Get your group on

In a previous blog I wrote about the benefit of working with a coach, sensei, or instructor and how they can help maximize your efforts (read “Nectar of Instruction”). As a corollary to that subject, I thought it prudent to mention the benefits of working within a group.

Unless it is a mixed martial arts or boxing class, I have noticed that men rarely participate in group exercise. This is unfortunate as we are innately social animals and the camaraderie, competitiveness, and energy of a group really brings out the best (and to be honest, sometimes the worst) in us. Women, on the other hand, seem to have no qualms about working within a group. Whether the forces at work are biological, social, or a combination of the two, the end result is that they gain and we lose.

A cursory look at history reveals that all the great achievements of human kind have been the result of group efforts. The pyramids at Giza, the Roman aqueducts, and the Taj Mahal are all spectacular examples of what we can produce when we work together (again, in deference to honesty, I imagine many slaves were involved as well). On a more relatable scale, teams are common place in most if not all sports even when competition takes place individually.

I think that within our Western/American culture, for a man to seek help is a sign of weakness and to struggle alone is a sign of strength. That convention needs to be challenged as asking for help, assistance, or guidance often takes greater strength than an easy surrender to egoic tendencies.

So get out there guys and try a Spinning class, get excited about group exercise, and show the ladies that we can be team players too!

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About Tony Fed

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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