Today’s article and drill is from new contributor Pat Carr.
There is a great dynamic that happens in group training that is awesome to take advantage of as a trainer. That is, people not wanting to let others down. It seems silly, but when put in the right situation, people are more willing to let themselves down, than they are to let a team down.
I’m sure many of you have experienced the following:
Obviously we don’t always want to push everyone to this maximum intensity in every session, as for some it isn’t safe to do so, and for others they simply don’t want to train that hard as it doesn’t tie in with their goals. But for those you want to push to the limit (and deep down they want it too) this can be frustrating.
Enter the team element.
By doing something as simple as grouping people together in small groups, and giving that group a target (or competing with other groups), all of a sudden people are much more willing to train a bit harder, because they don’t want to let down the other members of their group.
A very simple workout that uses this premise is shown below:
Spend 10 mins warming everybody up.
For the workout, everyone is broken into small groups of around 3-4. Try and keep the fitter guys/girls in the smaller groups, and the less fit in larger groups as they will get more rest.
Set a timer for 5 minutes.
For the entire 5 mins, one person from each group will be doing as many reps as possible of a particular exercise. Once they begin to slow down from fatigue or their form drops (usually you make the call here as trainer), they rest and another member of the group takes over the count and continues.
This goes on until the 5 minutes are up. Each group will then have a score of their total reps in the 5 mins, and those with competitive groups can take note of which team won.
The beauty about this drill is that group camaraderie becomes a factor, as people start cheering their teammates on, and some people pick up more of the load if their teammates are struggling. It makes for a great group dynamic, as well as getting an awesome intensity out of everyone as they don’t want to let each other down!
I used this workout with my group last night, and had them do the following exercises for 5 mins each:
- Power jacks
- Squat to shoulder press (with dumbbells)
- Burpees (chest to ground)
- Shuttle runs
The beauty about this drill is its versatility. You can put in any exercise you want with different time limits or different numbers per team to suit your group.
Note: if you are using different exercises, keep in mind the difficulty of each. Easier exercises should have smaller teams (hence less break), while more challenging teams should either have more team members or a lower overall time limit.
Cooldown and stretch.