When misery loves company: the benefits of group training

Raise your hand if you have never heard, at least once in your lives “weightlifting is boring”, perhaps made by a friend, a colleague or even by your inner conscience. Maybe even when, on a grey winter afternoon, at the end of an intense day of study or work, you’ve found yourself lost in a dull weightlifting room with an endless list of exercises to be done.

Weightlifting is boring

Every bench is full, the mirrors hanging on the wall reflect people immersed in their inner worlds, with borders made of air pods, workouts and a brand new schedule card that still smells of fresh press.

The hard truth is that despite all the good will, the weight room and its individual workouts can easily turn into a labyrinth where it’s easy to get lost.

A dizzying labyrinth that could make us yet another dupe ready to become a philanthropic member of the gym with an annual subscription contract sitting by the bedside table and a grand total of 5 entries made from February to June.

In short, if the danger of donating your entire subscription to charity is always around the corner, it is undeniable that training all alone doesn’t really boost your motivation. If we add to this a daily dose of fatigue, the constant distractions of WhatsApp groups and the line to the tools, it is easy to see that renunciation, or the tendency to do less, find fertile ground to grow.

On the other hand, remaining on the theme of labyrinths, Theseus needed Ariadne and her thread to get out of the maze, didn’t he? Even the Avengers had to team up against the fiercest threats. Not to mention the television quizzes where we can always count on help from home or from the public! Then why shouldn’t the same be true for training?

The difference between individual and group training

The difference between individual and group training


Let’s imagine ourselves immersed in a work out that foresees 1000 meters of rowing on the Skillrow. We go back and forth, incessantly, with our gaze fixed and glassy on the calorie monitor, for 1000 meters as if we were a lobotomized hamster: back and forth to nowhere, all alone.

Now let’s imagine the same work out where the individual score is always 1000 meters each, but in a group training environment, where every 250 meters we have to change the rower with a companion. Imagine the support of our teammate, the desire to prove that we can row just like him, the understanding as we switch place, the anxiety that triggers us to push harder, the final joy to share a moment of victory.

Here, for the theory of relativity so dear to Albert Einstein, the same 1000 meters of individual work out, performed in pairs, will seem more exciting, less boring: in short, funnier. They certainly are. That’s why the solution not to get lost in the labyrinth of fitness could be precisely group training, which partly intrigues us all and partly scares us all for the fear of confrontation.

Perhaps it is also for this reason that more and more people prefer to optimize times (and results) by choosing for example a High Intensity Interval group training: these are courses, specialized classes or real training communities, as in the case of Skillathletic.

If at first group training may seem discouraging because of the natural confrontation between other people and us, it is also true that more and more studies in the field of sports psychology, are exalting the benefits of group training.

One of the keys to the success of the very different formats of group training seems to be precisely the elimination of the laziness factor that often, in individual training, leads to self-pity and slowly to a workout session that happens in our minds only. It begins by eliminating some exercises from the personal card, it continues with skipping the exercises we do not like (nobody will notice it after all), by never increasing the weights we lift (because after all we work then the same) and so on…

The importance of the motivational thrust of group training

The importance of the motivational thrust of group training


Group training, on the other hand, relies on the motivational drive that feeds the group and finds its maximum expression in the energy that is unleashed by sharing. A sharing that relieves all of our sufferings and leads us to inspire and improve, together with others, every day with greater intensity. It is as if suffering together on the platform, after all, makes you suffer a little less.

After all, man is a social animal and everything in his company becomes more beautiful: a trip, a dinner, an evening at the cinema. Why shouldn’t the same be true for such an important part of our lives as training and physical well-being?

Group training buddies can become an important motivational spark when ours may be crushed by daily fatigue or because we are tempted, on the way to the gym, to compulsively steer towards the closest sofa and watch some Netflix before the due time. The call of a training partner, the commitment not to dump the appointment made with friends, the spark of excitement in meeting a friend even in the most boring autumn Monday ever, all these can be the winning support of group training when our own motivational drive hesitates.

To the most competitive ones, group training often and willingly turns into a challenge to improve their performance. Other people in the group training session can be in fact an inspiration to do better or a stimulus to achieve your personal goal. In group training you can compare, exchange tips and better analyse the strengths and those on which you still need to work.
The comparison, which sometimes frightens us, in reality is a positive force, from where to draw energy with no shame

Being inspired makes us better

In short, from the lazy to the ambitious, group training always seems to be the most effective way to stimulate and bring out the best in each of us. Not to mention one last, but very important detail,  a true dealmaker. Which one? Well, let’s never forget that group training has favoured more sentimental unions than any single dating website or public campaign for the demographic increase. We think we’ve made ourselves quite clear here.

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