Food for thought

Engaging the Community Through Fitness

This last week I’ve been thinking about the word community, how it applies to fitness and what it means to me. Community to me seems to be grounded in unity, where a group of people works together in a way that benefits everyone to reach common goals among the group. When I think about ProjectMove, I consider the aspects of togetherness and fellowship of members and coaches that creates that sense of community.


Statistics from Gallup-Healthways Happiness-Stress Index demonstrate the benefits of having face-to-face contact with someone for up to six or seven hours a day will lead to an overall increase in happiness. Individuals who miss out on facetime with family and friends on any given day experience increased levels of stress and worry. It seems that by nature, humans are social creatures, so it only makes sense that we feel happier if we make connections with other people around us. 


Over the last few years, boutique fitness has been developing in gyms and fitness studios and has gained extreme popularity as a place for people to engage in large class-based group training. Recently there’s been more studies eluding to the theory of organized group classes in the gym produce higher rates of retention of movements. A Nielsen study of over 3,000 participants of group fitness classes around the globe, found that more than 85% of class members visit their facility, gym, or studio twice a week to engage with others in group classes. 43% of members attend their facility four times a week for the same purpose. 


People are turning to working-out together in group fitness classes because of the sense of community that is created by doing this. Group fitness not only helps people fall in love with fitness, but it will also make them want to exercise more regularly. This change in attitude towards fitness, from feeling like they have to exercise to wanting to exercise, means they are less likely to walk out of the gym if they are partaking in group fitness classes. Building a community that is concerned about health and fitness is essential, but other aspects create a community-oriented feeling within a gym. Creating a space where the goal of peace of mind and mental clarity during the class and extending that feeling after the class ends. 


This got me thinking about the sense of community that I feel at ProjectMove when I attend group classes or any other time I’m there. The coaches and the members at ProjectMove foster a community-oriented space where members feel comfortable to fail at accomplishing fitness goals just as often as they succeed with them. Although frustrating, failure is extremely important and structuring a fitness community around this idea establishes a space where failure isn’t the end of the world. At the same time, there’s a constant push from the coaches to reach your limits when it comes to fitness. 


ProjectMove fosters a community for members to train together, which leads to an overall increase in motivation and accountability that training alone could never bring about. The relationships created with other members and with the coaches adds another layer of purpose and intensity in workouts. This ultimately yields the best results possible and leads members to eagerly want more training days at the gym. The coaches at ProjectMove also have special relationships with one another and I can tell. They are constantly working with one another to brainstorm on how to make the gym better for members, expand group training classes, and improve the member’s overall satisfaction. Every single coach genuinely wants members to succeed and they work countless hours, on and off the clock, to make sure that this goal is accomplished. 


ProjectMove coaches embody what it means to be thoughtful and loving, creating a structure for members to participate in group fitness daily. Members want to follow in the coaches’ footsteps because of their attitudes, what they are saying, and how they are acting, which has shaped the community and has generated an inclusive environment for everyone. ProjectMove builds a space that reflects what I and other members need and want out of a gym, emphasizing on building an intertwined community of people focused on supporting each other.