Group Training

Definitive Guide to Group Training

o1. Introduction

02. Description of Group Training

03. History of Group Training

04. Purpose of Group Training

05. Advantages and Disadvantages of Group Training

06. How to Find and Choose the Best Group Trainer

07. Styles of Group Training

08. Individual and Partner Exercises in Group Training

09. Achieving Goals in Group Training

10. Group Training for Sports Teams

11. Group Training Settings

12. Conclusion

13. Resources

Introduction

Many people like to exercise alone, with no help, on their own time. They might like to jog around the neighborhood or run on their treadmill in their home. These activities are certainly better than lying around on a couch watching TV all day. Yet, they might not provide everything you need in an exercise program.

For one thing, you are on your own. Some people can make their own motivation, but many get discouraged after awhile. Sometimes it is a lack of progress, sometimes it is a lack of goals, but many times the reason people stop exercising alone is out of sheer boredom. There is nothing exciting to keep them involved.

Another problem is that people exercising alone do not always know the best ways to do things. Whether they are practicing with free weights or simply running, poor technique can slow them down. Their exercise may be ineffective or even cause injury.

Group training is helpful in all these situations. It offers ways to set those goals, stay motivated, and find frequent moments of success with inspiration to move on even farther. The personal trainer will take time to tell them about proper form and correct them if they have problems. People who work with a group trainer have many of these advantages they would have in a one-on-one training program, but with less cost.

What is more, working out with a group can change your whole perspective on exercise. You might find yourself looking forward to every session – much more than you did when you worked out alone. In this Definitive Guide to Group Training, you will learn what group training is and what it is not. You will find out some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of exercise program. When you finish with this guide, you will know more how to choose a group training professional and a group training program. After you have learned as much as you can about group training, you will know whether you want to pursue this path to health and fitness.

 Description of Group Training

Group training is a special type of fitness program that is related to working with a personal trainer. In fact, many of the group training leaders are or have been personal trainers. The difference with group training is that the trainer is working with a group – usually 3 to 8 people or more – who do the same exercises together. Sometimes the exercises are done by all simultaneously. At other times, a circuit is formed where each person moves from station to station so that everyone is working out at the same time on different exercises. A group training session is normally about an hour long. There are different plans, where you can sign up for a month, an 8-week session, a year, or an ongoing program of indefinite length.

Group trainers assess the fitness levels of their clients, and just like personal trainers, they work with them to set reasonable goals. In the case of group training, there are overall group goals, but there also may be specific challenges for each individual.

Some groups are made up of people with similar fitness levels. These groups can all do the same workouts most of the time. In cases where there are people of different fitness levels together in one group, there always have to be some scaling back of certain exercises. That way everyone can do the exercise, or some version of it. Although there are more people for the group trainer to oversee, there is still a fairly high degree of individual attention.

There are many kinds of programs, where a large number of people will do exercises together, which are not the same thing as personal training-style group training. Those programs have their place, but they do not equal the more intense, goal-based and structured environment of the small group training programs.

There is group training for athletes, youths, seniors, and there are general groups that are open to everyone. Some people get a group together from among their friends, relatives or co-workers. If you want to get a great deal of help with your personal fitness routine, a group training program may be just what you want, to add focus, direction, instruction and motivation.

 History of Group Training

Fitness is nothing new. Primitive hunter-gatherer tribes in the Paleolithic Era were getting their own kinds of workouts before 10,000 BC. First, they had to expend enormous amounts of energy following their animal prey, taking it down, dressing it, and hauling it back to their camps. They had to walk long distances to gather the roots, leaves and berries that would help sustain them. After all that, it might seem obvious that they would lie back and enjoy their food at leisure. Instead, they travelled for miles to meet with other clans for feasts, celebrations and games. Their lives were very active ones.

During the Neolithic Era, starting about 10,000 BC and ending about 80,000 BC, people began to farm. Their lives became easier, and there was less need for intense physical exertion for such long periods of time. Eventually, the plow was invented, making life even easier. The lifestyle became more sedentary as the years went by.

In the later ancient civilizations, there were varying attitudes on fitness. The Greeks idealized the human body, and made fitness a priority. Sparta was famously devoted to fitness, gathering young children into their fitness programs at the age of 6 for a lifetime of training.

In China, physical activity was encouraged, and Cong Fu was taught to help people achieve and maintain a healthy level of fitness. The Chinese also participated in various sports including badminton, wrestling and archery. In India, there could have been a total neglect of fitness due to their religious focus on spirituality to the exclusion of all else. Yet, out of India came an exercise form that is still wildly popular today, and that is yoga. Yoga combined the religious aspects of the culture with the needs of the body. Meanwhile, in the Persian Empire, fitness programs were used to prepare soldiers for battle.

Through the Dark and Middle Ages, fitness was extremely important, as physical activity was an essential part of daily life for most people. Later, during the 18th and 19th centuries, a National Period sprang up across Europe and the US. This period was defined by fitness programs developed in individual countries for the advancement and military prowess of that given country. During this period, Johann Guts Muth and Frederich Jahn of Germany were developing their group training methods with the country’s gymnastics teams. Around the same time, Frank Nachtegall of Denmark worked on that country’s gymnastics program, and founded the Training Teachers of Gymnastics, which was a training program for fitness instructors.

Throughout modern history, there have been times when people were active to different degrees. Hardship caused great physical exertion in the case of the hunter-gatherers. In the Great Depression of the 1930’s, hardship shifted the country’s focus from being fit to just surviving in the modern world. In times of war, fitness has been a priority, but in times of peace and prosperity, there is often a cry for more fitness challenges.

Group training has evolved over the years from group training for soldiers throughout history melded with the introduction of personal training in the 1980’s. Now, group training is a part of life for many athletes, fitness buffs, and everyday average people. With more people interested in fitness training, there seems to be a bright future ahead for group training programs.

 Purpose of Group Training

Different people have various reasons to participate in group training, and there are many purposes of the programs. The most general purpose in group training is to improve you fitness level more quickly than you could without a trainer. However, there are more specific reasons to sign up than that.

1. Assessment

The group training leader will assess baseline fitness, as a group and as individuals. He will determine where you are and work with you to set short-term and long-term goals. As you go along, he will assess your abilities to do the exercises and help you make adjustments by scaling the exercises to your level if needed.

2. Learning

There should be a lot of teaching going on in a group training session. The leader should be explaining proper form for doing exercises. He should be giving pointers and tips on fitness topics. Most group leaders will discuss nutrition to a certain extent, and talk about the need for hydration.

3. Cooperation

Many group training situations are set up so that group members cooperate to achieve group goals. This creates a level of teamwork that you would not get in a regular exercise class. It is also a motivating factor to keep people on track with their fitness goals.

4. Competition

Some, but not all, group training programs include an element of competition in them. The purpose of many such programs is to prepare participants for games and contests, or simply to spur them on to greater achievements.

5. Sport-Specific Training

Group training for athletes can include sport-specific training. This helps them improve their muscle qualities such as agility, flexibility, speed, power and strength. Some group training programs even include specific game techniques with sport-specific drills and teaching.

6. Social Support

A group training program provides you with instant support from the other members of your group. You are all in it together, and you all have common experiences to talk about relating to your training. You get to know each other and understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you get into the right group, you can have one of the best available support systems anywhere.

7. Motivation

A good group trainer will know how to motivate the group to do more and work harder. He will know when to be kind and encouraging and when to get a little sterner. He will know when to provide rewards and what kinds of rewards will keep you moving forward.

8. Injury Prevention

Finally, working in group training will help you prevent injury. When you work with an expert group trainer, you will have the benefit of his knowledge of form and biomechanics. He knows how your body should move and will help you keep to those movements. The purposes of group training are important to consider when you are thinking of joining a group. However, you will also want to consider all the advantages and disadvantages before you make your final decision.

 Advantages and Disadvantages of Group Training

Group training is a great idea for most people who want to improve their level of fitness, and for them there are many advantages. Some people disagree with the advantages or point out disadvantages that they feel will overshadow the good points. It all depends on how you look at it and what is important to you.

Advantages of Group Training

1. Assessment

Group training must start with assessment of all the participants’ fitness levels to be effective. The group leader will probably do some physical tests and/or take some measurements to establish a baseline for future assessments.

2. Help with Setting Goals

There are two sets of goals in group training – the individual goals and the group goals. The group trainer may spend some time with you planning your individual goals. In group graining, the group goals can be just as important, though. The group leader will work with the group to establish the direction for the group and the fitness level you will try to reach.

3. Expert Instruction

Unless you are a fitness professional yourself, you probably do not have expert instruction when working out at home by yourself. You may be doing the exercises incorrectly and with bad form. This could lead to inefficiency and injury. A group trainer will work closely with the group to teach fitness concepts and proper form.

4. Motivation and Encouragement

It is difficult to provide your own motivation, and even harder to encourage yourself to keep going.  In a group, you will receive motivation and encouragement from both the group leader and from the other participants.

5. Challenge

Group trainers should be skilled at presenting challenges of the right level. They will push you just hard enough but not set unreasonable demands on you.

6. Support of Group

One of the advantages of being in group training is enjoying the benefits of the group itself. People tend to form bonds and support each other in their fitness goals while participating in group training.

7. Price Compared to Personal Training

Group training provides a less expensive alternative to personal training with many of the same benefits. Because the trainer is working with more people at one time, he can afford to charge less. He will still receive a good income from his hour, and the group members will get a good deal.

Disadvantages of Group Training

1. Price Compared to Self Training

Of course, if you are going to work out by yourself with no outside instruction, the cost will be less than group training. On the other hand, if you injure yourself because of poor form, you might not have saved as much as you wanted to save.

2. Lack of Privacy

If you are a particularly shy and modest person, you might be more comfortable working with a personal trainer or even at home. The group dynamics in group training may be difficult for you to get used to, but it is a good learning experience if you can.

3. Less Individual Attention Compared to Personal Trainer

Although you do get more individual attention in group training than at home or in large group classes, a personal trainer would give you his undivided attention. If that is what you want, go all the way and get a personal trainer.

Group training has its disadvantages, but that does not mean it is not a worthwhile way to improve your fitness. Consider both the disadvantages and the advantages as well when you make your decision about joining a fitness training group.

 How to Find and Choose the Best Group Trainer

When anyone decides to get into a fitness training group, the first thing to do is to find a group trainer to work with for the sessions. There are a great number of wonderful group trainers to be found. There are also a few you would never want to entrust with your health and your fitness. It takes a little research to find group trainers and sort out the good from the bad, but it is well worth your time.

Finding Candidates

Ask friends and family members in the area whether they have worked with a group trainer or know someone who has. Go online and find fitness trainers offering group training in your area. Go to your local gym and ask to meet all the people who do group training at your fitness level. Compile a list of all the possible candidates you have found.

Checking Education

Ask your candidates what kind of education they have. The best options are advanced degrees in subjects like Physiology or Kinesiology. A person with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science would also be a good choice. Education is important so your group trainer will be knowledgeable on biomechanics, nutrition and effective training methods.

Checking Certification

There are several certifications that are perfectly acceptable for group trainers. Look for the same certifications as personal trainers get. Also look for group trainer certification. Make sure the certifying body for each is approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Ask to see the actual certificate.

Lifesaving Certifications

Group trainers should also be up-to-date on their CPR and AED (automated external defibrillators) certifications. Proof of these certifications will help you feel confident that you are in a safe environment where you can train hard without fear.

Insurance

Most group trainers work with gyms that carry insurance. Still, you should always ask if they have insurance for the training, what kind it is and how much they carry. This will tell you how serious they are when it comes to keeping you safe.

Experience

Ask about the experience of the group trainer. Find out how long he has been in the fitness industry. Ask about his experience as a group trainer. Get references if you can. Then, ask if you can watch a group training session to see how he operates.

Philosophy of Training

Ask the candidate you are interviewing about his philosophy of training. You will get a better idea of who he is and what he will expect of you. Find out if he promotes an atmosphere of competition. Competitive exercise helps some people work harder and accomplish more. On the other hand, some people are better off training in a low-pressure environment.

Price

Ask for the basic price of the sessions. Find out if there are alternative plans, where you can pay for a set number of sessions and go to just the ones that suit your schedule. There are also set plans and unlimited plans. Make sure you get the program you want. After all, the group training you pay for is for you.

 Styles of Group Training

One thing to find out before choosing a program is to learn what style of group training it is. There are several basic styles to consider. Four of them are muscle-based, functional, CrossFit and sport-specific.

Muscle-Based Weight Training

Muscle-based weight training can be done in small personal training type groups. Its goal is to isolate specific muscles or muscle groups for bodybuilding and strength. Group trainers who use this style often use lighter weights because they cannot effectively spot everyone. If they want to use heavier weights, they must either hire spotters or teach the group members to spot for each other.

Functional Training

The functional style of group training is based on the idea that the goal of fitness should be to improve everyday abilities. Therefore, many large muscle groups are trained to work together in smooth and coordinated motions. Participants develop strength to climb stairs, move furniture, carry groceries, and do all the tasks their muscles are called upon to do in a day.

CrossFit Training

CrossFit training can be done in small group settings. Olympic weightlifting is one of the main types of exercise used. The best situation is to have an educated and certified personal trainer who also has coaching experience, which is not always the case in CrossFit. However, the style is helpful for many people, focusing on functionality, variability, and intensity.

Sport-Specific Group Training

The sport-specific style of group training may be used to help a few athletes hone their fitness abilities and sports skills. As such, there are technical drills, and agility, speed and power training added to the usual menu of strength and endurance training exercises.

Aside from these types of standard group training methods, there are some interesting fitness classes that are done in groups. These fitness classes are different from standard group training in that they usually have many more participants in each session. There are also additional differences with each type of group exercise style.

Boot Camp vs. Group Training

Boot camp is very similar to standard group training. Many of the same exercises and methods will be used. The style is typically more demanding and intense. Also, the classes are usually 20 to 40 members per session rather than the 3 to 8 or so in personal trainer-style group training.

Spinning vs. Group Training

Spinning classes have become very popular lately. They are workout sessions where participants pedal stationary bikes with varying resistance and in either a seated or standing position. They can be intense, but it is easy to slack off especially when the group is very large. In group training, the groups are usually small enough that the trainer can see every member and challenge them when they slow down. Also, spinning can be very monotonous, while group training usually involves different workouts every day.

Zumba vs. Group Training

Zumba is another current hot fitness craze. The idea of Zumba is to get fit by performing dance movements to international music. The program incorporates both aerobics and resistance training. Zumba is certainly fun, but it lacks the specific goal-setting that takes place in small groups. Its movements are freer, but that also means that they may not be as well-planned as those in group training.

Pilates vs. Group Training

Pilates has gained a high reputation in the fitness world. It focuses on control, along with the 6 Pilates principles – centering, precision, breathing, control, flow and concentration. Pilates can be done individually or in small groups and is very flexible for different fitness levels. It is usually a less intense workout. Exercises are done for only a few reps, but always in perfect form, and always aerobically. Standard group training uses some anaerobic training to build the muscles more. It uses varying numbers of reps depending on the purpose of the exercise. They both work core muscles as a part of the training.

Aerobics and Step Aerobics vs. Group Training

Aerobics is a cardio workout that utilizes almost constant and high energy movements. Step aerobics is similar, but uses a small stair-step to add to the footwork. Group training classes may use some elements of aerobic training from time to time, but they are based more on weight training and anaerobic workouts. Also, aerobics and zumba use movements that are choreographed to music. Group training may be done with music present, but there is no relation between the movements and the music. Group training is great for those who want to see serious improvement in their fitness.

Individual and Partner Exercises in Group Training 

The bulk of most personal trainer-style group training is weight training for strength and endurance. Exercises are done individually but with group supervision. Other exercises are done in pairs or with groups working together.

Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises can provide an excellent workout or make a large impact on a mixed session. Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, lunges and burpees are common ones that are used. Crab walks, planks, stomping grapes and star jumps are some more unusual choices. The Hindu squat is said to be one of the most effective exercises, but it takes a great deal of explanation and demonstration to get it right. Therefore, having a knowledgeable group trainer is essential.

Medicine Ball Exercises

Medicine balls are used primarily to improve power, so they are most helpful for the sport-specific group training. Yet, any personal training-style group can benefit from them. There are many different exercises. Some of them involve slamming the medicine ball to the floor from different positions. Others are done by throwing the ball from one hand to the other, or simply by holding it and moving it vigorously from one position to the next.

Kettle Bell Exercises

Some of the kettle bell exercises are similar to free weights exercises. You can do cleans, presses, deadlifts, squats and snatches. Kettle bells can also be used in various rowing-type exercises and in swinging exercises. Kettle bells add variety and a different kind of challenge to the basic group workout.

Free Weights Exercises

Free weights exercises are some of the most well-known of all. They include biceps curls, cleans and presses, squat thrusts, raises, shoulder rotations, and the pec fly. In group training situations, heavy weights can be used with the help of spotters – either classmates or gym employees. The exercises improve muscle tone and size, can help reduce body fat, and develop muscular abilities such as strength, power and endurance. Doing them with good form is very important to prevent injury. The group trainer is a great resource to provide coaching in form.

Partner Exercises

There are several different exercises that can be performed when classmates are grouped in twos. Some of them are lifting exercises, in which each participant in turn lifts, carries or flips the other in a particular way. A partner medicine ball exchange is done with the two people lying feet to feet. They sit up, exchange the medicine ball, and lie back down for 1 rep. There are many more inventive partner exercises that make group training more interesting and fun.

Circuit Training

Many trainers use circuit training for their groups. In this type of training, the group trainer sets up stations and identifies the exercises to be done, along with the number of sets and reps for each. If the group is small enough, it is advantageous to have one station for each person. Each person starts at a different station, and when a signal is given, they all rotate on to the next station. This provides a varied and interesting workout for all members of the group.

 Achieving Goals in Group Training 

Group training is a process. You start by evaluating your fitness level and determining your short and long term goals. Yet, those goals are not met automatically. The procedure used to achieve those goals has several steps along the way.

Learning

Before you accomplish anything, you will have to learn about fitness at your level. If you are just beginning a fitness program, the group trainer will have to teach you the basics of fitness methods, gym safety, and nutrition. If you have been working on your fitness for awhile, it is a good opportunity to learn even more than you ever knew before.

Basic Workouts

You will likely start out with basic and simple workouts. The level of intensity starting out will usually be lower than it gets eventually in group training. The purpose is to get you used to working out, give you a taste of success and help you get in the habit of exercising regularly.

Creating Proper Habits

There are other habits the group trainer will help you with as well. He will correct your form on the basic exercises. He will emphasize the importance of exercise fundamentals, such as the warm-up and cool-down periods before and after the workouts. He will help you as you develop muscle memory so that your body does not learn improper ways of moving.

Reaching Goals

If your group trainer is proficient at his job, he will guide you to do the types of exercises that will help you achieve the goals you have set up for yourself. He will work the whole group so that group goals will take center stage. Yet, individual goals will not be ignored, and you can expect to reach short-term goals fairly quickly if you put effort into the sessions. A great group trainer will congratulate participants on their success and fulfillment of goals.

Reevaluating Goals

Once you have reached your initial goals, there should be a reevaluation process so that you can set new goals. Otherwise, you will stagnate and not progress any more. You might even lose ground if you are not challenged and excited any more. You need to go back to those baseline tests and measurements to see how far you have progressed and determine what you need to work on next. The group leader should take time to work on group and individual goals from time to time in order to keep them fresh and relevant.

Intensifying Training

After you have finished your initial goals and set up new goals, it is time to intensify training and vary the workouts even more. Your group trainer will see to it that you are always reaching for new fitness goals with more concentrated training and a higher level of workouts.

Reward and Renew

Reward your goals accomplished with a present to yourself that will fit with your healthful lifestyle. Give yourself something fitness related, such as a new set of dumbbells or a hiking trip to the mountains. Then, renew your commitment to improve your fitness every day. Your group training leader will help you stay on the right track and keep progressing as you go.

 Group Training for Sports Teams 

Elite sports teams hire fitness coaches who work only with their team on sport-specific training and general conditioning. If you are an amateur athlete, your team may benefit from engaging in some group training sessions with fitness professional as well. Group training for sports teams is different in some ways from standard group training and alike in others.

Group Leader

The group leader for a sport-specific training group will have specialized knowledge of the movements needed to do the sport. He will have insight into how to succeed in the game, and what physical abilities are important.

Numbers

There are usually more people in a sports training group than in most personal training-style training groups. This may be advantageous for team cohesiveness, but small groups get more individualized attention with one group leader. Therefore, there are often either multiple group trainers for a sports team or the team is split up into several smaller groups.

Goals

The goals of the two types of groups are generally different. Goals in the usual group training programs are often based on appearance, real-world capabilities or muscular development. The goals of training for sports teams are related directly to the sport. For basketball it might be to improve the number of successful free throws, for football it might be to improve completed passes, and for soccer it might be increasing the ability to move the ball down the field with agility and speed.

Training Time

Sports teams will usually vary the time spent in training depending on whether it is near the start of the season or just after it. They will often work out for longer than the usual group training groups. Standard training groups will usually work out for about an hour a day, for 3 to 5 days a week.

Special Physical Skills

The sports team in group training will spend more time working on special muscular skills such as agility, speed, explosive power, as well as flexibility. Most any training group might touch on these skills, but the sports teams will spend more time on them.

Technical Drills

Sports teams who train together will usually have some technical drills that are designed just for their sport. Most other training groups do not work on special technical skills of any kind, but focus on strength and conditioning instead.

Special Equipment

Sports teams might require specialized equipment that a non-sports training group would not generally use. Sports teams might use an agility ladder, tackling dummies, a basketball hoop and basketballs, or a pitching machine and baseballs. These types of equipment are necessary to develop the team members’ technical skills and their sport-specific muscular abilities.

Sports teams of all levels can benefit from group training. It can improve their abilities and make them stronger and more capable for the game. It is a variation on the theme of standard personal trainer-style group training.

 Group Training Settings 

Group training can take place in a variety of settings. There are certainly a vast number of gyms that offer group training sessions. Now, however, there are also group training programs in schools, parks and on beaches. You can even have a group trainer come to your home or office for a group training session there.

Gyms

Gyms are the number one place for group training to take place. That is probably because the gym equipment is so easily accessible. The lighting is also good, and the safety level is usually high. There are fewer variables in the training process than there are when you train outdoors. What is more, the group trainer will be at ease and at home with the facilities and all the equipment available.

Schools

In universities and colleges around the country, there are small group training sessions going on daily. Some of these sessions are meant to train athletes for college sports. Others are a part of the teaching process so that people can learn to be fitness coaches and personal trainers themselves. Students may also set up group training for their own chosen small groups if they are interested in improving their fitness in that way.

Parks

Some group training sessions may take place in local or state parks. The settings are beautiful and inspiring. However, the weather can be unpredictable and the terrain can be a factor in setting up stable exercise stations. Parks are more common settings for boot camp style training.

Beaches

Beaches have a lot to offer for a unique group training experience. Running through the sand is good exercise for muscular endurance and beach volleyball provides a fun and exciting fitness activity. The kinds of equipment you can use are limited because sand and water can damage some types of equipment. Also, without a firm base to work from, weight training may be more difficult.

Home Groups

More and more, personal and group trainers are coming to their clients rather than the other way around. If you want to have small group training in your home, you can invite 2 to 6 of your friends or relatives to meet there at regular times for workouts. It is best if you have a room that you can set up specifically as an exercise room. Even if you do not, you can still often find a corner of a room that will work. You just need to move breakable items, keep pets and children away, and get some exercise mats if it is not carpeted.

Corporate Settings

Group trainers will also go to offices to train workers who want to train before or after work or on their lunch hours. Some companies have a regular fitness room where training can take place. If not, ask for an empty conference room, or if all else fails, set up in the breakroom before or after work. This provides a way for people to get in on group training who might otherwise not have time to fit it into their schedules.

 Conclusion 

Group training offers a way to get many of the benefits of having a personal trainer without the higher cost. People who could not afford personal training will take advantage of group training to learn more about exercise, nutrition, and to improve their fitness levels. It is a winning combination for many exercisers.

Yet, there is more to group training than the cheaper price tag. It also provides the advantages of group support. Competition is a component of many group training programs, and even if it is not, group members tend to inspire each other with their accomplishments. Working out with other people offers camaraderie and fun as well.

Group training is a place to make specific and realistic goals, and to reach them through hard work and commitment. Both group goals and individual goals are important. The group trainer should assist in setting the goals and devising the workouts that will help you attain them.

In fact, if you get a good group trainer, he will guide you every step of the way. That is why it is important to check references, ask about education, look at credentials and most of all have a long conversation about the training style and philosophy before signing up with a group trainer.

Whether you sign up for group training with your friends, your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, or your sports team, you can improve your muscular abilities and increase your fitness. You do not have to be a professional athlete or a bodybuilder to gain from group training. You can be the boss of a major corporation or the guy down the street. There are sessions for people of all ages, sizes, and body-builds. No matter what your fitness level, there is likely a group training program for you most anywhere you live.

Resources 

Lance C Dalleck, MS and Len Kravitz, PhD: The History of Fitness

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/history.html

Examiner: Group Training or Boot Camp?

http://www.examiner.com/cross-training-in-kansas-city/personal-training-group-training-or-boot-camp

New York Times: Fitness; ‘Functional Fitness’ Means Training for Life

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/health/fitness-functional-fitness-means-training-for-your-real-life.html

Bodyweight Exercise Tips: 12 Basic Bodyweight Exercises to Build Tremendous Functional Strength

http://bodyweightexercisetips.com/12-basic-bodyweight-exercises-to-build-tremendous-functional-strength/

Sport Fitness Advisor: Sample Medicine Ball Exercises

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/medicine-ball-exercises.html

Bodybuilding.com: Kettlebell Exercises

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kettlebells.htm

Sports Injury Clinic: Free Weights Exercises

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/strengthening/free_weights.php

Athletes Acceleration: Sports Specific Training Articles

http://www.athletesacceleration.com/sports-specific-training-articles/

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