5 Reasons Athletes (and Everyone Else) Should Train in a Group

Post by Mark Ehnis

Every athlete has those days when the last place they want to be is in the gym. The motivation just isn’t there. They show up and just go through the motions, not really pushing themselves and probably skipping some sets or exercises altogether. This does nothing for their goals and they could’ve spent their time doing something else, anything else. Sound familiar? It happens to every regular gym-goer as well.
I’m not going to get into whether it’s okay to skip out on part of your workout when you’re not feeling up to it- sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. What I am going to touch on is the importance of athletes (and everyone else) training with a training partner or with other small groups of athletes.
If you’re serious about getting results and tearing it up in the gym, then a good training partner is hard to find. They need to have similar goals, not be a distraction to you, and preferably are stronger and in better condition.  You don’t want someone backing out every other day and not showing up- physically or mentally. Personally, I can’t stand training with someone who talks my ear off in between every set- I need to friggin’ catch my breath and recover for the next set and I can’t do that when I’m asked a million random questions. I like to train with somebody who is going to bust my balls if I slack off. Someone who helps you benefit in some way. Training partners aside- below you’ll find 5 Reasons everyone should train with a group (3-8 people).

*I should note that everyone isn’t skilled enough to join in a group. Some people will need more individual attention until they get more experienced- which is completely fine and will be best for the group in the long run. I also think there are days you should train alone and just beat the crap out of yourself. You’ll find out what you’re made of when no one else is watching.
Reason #1- Accountability  
Like a dedicated training partner, accountability is a big reason to train with a group. Not only will you get an earful if you skip a workout- once you’re there, slacking is not an option. Being around other highly motivated athletes will have this effect and motivate you to keep striving to attain your goals.
Reason #2- Competition is Good
I’ve found that the more an athlete competes, the better they are. Sounds like a pretty simple statement, but it is often the missing component in a training program. The group brings this out in everyone. Putting many competitive people together does this naturally- throw in some weights and bragging rights and everyone is going to be stepping it up. When athletes compete in the gym, they go far beyond what they thought they could handle. The group dynamic pushes everyone to bring their “A” game.

Click HERE to watch our athlete groups in action

Reason #3- Working Towards a Common Goal
This is pretty much the reason for #1 and #2. The group is made up of athletes that are determined to get better. That common attitude is what makes the group intense. You become like those who you’re around the most. Which is why every serious athlete needs a motivating group of athletes to train with.  
Reason #4- Better Coaching
At PowerStrength, we try to educate our athletes the best we can. By the time they’ve been in our program awhile, they are expected to help coach other athletes and offer another set of eyes. This is why powerlifters train together. The sport is so technical that you need as many eyes and “coaches” as possible. When dealing with athletes, it’s almost more important. Even with groups of 6 or less, most of these athletes aren’t skilled in the weight room. This was a nightmare when I was a strength coach in a high school with 20-30 kids training at once- how is there enough time to make sure everyone is doing stuff properly? It was enough just trying to keep kids safe. The coaching from the other members in the group is vital.
Reason #5- Builds Relationships
Being around the same people, fighting through the tough workouts in incredible heat, working towards a common goal- all these things grow a bond that not many other things can except being on an actual sports team. When you train, your training partners in your group become your teammates. In training, like sports, there are ups and downs. Your “teammates” are there to keep you moving forward. The relationships you make through training may only be relevant during the actual training session then you part ways, or they can last years. Ride together, die together….or something like that…
There you have it- 5 reasons for athletes to train with other athletes in a group. I’m sure there are more. These can apply to all ‘non-athletes’ as well who want to have fun and get that ‘team’ feeling back. Seems to work wonders in the results department as well.