High Five

Working Out Together Makes a Difference


In recent years, several studies have been undertaken to investigate the worth of Group Training. One particular study was based around a Les Mills program, CXWORKS. However, the findings can be shared across all Group Training formats.

In 2011, a 30-week Get Fit Together study started with 25 sedentary individuals spending an initial six-week period “dipping their toes” into fitness. They then built up to a six-day-a-week exercise schedule, doing a variety of Les Mills workouts that mirrored the Physical Activity Guidelines for Fitness.

The gradual introduction meant that instead of feeling sore from overworking unfit muscles and giving up, the group actually enjoyed their path into exercise. Participants enjoyed reductions in body mass, fat body mass percentage and total cholesterol, and elevations in oxygen consumption and lean body mass percentages. On average, they delayed the onset of cardiovascular disease by 3.6 years.

Most significantly, over the 30-week study, 20 out of 25 study participants never missed a workout – a compliance rate of 98.8 percent – almost unheard of in exercise studies. Such a high level of commitment highlights how combining a steady start with the support of others can work wonders.

Another 12-week study in 2017 found that those who did group workouts scored significantly higher in terms of stress-reduction and physical, mental, and emotional quality of life compared to those people who worked out alone.

The data showed the CXWORX group experienced:

  • 12.6 percent increase in mental Quality of Life (QOL)
  • 24.8 percent increase in physical QOL
  • 26 percent increase in emotional QOL
  • 26.2 percent decrease in perceived stress

A comparison group were found to have an increase of Mental QOL of just 11 percent, with no other significant benefits.

A more recent study in 2019 found that exercisers experience increased levels of individual enjoyment, exertion and satisfaction as a result of group exercise.

This latest research, which evaluated 97 people’s group fitness experiences at the same facility over a two-week period, identifies the powerful role “the group effect” plays in positively influencing our overall workout experiences – and the likelihood that we’ll stick at it and come back for more.