It is a widely accepted fact that exercise can be painful. After a certain level of effort (which vary from person to person) usually around 70% discomfort starts in various areas of your body. Whereabouts in your body depends upon the type of exercise – for example cardio based exercise like running pain can be felt in the lungs and legs (and other parts too) as compared with weight based exercise where the pain is often local to the area being worked i.e. in the chest muscles if performing a bench press, the closer you get to the point where you cannot perform another repetition the more the pain increases. There is an important distinction to be made here – the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain”. “Good pain” is something you feel when your body is being pushed to its limit and bad pain is when it is pushed beyond that limit which then can lead to injury. The more exercise you do the more comfortable your body becomes with reaching this point. And strangely to some this feeling of exertion is what many more experienced exercisers enjoy!
You may ask ‘what has this point got to do with exercising in a group?’ It’s easier to push yourself when sharing the pain experience with others and the group dynamic is an excellent motivator for those who are competitive. If you are struggling to complete an exercise having others around you will make you try harder to avoid failure. Embarrassment can be a great motivator too. You go to an exercise class to improve, so trying hard is a must and failing is OK and is the key to improving.
The physiological reason for taking the body to failure is that it will adapt only when the muscle is overloaded. Similarly for the cardiovascular system to adapt the lactate threshold must be reached for it to adapt. It is much more fun to exercise in a group especially with your friends and if they are not your friends they often become your friends through exercise. I have been doing group exercise in various forms (boot camps, spin, boxing, circuits) and the common theme is people like to exercise with their friends and have fun getting fit. It’s always a balance for a personal trainer, coach or instructor to get the right mix of technique, fun and difficulty for the level of participants. Experience is delivering high quality, varied, safe enjoyable classes or boot camps to the group assembled.
HAVIT in Groups is launching in June with a new format. It’s based around my experiences with boot camps, personal training clients and classes in the last 6 years. You will be able to exercise with your friends (minimum of 4 and maximum of 10) at a local venue and time agreed with myself. There will be 5 or 6 different types of sessions to choose from: Kettlebells, Boxing, All Body tone, Box and Abs, Ab blaster. Sessions are purchased in blocks of 10 (around 7.50 per session) which work out to be effective affordable training.