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[Kelly Cone of Sugar Grove runs on a treadmill during a class at Orangetheory Fitness in St. Charles. Fitness research shows that when people work out as buddies or in groups, they tend to keep each other honest in sticking to their regimens.]
The orange part of Orangetheory comes from measuring the workout’s success by achieving the color orange during a workout, Sean Ramsey said.
“When we take class together, it’s based on our own personal heart rate,” Sean Ramsey said. “It takes a different pace and tempo for me to get to orange than my wife.”
At Fox Valley Fitness Center, located at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, assistant strength and conditioning coach Grace McReynolds said she has seen firsthand that fitness buddies really do motivate people to stick to their exercise programs.
“I agree with the studies that have been out there,” McReynolds said. “Working out with friends or a spouse or significant other – or other people in the gym who become friends – it’s a motivator. You have somebody to hold you accountable."
McReynolds said she has seen where one member of a workout partnership shows up alone, he or she will text the other person or call – and shortly after that, the partner will show up for the workout.
While exercising in groups is also beneficial, McReynolds said group workouts can also be “a plus and a minus.”
“I teach some group classes here at Fox Valley Fitness, and people will look at what weights others are using,” McReynolds said. “If they’re using an eight-pound weight, and they see others are using a 12-pound weight, they’ll try to push to push themselves to do a 12 and push to do as many reps as the others. You’re not ready for that if your body is not ready.”
McReynolds said she warns them that they can become too fatigued.
“I always tell them to do what their body is capable of, not because of someone else,” McReynolds said.