Working out has proven to improve your physical and mental health which contributes to your overall quality of life. Although choosing to workout alone or workout with others is a personal preference that varies between each individual.
There are several benefits that comes with working out alone such as:
Working out alone allows you to create your own schedule where you don’t need to coordinate or wait for others. This is beneficial if you have a busy schedule or prefer to workout during odd hours. It also allows you to concentrate on your own fitness goals and reduces the potential for distractions or interruptions from others.
Feeling less intimidated
If you’re new to working out or generally self-conscious, you may find that working out in group settings is quite intimidating. When working out alone, you don’t need to worry about what you’re wearing, how your body looks or how fast/slow you’re going. All you need to do is focus on yourself and your own goals. Over time, not only will your fitness levels improve but your confidence will also begin to grow as you get more comfortable with the exercises.
By needing to rely on your own motivation and commitment to your fitness routine this can help to develop your self-motivation and accountability. It can also help to develop your mental toughness and resilience which is also beneficial outside of working out.
Having a personalised experience
When you’re working out alone you’ll be able to tailor the duration, intensity and type of training to your specific wants and needs. For example, if you were struggling with an injury you’ll be able to alter your workout for that period of time and not have to worry about it affecting anyone else in the process. If you were feeling fatigued one day at the gym, you’d be able to lower the intensity of your workout in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Alongside these benefits there are also some disadvantages to working out alone:
Lack of variety in your workouts
As much as working out alone can get the job done, having someone else with you that knows what they’re doing can help introduce new exercises into your routine in order to keep you motivated.
Having zero assistance in and outside of the gym
Working out alone is all fun and games until you find yourself under a weight that is too heavy to move yourself. This can be a really big safety concern because you are at risk of seriously injuring yourself. It may also limit your ability to increase your progress because you’re scared of going heavier without a spotter but the intensity and weights you currently have aren’t enough to push you.
An increased feeling of loneliness and boredom
Without having people with you as you workout can result in feelings of boredom which may lead to you falling out of love with training and stopping altogether.
Some ways to combat these disadvantages would be to workout with a partner or in a group setting. Other advantages include:
Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to go workout alone especially if the weather is cold and gloomy, it is very easy to want to stay home and curl up on the couch watching your favourite TV show. However, if your partner or group are wanting to go, you’re more likely to join them because you don’t want to feel left out. Other than motivating you to go, they also will be able to push you through one more round or to go heavier in your next set. Knowing that they can help boost your confidence when you’re feeling low will reflect greatly in your progress and discipline. Also if they’re of a higher fitness level than you, you may find yourself pushing harder than usual in order to keep up and not fall behind during the session.
Improving your overall mental health
The social interaction factor of working out with others can greatly improve your mental health. It helps to provide a sense of community and also increases your endorphin levels. Endorphins are natural chemicals in your brain that help to reduce pain and promote feelings of happiness. Focusing on the workout and being with others can also help to distract you from any other stressors you may have outside of the gym, which in turn helps to reduce your anxiety and stress levels to improve your mood.
Wider variety in your workout plan
By working out with others who are more experienced at the gym, this can help you discover new exercises that you can do to achieve your fitness goals while also getting your partner to support you as you go heavier and watch your form to ensure you aren’t at risk of injury.
HOW TO FIND YOUR WORKOUT PARTNER
Firstly you should establish your own fitness goals and personal commitments so you know what to look for in someone else. Decide how much time you’d like to commit to working out and it may be beneficial to have a few sessions with a personal trainer to set you up with right workout plan to suit your goals.
It is important to find a workout partner who has similar goals, schedules and commitment in order for you both to hold each other accountable. Finding a gym buddy is not only limited to your friends, you can also find them in your co-workers or other people at your gym. You may also like to look online and share your goals virtually allowing you to make an online friend while also staying accountable.
As fun as it is to workout with your friends, there are some factors that you’d need to consider which may be disadvantageous in comparison to working out alone.
Longer workout sessions and limited flexibility
Naturally, working out with others means there’s a social factor to it. When you’re working out alone, your rest times are generally shorter and there are close to no distractions during and after your sets. Although this can be combated by alternating exercises or traveling together but having different work sessions. Not only can the sessions become longer, there is also a lack of flexibility because now you need to work around multiple people’s schedules rather than just your own.
This is both an advantage and a disadvantage to having a workout partner because on one hand they are able to help motivate you and keep you accountable however there is a fine line where you may start to compare yourself to them and their progress. The pressure to keep up with your partners may do more harm than good.
At the end of the day, whether you choose to workout alone or with a partner comes down to your personal preference. Both options have advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider when deciding on which is best for you. As long as you have a workout routine that is enjoyable and effective in achieving your fitness goals, that’s the most important thing.
If you’re looking for equipment that can be incorporated into your routine, check out what we offer here and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.