Posted 8 months ago

Community – Why does it matter?

Bodybuilding has a reputation for being quite an isolating sport – you train on your own, meal prep for yourself, get your steps in whilst listening to a podcast, smash your cardio with your own music blasting through your ears. And then what?

Many people underestimate the importance of having a supportive community around you for the tougher days, both in an offseason and during prep. We all have ups and downs, better days, worse days, days where energy is through the roof, days where food focus is hard to manage.

These are the moments in which having a supportive community can be the difference that makes the difference.

A community is one that is there for you for the highs and the lows, one that can cheer you along on the best days and pick you up on the worst.

A community is one that acknowledges that although we may all be riding different waves, we’re all riding along the same ocean.

There is a large body of evidence demonstrating that we’re more likely to achieve a goal when we do it with others, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that “in order to go fast, go alone; but in order to go far, go together”.

So, why is it that communities can have such a large impact on our performance when trying to become elite versions of ourselves?

  • Greater cohesion with others such as teammates has been shown to improve overall on our performance[i]
  • Social group connectedness provides us with positive feedback on our ability to achieve our goals, which in the long term is associated to enhanced wellbeing[ii]
  • Importantly, when a team member tells us that we’ll be alright – such as, that we’ll manage a dieting phase and be ready on time, and/or that we’ll be able to cope with the demands of an offseason – we are more likely to believe them and as a result, perceive the “stressor” in question to be less stressful[iii]

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it just shows that we can always achieve more together. A such, what are you waiting for? Get in touch to become a member of the VW Physique team today.

We are them. We are they. We are us.

Clara Swedlund MSc MBPsS

Trainee Sport & Exercise Psychologist

[i] Murrell, A. J., & Gaertner, S. L. (1992). Cohesion and sport team effectiveness: The benefit of a common group identity. Journal of Sport and Social Issues16(1), 1-14.

[ii] Bettencourt, B., & Sheldon, K. (2001). Social roles as mechanism for psychological need satisfaction within social groups. Journal of personality and social psychology81(6), 1131.

[iii] Gallagher, S., Meaney, S., & Muldoon, O. T. (2014). Social identity influences stress appraisals and cardiovascular reactions to acute stress exposure. British journal of health psychology19(3), 566-579.