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I’m going to make a bold prediction.

A question that’s often asked is, “what do people think is the future of the fitness industry?”.

For 2016, I’m going to go with group training.

I’ve trained on my own and in groups.

I’ve coached people on their own and in groups.

I’ve watched people train on their own and in a group.

The outcome is always the same.

Group training always comes out on top.

Think about it, why do millions of people participate in team sports. Sure they love the sport, but there’s also things that cannot be replicated on your own. Being part of a team brings a lot of motivation, camaraderie and support. You see your teammate busting his/her ass for the cause and it ignites a fire inside of you which means you’re going to do the exact same.

Some of the best teams I’ve ever played in always had those three areas in bucket loads, along with a desire to be the best we could possibly be.

We all want the very best for ourselves. Whether that’s relationships, work or our bodies. That desire should burn brightly in us all. Why would anyone want to sit and rest on their laurels?

“I’m happy earning x amount of pounds each month, but I wish I could earn 20% more.”

“I’m happy with the way I look, but I just wish I could have a set of abs.”

“I’m happy with my 90kg bench, but I want to be able to bench 100kg.”

Notice there’s always something more that we want. You may say that doesn’t apply to you and that’s fine, but from working with so many different people this year, I can tell you there’s always that “but, I want more”.

I love that. We should always strive to want more from at least one aspect of life.

So how does training in a group of people help achieve this? Lets look a little deeper into the foundations of group training.

1. Your “second family”

My words alone probably won’t do this section any justice because you just have to experience it.

When you’re a part of such a strong group of genuine people who all want to achieve something, the possibilities are endless.

I’ve seen many different people walk into S&P and become a part of our family.

I’ve seen quiet, timid and shy people become members who everybody looks up to and think the world of.

I’ve seen the brash, confident people who at first glance, you might think aren’t the right fit, embrace the whole ethos and be a bright light that people take belief from.

Think about how it feels that every time you walk into the gym, you have people shouting encouragement at you to not give up and to show perseverance in difficult times. The belief you see people gain from that is astonishing, they crush barriers that used to defeat them and go from strength to strength.

It’s not just inside the gym that being part of a group helps. We often see good friendships created amongst the sweat and tears of training. These bonds alone make you just want to come to the gym and see your friends. To go into battle with them and have each other’s backs.

This doesn’t just help on the inside of the gym. I’ve seen people suffer during difficult periods of their life on the outside of the gym this year, gain a little mental strength, belief, whatever you want to call it, that they can get through this particular time and be better for it!

To know that you as a member of the group play a small part in that alone, is fucking awesome!

2. Not always the best individuals succeed

You might be very good at what you do, but want to see how far you can really go.

You might be average and need that kick up the ass, to take you to the next level.

Whichever criteria you fit, you can play a role in a team and let your qualities shine to help yourself and the others around you.

The beauty of teams is that there’s such a blend of characters. There’s the quiet people who just never stop working and through their actions push the rest around them to match their work-rate.

Then there’s the loud, confident person who is a constant source of vocal encouragement and makes you believe that you’re capable of so much more.

Look at some of the recent sporting success stories…

Leicester City are currently top of the Premiership ahead of the giants such as Arsenal, Manchester City/United and Chelsea.

Leicester have some good players for sure, but none of them have been pulling up any trees in the past. But, their team spirit and work rate for each other is simply the best out there at the moment and that’s why they currently look like they might do the unthinkable and win the league.

The GB Davis Cup team won the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years recently. They have one world class player in Andy Murray and the rest were never really thought of as being good enough to win the tournament (not by me anyway!). Yet together, they achieved an astonishing feat by beating teams with higher ranked individuals and showing just what the power of a good team can do!

3. Domino effect for success

Say you train with a group of people for 12 weeks and you have a challenge to lift a personal best on the squat by the end of that 12 weeks. All your teammates go first and successfully achieve a personal best, how is that going to affect you?

You’re damn right you’re hitting a personal best, otherwise you will receive a massive wake up call for why they succeeded and you didn’t! Not just a wake up call from yourself, but you better believe your teammates are not accepting that you’ve failed!

That will intimidate some people and it’s not for everyone, which is fair enough.

But that’s a very small population of whiners, who come up with excuses every time they fail to do something.

A few weeks ago, our “Strong” lifting groups attempted personal bests on the three lifts, bench, deadlift and squat. Every single person hit a personal best that week.

I know of many people who fail to hit a personal best in something for years.

Tell me which group would you rather be in?

Training in a group can be a momentous occasion for anybody and can bring so many positive aspects into your life.

Don’t just take my word for it, find a team and try it for yourself and let me know how you get on.

All the best for 2016!

Coach Jake

Strength & Performance