Almost everyone enjoys a good solo workout. Headphones in. Tune out. Get moving.
But switching it up and working out in a group setting has perks you wouldn’t believe. Endless benefits come with group fitness classes such as yoga, spinning or dance – benefits that are hard to accomplish on your own.
1. Achieve more by surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
Being drenched in sweat next to your classmates within the confining walls of a room may seem a little uncomfortable at first, but when the initial awkwardness wears off, you will feel an awesome sense of community that just doesn’t exist on the gym floor. There’s no denying the contagious sense of respect and appreciation that permeates throughout the room. You’re all pushing yourselves to improve, and that underlying feeling of camaraderie is unlike any other. And if you’re lucky, you might even hit it off with the person on the spin bike next to you post-class.
2. Discover amazing new music.
Group classes are an excellent place to discover new motivational music. When those speakers are turned up and blasting powerful beats with inspiring lyrics, they make participants want to work harder and get that extra endorphin flow going. If you like what you’re hearing, don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for the song title and artist. From retro-ride spin to hip hop yoga, most group fitness instructors put countless hours and energy into crafting the perfect playlist and will be so happy to know that you have enjoyed it.
3. Let your instructor push you to the next level.
Have you ever noticed the sweaty and exhausted (but happy) hordes of people walking out of a group class? One of the biggest benefits of group fitness classes is going through exercises that aren’t a part of your regular routine under the watchful eye of a true expert. It’s easy to wander from machine to machine on the gym floor alone without a set plan or routine – but having a teacher telling you exactly what to do in a class can really help you kick it up a notch and optimize your time spent at your health club.
4. Get in “the zone.”
Muscle memory develops well in a group fitness setting. Instead of carefully planning and executing every step you take, you follow your instructor’s commands and move along with the rest of the classroom floor. Oftentimes being in the group workout zone allows the mind to put focus elsewhere. While your blood is pumping and oxygen is moving throughout the body, you unlock parts of the brain that you may not have access to during other parts of your day. Some of your most brilliant subconscious ideas are bound to materialize during yoga (even if you’re trying so hard NOT to think), dance or barre. In fact, this article was crafted in my head during a spin class!
5. Discover a new hobby or passion.
Talk to other members at your gym and you will hear countless stories about class attendants-turned-instructors, or incredible mind & body transformations thanks to a newfound passion for group classes. While I personally like to switch up my routine and use fitness classes as a supplement to weight training and cardio, anyone could exclusively walk into Zumba or Piyo classes and feel like they did something amazing for themselves. Some people find a particular instructor exceedingly inspirational and dedicate all their workout time to their class, or even decide that they want to change other people’s lives and become an instructor themselves.
6. You will never, ever regret it.
Above all, the feeling you get after completing a group class is never one of regret. Even if the class happens to be extra challenging throughout the duration of the session, the profound sense of accomplishment afterwards makes it all worth it.
For some people, fitness classes are simply a training activity, but for others the classroom is a real life playground; a place to learn, reflect and grow.