sign up for classes that you can handle. If you’re unsure find out more about the class and choose a class that caters for all levels, especially if you’re a newbie. Trust me, you don’t want to sign up for a Power Yoga class in your first week of yoga and fall on your face (true story).
4. You’ll finally be able to afford a personal trainer
While you might dream of one day having your very own personal trainer, it turns out that sharing with a couple more people is a lot cheaper. By sharing a trainer with a partner or a group of people you’ll also get many of the same benefits as you would working with someone on a one-on-one basis. In a group fitness class you still get access to personal trainers who will offer a new and different workout every time and you will stay have access to their expertise when you need an alternative to a certain exercise or need help correcting your form.
When it comes to group training, I personally love going to SWEAT1000 classes because they’re led by specialised trainers who carefully craft each session to ensure you get the most of our every workout. The trainers are always open to questions and will correct your form or assist you when you’re struggling in the class. Adventure Bootcamp for Women (ABC) is another great way to exercise with a personal trainer without blowing your budget as each session is led by a personal trainer who is able to help you with your form and offer up alternative exercises for you to try if you have an injury or recurring issue. If you’re interested in trying out these classes then I’d recommend you sign up with FitKey – Sweat1000 and ABC are both partners on Fitkey and you can opt to buy a one-month membership at R595 and get access to loads of classes and a wide variety of different trainers at the different studios.
5. It’s more efficient
Forget wasting over 90 minutes in the gym plodding through a dull workout, group training sessions are far more efficient. A good group class will offer a dynamic warm-up, a resistance training component, a cardio component, and a cool down. Having it all thought out for you saves you the time and energy of trying to design a balanced program for yourself. Exercising in a group setting with a personal trainer is not only efficient on your time (you can get a full body workout in an hour-long class) but it’s also more efficient for your schedule since you don’t have to do any of the research or spend too much time in the gym. Classes also have a clear schedule with a definite start and end time so there’s no “when I get around to it” or “ok, I’m done now” when it comes to a group training session.
Most of the classes I attend are 45 to 60 minutes long and I find they offer exactly what I need in that space of time. When I go to gym on my own I tend to faff around a lot and spend too much time waiting for machines or even just thinking about what I’m going to do next. Whether I’m in a yoga class or boxing class I like knowing that the trainer has the whole thing planned out and all I have to do is show up and do what they say. When it comes to efficiency FitKey has also helped me keep my fitness schedule more efficient as I can carefully plan each week’s classes according to what I want to achieve. I know I always want to fit in at least one yoga class a week for active recovery and at least one HIIT class to really maximise my workout and having all the classes easily laid out in the app and ready to book at the press of a button makes sticking to my fitness plan so much easier. Check out the FitKey classes schedule here to see what I mean.
Curious about trying out some group training sessions? Give FitKey a try! With FitKey there are no joining fees and no contracts or obligations. You simply pay the monthly fee of R595 when you want to use the membership and you’ll have access for a full month from the day you pay. There’s also a discount for new members at R495 for the first month and Momentum Multiply members get up to 25% off their monthly FitKey membership. PLUS, if you use this WomenStuff referral link you’ll get an additional R50.00 off of your first month!