The Power of Peer Pressure

Posted February 3, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five
The past few months, I’ve become quite the yoga addict. My husband and I joke about my “very expensive habit.” And on top of the yoga, I’ve picked up another “very expensive habit” – spinning! And not just any spinning, FlyWheel. I’ve tried spinning a few times in the past, and never really hated it. But I never really loved it either. But I love love love FlyWheel. They crank up the music and turn the lights down, so it’s just you and your bike and the teacher. You don’t have to worry about what you look like, or how much you’re sweating. It’s phenomenal.

The past few weeks, I’ve averaged 2-3 classes per week, a combination of yoga at numerous studios, and FlyWheel. But what I’ve realized is that my newfound love of class-based fitness has made my regular old gym workouts damn near excruciating. On Tuesday night, I did probably one of the hardest workouts of my life at FlyWheel – 45 minutes of hell on wheels, literally! But I didn’t want to give up, I didn’t back down. I worked harder and harder and it paid off. Why, then, was my 30 minute treadmill “run/walk” last night at the gym the most painful workout in months?

I think it’s the peer pressure! Of course, we think of peer pressure as a negative influence, but when it comes to fitness classes, it’s a good thing. It’s why I finally decided to try to “flip my dog” in yoga. Because if everyone around me was doing it, well then damnit, I should too. It’s why I push myself harder at FlyWheel. They have a “torque board” that compares everyone in the class, making you want to go harder to beat that person right above you. It’s peer pressure at its finest. There is something to focus on, something to strive for, people to compare yourself to (don’t lie, you do it too).

But with working out at least 5 days a week, spending the money for 5 classes a week probably isn’t the most financially sound decision. So I need to figure out a way to make my regular gym workouts work for me. Maybe it’s trying classes at my gym (they don’t have a great selection, but I could try to swing it). Maybe it’s writing more clear interval workouts. Who knows? What I do know is, I don’t want to have another agonizingly painful and boring treadmill workout like last night again!

So tell me, dear readers, how is it that you keep your workouts from becoming mundane? Or am I destined to a life of “very expensive habits”?

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."