I am a HUGE supporter of group workouts. Why? Accountability, support, motivation, and affordability. I find that my clients in group settings are constantly reaching, exceeding, and making new goals. I offer a variety of group settings from partner, small group, and bootcamp style workouts to suit my clients needs. Personally, I find that I push myself when I see someone else busting their butt in a workout.
I recently read a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine(2012; 44, 151-59), about ideal scenarios for motivating exercisers to intensify their workouts. To determine this, the researchers randomly divided 58 female subjects among three scenarios: solo exercise; coactive (exercising independently alongside another person); or conjunctive (exercising with a partner perceived to posses greater capability).
Participants exercised on an indoor bike with a video game monitor at 65% of heart rate reserve on 6 separate days. They first began with a pretrial, in which they were instructed to ride for as long as they felt comfortable. Each coactive group member was paired with a partner via Skype. What subjects did not know was that the Skype session was actually a prerecording designed to give the impression that it was a live chat. Prior to the intervention, each subject was told that her “partner” had ridden for significantly more time than she had during the pretrial. The exercise session began with the goal of seeing if the subject would improve her exercise time. The virtual partner’s video was looped so that it seemed as though she was riding continuously. Each conjunctive group member was placed in a similar scenario, using Skype, but in this case the subject was encouraged to work with her partner, instead of competing against her. The researchers explained that the pair would be scored based on the time of the first person to stop exercising. Again, the partner video was prerecorded and played on a loop. So what trial proved most effective? Participants persisted longer when working alongside a more capable coactor than when working alone. The women in this group averaged a 49% improvement over the subjects who were exercising alone. However, it was when women were paired with a partner in the conjunctive setting that participants produced the greatest output. Women in this group persisted 102% longer than those who were cycling on their own.
These findings show that group motivation can influence exercise performance when paired with a moderately more capable partner. So get a buddy or two and get ready to take your workout to the next level! Message me for details on current group workouts and pricing.
Have a great week,