Behavioral change through fitness group training
“It can be difficult to change our behavior. One of the biggest challenges is to make a lasting commitment and ensure that we see long-term changes. Group training can be a good way to help us stick with an exercise routine and may provide quite a few benefits”.
-Micah Morgan, MMFitness Gym
Training with other people can help us learn accountability. We cannot just give up because we have others around us to motivate us, push us, and challenge us. It can help us be more responsible. A coach provides us with guidance and strategies to keep going, which is helpful, we may also feel more responsible for completing our training when we are working with someone who is “in charge” of our work. We are very social by nature, so having other people to answer to, who will be invested in our progress is quite helpful.
Grit is a trait that studies consistently link to success in different situations. Grit is the combination of perseverance and passion that allows us to push through obstacles. Fitness group training provides a unique situation to cultivate these elements. It offers a social setting that engages both our desires to collaborate and compete, igniting our passion, and through a sense of accountability, helps us develop perseverance. With the help of a coach who keeps pushing us forward, we are able to develop grit that we can apply in different aspects of our lives.
We often may find that we don’t receive enough support from our friends, family, and partners, especially when we are engaged in an activity they don’t do themselves. They might not get the unique challenges we face or feel that it’s not useful, so the support they offer may be limited. However, support is a valuable tool that helps us change our behavior. By participating in a group, we become surrounded by people who have similar goals and similar experiences. Everyone in a fitness group will be facing comparable challenges, which enables them to support each other. Plus, there is the figure of the coach who may offer their specific form of motivation to keep the participants going.
One of the main three elements of intrinsic motivation, that is, the motivation that comes from within the individual is mastery. Mastery refers to the motivation of overcoming challenges and pushing ourselves further to achieve new goals. A fitness group creates the perfect environment for this type of motivation to blossom and be fulfilled, helping people get closer to the behavioral changes they want. The coach may set goals that help the person grow and develop, showing the participants a direction in which they can push themselves. The coach can also recognize a person’s potential and encourage them to develop it despite their excuses or self-doubt.
Overall, a fitness group can provide many useful elements for long-lasting behavioral change, specifically raising accountability, mastery, grit, and providing social support that may be lacking from other people in the participants’ lives.