"I Work Out!"

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Last summer I started going to the fitness classes that my gym offered (my favorite is Zumba!) I was amazed at what a great workout I got, and how much fun exercising could be. Whenever I left a fitness class, I felt that I had gotten a much better workout with the group than I would have alone. This is because of the concept from Social Psychology called Social Facilitation, or the enhancement of performance brought about by the presence of others. When we do something in a group, like working out, we are pushed to go faster or work harder, and to exercise longer. In the textbook, it talks about how bicycle racers got faster speeds when they were racing with other bicyclists, rather than racing by themselves. When we're with other people, we don't want to look weak, so we push ourselves more. I'm looking forward to returning home this summer and going to my favorite fitness classes again. Working out by myself in the rec center just isn't cutting it!



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I can really relate to this. Whenever I am home I can't get myself to work out for more than twenty minutes. When I am at school and go to the Rec center, even if I go by myself, I feel motivated by the fact that others are around me to work harder or longer. I would feel embarrased if I went on the treadmill for only five minutes, then got up and left. Where as at home, I would not feel that pressure and wouldn't feel as badly about myself if I were to do this. I think that Social facilitation, as described in the book, is a big factor in that.

I guess I could relate this Social facilitation concept to another aspect of college life: academics. When I'm in my room, I barely have the attention span to do any work. However, when i'm surrounded by studious people in the library or at a coffee shop I feel encouraged to stray away from social networking sites and work on my homework so I can be more like the people around me.

Yeah I feel anything thing in which takes any amount of arousal to do, which is pretty much everything, is easier when there's others around you also doing it. This could almost be labeled as conformity. You see everyone else having fun and so you want to as well, you see everyone studying and it makes you want to study more, like thork009 was saying when he or she goes to the library.

As a horse racer, this is not just true for humans! When you take out a horse for practice, they're performance and energy level is almost always nothing compared to when they are surrounded by other horses in an arena. Even when just trail riding, if you ask a horse to run when it is by itself, it will most likely go at a moderate pace and attempt to stop sooner. However, if you take the same horse out and ask it to run when there is another horse running beside it, it will not only go faster, but will maintain that speed for longer. It almost seems as if the horses see every other horse as direct competition. I feel that this is the same factor of arousal that can be seen in humans.

I am really interested in this topic. As someone who grew up playing team sports a majority of their teen life, this concept really hits home. When I was younger I did notice that I tried harder when I had someone to compete against compared to when I was just practicing alone. Back then I didn't know why, just that, that was how it was. A was glad that I finally learned why that was a nd what the correct term for it was.

This is a great observation. A great example of this is from when I was in high school. In our gym class, part of our physical testing included Pacers (race the clock and run from one end of the gym to the other). The boys often had competitions for who could complete the most sprints before the clock eventually beat them. During my class' testing period, only one boy was left running toward the end of the Pacer test, so a few of the boys who had already stopped running got up to race the last boy so that he would be pushed to run farther.

This is a great example that I'm sure many of us can relate to. I also enjoy doing group fitness classes, as it makes it more fun and easier to accomplish. Like you said, you won't quit if everyone else there is encouraging you to keep going. I also enjoy having a running partner when I go on long runs, so when I get an urge to take a break to walk, we encourage each other and pick each other up.

I think that this is a principle that everyone can relate to. When working out alone, it is only your own personal drive that motivates you to keep going or to be very attentive to technique. This can work great for some people, but I would think that it is always generally more motivating to have more people there. When working out as a group, the motivation present is not just personal motivation, but the motivation to look good in the eyes of others, and to stay with the group.
I think that this can also be applied to many other areas of life, including school. When working on homework or projects by myself, I find it much easier to be distracted by the many interesting things present on the internet or the many interesting people present on campus. When doing homework with groups however, it is much easier to get myself to continue working through homework without taking as many unnecessary breaks. Increased motivation is a great thing that comes about when working in groups on anything from personal fitness to homework.

I can relate to this blog. I am currently in Zumba and kickboxing classes and find myself pushing harder when there is a big group there with me. It drives me to "beat" them and get competitive. In the end, I get a better workout and have fun with my peers. This is a great example of Social Facilitation. This is found a lot in extra curricular activities and sports.

I find this to be very interesting. Competition and not wanting to look "weak" can definitely correlate with how much effort is put into their performance when in a group setting. However, I believe that who that person may be around can also impact a person's drive to out perform another. For example, when I am in a general class discussion with persons I only associate academically I find myself participating wanting them to know that I am knowledgeable (or at least play the part) in whatever topic we may be discussing. This changes when I am around friends that I socialize with on a regular basis-- there is less feeling of a need for me to look "smart" and I may even feel okay being the "dumb-one" without letting it phase me.

It is amazing to me how much a difference of working out alone and working out with someone else can make. My husband and I started biking together recently. I seem to go a lot farther when I am biking with him. I never really gave it much thought. I would love to try a Zumba class someday!

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This page contains a single entry by jorda492 published on April 21, 2012 2:57 PM.

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