While working out can be a personal challenge and an independent endeavour, it can also be a fun and fulfilling group activity to engage in with close friends or other like-minded people.
Which, then, is the better option? In this case, the choice is only clear when you know what you want out of a workout, and which kinds give you the best results.
To make it easier for you to decide on how you wish to work out, here is a quick illustration on the pros and cons of two workout styles: Group and Solo.
Atmosphere and community spirit: Psychology studies demonstrated that people who exercised alongside others felt more energetic and positive after their workouts, and even more so when they worked out with friends rather than acquaintances.
Push yourself further: If you’re looking to beat a personal record or to reach a new fitness goal, working out in a group might just give you the competitive push that you need. Working out with someone fitter than you are can help to push your limits as well, as you feel more compelled to work harder than you usually would.
More commitment to goals: If sticking to your fitness plans or diet is a struggle for you, starting one with friends who have similar goals would motivate you better in keeping to them. Accountability to others can be a major push factor to many.
Socialising: For the social butterflies, working out in a group kills two birds with one stone – getting the weekly exercise in and catching up with friends all at once. Attending a gym class together is also the perfect excuse for a group of friends to meet up amid each other’s busy schedules.
Source of anxiety: For the self-conscious, however, working out in a group might seem daunting, especially if you are inexperienced or untrained in the activity. Studies found that working out with others in a mirrored room made women who were unfamiliar with the workouts being conducted feel more uncomfortable.
Holding you back: While working out with fitter friends may help to push your limits, working out with those who are not as fit as you could slow you down, as you have to accommodate their abilities.
Having quiet time:
If you have been overwhelmed with anxiety and stress, having alone time while letting off some steam through exercise would be an ideal way to get some relief. Studies found that people who worked out alone felt more relaxed at the end of it, and even more so when they exercised outdoors.
A solo workout could work best for those who are highly motivated and disciplined, as it removes one from the distractions that companions might bring.
Generally, for beginners who have had little experience in fitness and exercise, starting off in a group might be beneficial as they would be able to receive guidance from their friends. After grasping the basic techniques of the workout, solo workouts can prove to be efficient and effective as well.