Why working out together is always better!

26 July 2018
This photo shows a group of participants dancing in a Zumba class outside.

By: Gina Adrover, Health & Wellness Director, YMCA of South Hampton Roads

Maybe you’re the person who walks quickly past the door of the group exercise room, hoping the instructor and participants don’t notice you avoiding the class. Maybe you’re the lingerer outside of the glass doors, peeking in thinking “I wish I looked that happy while I work out.” Maybe you’ve tried a class or two, and are still looking for the one that feeds your soul. Maybe you think group exercise is leotards and leg warmers. We’ve all wondered something similar (yes, even me, a diehard group exerciser since 1993).

While we’ve all had our own thoughts about group exercise, the universal question seems to be: what is it about group exercise that makes working out seem like it’s fun? Read on...your answers are bulleted below. 

  • Camaraderie
  • Motivation
  • Accountability
  • BONUS! Organically learning lyrics to the latest Top 40 hits

Let’s chat about camaraderie, or what I like to call “positive peer pressure.” Group exercise can seem intimidating. 30 people in a room, moving together, lifting weights, running sprints, doing downward facing dogs, booty popping, push ups, mountain climbers, crow poses, and even (ack!) BURPEES. Who wants to do that? YOU DO. Because your friends (even if you have not met them yet) are in there. 

Your friends are in that room. You’ve got this. Let’s workout, together. Then you see the instructor. Guess what? At the Y, our instructors look like you. This makes you feel comfortable and safe. This makes you know that if an instructor who looks like you is in that group exercise room and your friends are in there, then there’s a spot in there for you, too. Not so scary anymore. And that group exercise instructor who looks like you? They are there to motivate you (and tell you, at times, really cheesy jokes). 

So now we have your friends in the room with you and your instructor helping you learn how to move safely. You’ve found some classes that you look forward to attending each week. What will keep you coming back? Who keeps you accountable? The answer is simple...everyone else in the class. They wonder “where is Sarah today? She is usually to the right of me.” “Wow! Bob hasn’t been to Yoga in three weeks. Did he go on vacation? I hope he isn’t sick.” This magical thing happens when you attend group exercise classes...people miss you when you’re not there. Accountability. Then, RESULTS!

(BONUS! My 11 year old son thinks I’m cool because I know the lyrics to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons.)

This philosophy of togetherness has been proven to drive results in the health and wellness world, and for that reason we are excited to announce new names for some of our most popular classes beginning September 1, 2018. Expect the same great class, just with a new name to help newcomers know what type of workout they will get in class AND remind you that when we work together, anything is possible! Since August of 2015, we’ve infused YUSA’s primary vendor of pre-programmed classes, MOSSA, with a variety of our freestyle offerings. Through Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and the scientifically proven programs provided by MOSSA, our instructors stay up to date on the latest and greatest moves and music, bringing options for all levels of participants and classes pretty much anyone can enjoy. These MOSSA classes include classes like Group Power, Group Ride and Group Fight, and will all be renamed to promote the feeling and power of togetherness. 

Not sure which class is right for you? Ask a group exercise instructor. We’re happy to guide you in a direction that makes you feel comfortable, happy, safe and strong. And if you stop coming to class...we’ll ask your friend from class where you are. I’m sure you just forgot to tell us you went on vacation, so we’ll just see you next week.

Class names are changing

Current Name New Name     
Group Power Strength Train Together
Group Active Active Together
Group Fight Defend Together
Group Blast Cardio Step Together
Group Core Core Focus Together
Group Ride Cycle Together
Centergy Balance & Flex Together
R30 Cycle 30 Together