3 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Group Classes

3 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Group Class

Yes, I’m aware that if you follow this blog that you probably do so because you have watched my workout videos at one time or another. That being said, one of the goals of Man Flow Yoga is to give you the basics of yoga so that you feel comfortable entering a yoga studio for a yoga class. That’s why I’m writing this article in favor of group workouts. Also, I teach group workouts and retreats, so naturally I’m a fan of group classes.

I’m writing this to talk to you about the atmosphere that a group class creates. There is a lovely atmosphere of companionship and competition that helps you achieve what you would normally not be able to achieve on your own. The atmosphere of a group class creates whatever you need to help motivate you. It’s like having a workout buddy, and then multiplying it by 10.

I used to be the lonely workout guy (not in a bad way). I loved working out by myself and having nobody but myself pushing me. It was enough motivation for me. There’s also the unspoken “work out like a man” idea that means that you work out by yourself, and you don’t need someone to tell you what to do. I’m glad I had enough balls to not conform to what the “ideal man” has to do and started yoga, otherwise I never would have even tried.

Here are 3 reasons to attend a group class.

Reason #1: Create community.

Some yoga classes like to do “ohms” at the beginning and end of class, just to demonstrate that simply being together for an hour (or 45 minutes, 90 minutes… whatever the class length is) helps to establish a connection between everyone in the room. (That, or everyone figured out the right key to “ohm” in by the time class ended.) But truthfully, you could perform the same action, at the beginning and end of any fitness class, and you would have the same result. People are more in tune with one another because they’ve all gone through the same movements for the last hour. You’ve all shared the same struggle.

Ohming aside, community is built through struggle. You may have bonds with your workout friends or teammates that you won’t be able explain. Don’t worry about explaining it. Just embrace it.


This, in particular is my reason why I like going to group fitness classes. I like to go in, set myself up next to the biggest badass in the room, and then attempt to match him move for move. Now you might be thinking, “Wow, Dean, you sound like a dick!” But I don’t do it to be a dick. I do it because competition is how you push yourself to new physical boundaries. It’s the same concept of having a workout buddy. Training by yourself, the only motivation you have is whatever playlist is on your iPod, and the gym selfie that you’re dying to put on Instagram when you finish. Training within a group class or with a partner, you now have competition, and you have a natural instinct to BEAT that person, so that you can survive. Granted, if you do 60 push-ups in a minute, and your buddy does 65, you’re probably not going to eaten by a bear, but the whole primal instinct behind pushing yourself is that you must survive, and there are limited resources available (food, shelter, safety). Better be faster or stronger if you want to catch dinner and hide from the wooly mammoth by nightfall! (This is the original WOD.)

Reason #3: Motivation

While competition can be an amazing motivator, positive motivation and encouragement from people around you is also great. Having somebody cheering you on, telling that you can keep going, and keep pushing harder is great to have. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader, and it helps you go beyond what you think originally thought.

In conclusion, group classes are great. They help create a sense of community, generate motivation, and a healthy spirit of competition.

Now go last longer than somebody else in plank.

6 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Group Classes”

  1. I agree with this post! It is fun and enjoyable to be in a group classes or doing workout together in a group. However, the reason #2 which is competition, I am not very agreeable with that. We must not form a competitive mindset through our workout especially in the workout that I’m doing right now. Cause if you build a competitive mindset, you might lose your focus and balance. However, great post indeed!

    1. Not necessarily. Competition is a fuel for physical performance, to push hard. Generally yoga will tell you that this is a bad thing, but Man Flow Yoga is not typical yoga. We embrace competition.

  2. I remember reading an early post where you said that the uncompetetive aspect of yoga is what appealed to you in the first place. I related a lot to that.

    “EVERYWHERE we go in life, EVERYTHING we do, we are expected to try harder, to be the best, to compete more. We compare ourselves to others, and we avoid judging ourselves based on the most important indicator of our success – OURSELVES. Finally, yoga taught me to accept myself for what I was able to accomplish, and not to reflect on what I was unable to accomplish. The ego does not belong in yoga. The ego exists everywhere else in our lives. Yoga is an escape from the ego.” – https://manflowyoga.com/what-does-yoga-mean-to-me/

    Changing your stance on that? 🙂

    1. Oh man, Ragnar! Making me eat my words. I think when I wrote that post I was really going full into the yoga scene, but since that time I’ve become more “moderate” and now the ego is again part of what I do. I think it’s pointless to deny that the ego exists. For me, it helps me to push myself to be better.

      1. Haha! Not meant to cause any fuzz. Just wondering. 🙂

        I agree that the ego is always back there, lurking. I find that “competetive” is not a word that fits into the (my) practice though. The word “inspiration” is rather something that comes to mind when I think about wanting to improve and push harder.

        I’ve been following Man Flow Yoga for a while and also follow a lot of “yogadudes” blogs on tumblr and all of you can do amazing, bad-ass things with your body. I look at it as an inspiration rather than something I need to compete with. I do feel that I want to try push myself harder to get there faster but not in a sense that it’s a some sort finish line that needs to be crossed in order for me to feel a sense of self-worth or acceptance. 🙂

  3. I have always believed that group exercise classes do have a purpose. I have seen that the peer pressure gets people the push themselves more. Of the three reasons you mentioned, I think that the competition and motivation help you get stronger faster.

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