The Perks of Group Exercise

After spending my first two months at Absolute Balance, and being relatively new to the group fitness scene, it became quickly apparent as to why the industry is leaning more and more towards this exercise style. My blog discusses why people are tending to choose this mode of exercise as their preference in a gym-based setting.

Typically, a group fitness class consists of a definite number of stations, work to rest ratio’s, participants, and has a specific component of fitness being targeted; for example, ‘strength’. If done regularly, these sessions provide excellent physiological benefits, especially when paired with balanced nutrition and consistent sleep routines. In addition to this, many other benefits are offered, due to the nature of being in a group-based environment.

These benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Social benefits; the opportunity to meet new people and interact with friends.
  • Psychological benefits; such as improvement in mood, and natural highs/endorphin release which is associated with completing a session.
  • Training structure; for those who may be lacking motivation, adherence to an exercise routine is more likely when coming together with workmates and colleagues.
  • Technique supervision; for the more advanced gym goer who may be looking for specific fitness gains, such as strength.

A recent study by researchers at the University of New England looked at the effects of group style exercise by controlling two groups: Group A, who undertook a 12-week group exercise program, and Group B, who undertook a 12-week solo exercise program and put in twice as much training time as control group A. The population as a whole consisted of medical students, reporting high levels of stress at baseline before their respective exercise interventions.

At the conclusion of the 12-week program, data analysis showed that group A had reduced their stress by 26% and improved physical, emotional and mental aspects with regards to their quality of life. The results for group B indicated no significant stress reduction change, and no change in quality of life, besides an 11% improvement in mental health. In conclusion, the researchers believed that “the communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone”.

Every week within our corporate facilities at Absolute Balance, I see the above assets being ticked off by our group exercising members. Our range of classes includes high-intensity modes of training to slower paced yoga classes and therefore, a vast range of exercise types to appeal to everyone. If you’re looking for help with regards to improving lifting technique, nutritional advice, programming periodisation, or further guidance with regards to a specific goal, then 1:1 personal training sessions are a fantastic extension to our circuit classes that we can provide. For more info, get in touch with us at Absolute Balance from our experienced team of exercise professionals.

 

Jeremy Boyle

Exercise Scientist

 

References

Farrance, C., Tsofliou, F., & Clark, C. (2015). Evaluating the views of participants and adherence rates of community based group exercise interventions: a mixed methods systematic review. Physiotherapy101, e374–e375.

Otto, M., & Smits, J. (2011). Exercise for Mood and Anxiety Proven Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Enhancing Well-Being (1st ed.). Cary: Oxford University Press, USA.

Special Benefits of Group Exercise. (2018). IDEA Fitness Journal15(4).