When I first started working out I went to the gym alone and would stand on a treadmill or elliptical for an hour moving at a very moderate pace. I needed a TV right in front of my machine to last the hour and if I woke up not wanting to go, then I didn’t go. I burned my 350-400 calories and was on my way.
After some coaxing from a friend, I tried a group fitness class for the first time and was surprised at how much harder I pushed myself simply because I was in a room full of people doing the same routine as me. Although most people in a group fitness class are only focused on their own workout, I felt compelled to add a little more weight or move a little faster because I felt their eyes on me.
One of the things I love most about CrossFit is that our workouts are always in a group setting and each workout is scored. I never played sports as a kid, so I never had a reason to compete. CrossFit has given me a sense of competition, which pushes me to do the very best that I can do every workout. Intensity is hard to achieve working out alone, especially if you are new to your regimen. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point that I push myself to full capacity on my own, but it certainly cannot compare to working out with a group of people. For most though, motivation comes from the other people in the class with them and the accountability of their peers. Knowing that your 6 AM buddies will give you a hard time if you miss a workout, or making plans to meet your friend at the gym after work will increase your likelihood of getting your workout in.
Human beings are social creatures and most of us thrive in a group environment. The camaraderie that you gain from group fitness is unmatched and we’ve witnessed lifelong friendships and even marriages develop from our classes. If you’re struggling to hit milestones in your fitness, try a group class out. You’ll be amazed at the difference between doing your workout solo in your garage or regular gym and doing your workout in the presence of like-minded people who have become your close friends and accountability partners.