The American College of Sports Medicine has announced the findings of its annual “fitness trend forecast,” and found that among other trends like high-intensity training and functional fitness, group fitness will rise in popularity in 2015.
Group training has the unfortunate stigma of the 80s attached to it, giving us the image of sweatbands and workout videos aimed primarily at women. While trends come and go, group exercise for men’s fitness need not be the dancing workout we remember. Group training comes in many forms like cycling and boot camps.
While group training offers many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks if you’re not careful:
If you are looking for a way to individualize your workout, group training is not for you. Because group training involves many people, instructors may not be able to critique everyone’s form. Since many trainers teach the same group training routine over and over again, you’ll be less likely to improve as time goes on. Also, by doing the same high-intensity workout, there is the danger of overtraining.
One of the reasons many men stop exercising is pure boredom. If you primarily workout by yourself, the lack of social interaction and variety can quickly get dull. By working out in a group setting, you are less likely to get bored both physically and mentally with the variety of new exercises and people around to motivate you.
You don’t want to be the guy who skips out on his buddies. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, you’ll be more likely to do it. Known as a conjunctive task, these tasks can only be completed successfully if everyone in the group contributes. By training with a group of friends, you will be less likely to skip out on your workout and become more motivated, keeping everyone motivated in turn.
Many gyms offer group training that is both economical time- and money-wise. Since you are training with a group, trainers can train more people at once and offer deals that will make exercising more affordable.
If you’re not comfortable going to a gym to participate in group exercise, investing in home fitness equipment and inviting your friends over is also an option.