Why group training works

group training

Group training or classes such as Insanity Live! can help spur you to achieve better results in your fitness regime. 

Take a look at the two watches above. They’re photos of the screens of my Garmin watch that help me measure my training performance.

It records tonnes of details: how far and fast I’ve ran, swim or biked, at what elevation and what my heart rate was throughout. The one you’re probably interested in though is on the bottom right – the amount of calories I burn in a training session.

As you’ll see from the above, the session on the right saw me burn 156 calories more than the one on the left… yet it was exactly the same workout, but done on different days.

The reading on the left was while testing Insanity Live! Round 13 at home in my garage gym, the one on the right is from the first time I taught it live in a class.

Theoretically, you might expect the workout on the left to have burnt more calories. When testing the session before taking it live, I do it first as though being taught by another instructor, plus when I teach live, I often break to check people’s form and offer corrections while the rest of the class is still working.

So why did I burn so many more calories in the group class? It’s mostly down to the fact that when we exercise with other people, like it or not, they act as an inspiration to us, making us work harder, putting more effort in and, ultimately, burning more calories.

It’s a phenomenon you can see in almost every form of exercise. Train for a running race, a 5k, 10k or a marathon – and your pace on race day, when surrounded by tens, hundreds or thousands of other runners, will be much faster than your training pace.

There’s no doubt that having a dedicated trainer, who will tailor an exercise and nutrition program to your goals is the best option when it comes to achieving your fitness goals… but I appreciate not everyone can afford a one-to-one service.

If not, exercising with a partner or partners (I offer group PT sessions for up to 4 people with similar goals) or group exercise classes such as Insanity Live! are an excellent way to motivate yourself to do more.

There’s an excellent article on group exercise and its benefits by the American College of Sports Medicine here if you want to find out more.