Regular workout/exercise impacts your physical as well as mental health.
With the increasing popularity, due to enormous benefits, yoga, pilates, HIT training, and weight-lifting have become a significant lifestyle focus.
However, one question crosses most of our minds “is it better to work out alone” or in a group?
The simple way to answer it is that it’s a matter of personal preference.
Some people take gym or yoga as a ‘me-time.’
On the other spectrum, many take it as an opportunity to socialize and interact.
Both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks.
No matter how you prefer to work out – exercising alone or in a group – the goal is to not give-up and continue.
It is therefore essential to understand the benefits of both approaches.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss both solo workouts and group workouts.
We have already discussed the key components of a successful fitness training journey regardless of the approach (group vs. solo).
Solo vs. Group Workout – Pros and Cons
A significant number of studies have been conducted on solo vs. group workouts to find the answer to one question: is it better to workout alone?
If you are a lone wolf who prefers to work out alone, you may want to re-consider your approach.
A recent study conducted on students between the age of 14 to 26 has shown that group workouts are more effective than solo answering the question “Why group exercise is better”.
Students engaged in group workouts were more physically active with better mental health and connected to people better.
In comparison, students placed in solo workout programs did not significantly improve their stress levels which provides a perspective in answering the question : is it better to workout alone?
To make it easy for you to understand, we have separately listed the pros and cons of each approach.
Group Fitness – Why Is It Popular?
Exercising in a group has always been a practical approach.
Do you know that more than 40% of workout routines are designed for group sessions?
You can achieve your fitness goals without losing motivation and continuity through group exercise.
But just like any other thing, it has its benefits and disadvantages.
● Accountability and Support
When you join a group fitness program, you hold yourself accountable.
As a result, it gets easier to show up knowing that people are waiting for you.
Also, when you train with people, you get the moral support that helps you achieve your fitness goals better.
● Motivation and Consistency
According to psychology, our attitude and emotional response towards physical fitness are influenced by other people.
Watching other people showing up regularly and achieving their goals motivates you.
It changes your perception of exercise.
People in group fitness find exercise more doable, desirable, and positive.
As a result, it brings consistency.
● Structure rules out the guesswork
Unless you are paying a hefty amount to a personal trainer, working out on your own can be pretty challenging.
You spend a great deal of time deciding which exercise you should do.
Well, the good news is group workouts leave out the guesswork at the doorstep.
These programs are more structured, with everyone knowing which routine to do and when to do it.
● Efficiency while Having Fun
The best part about group workouts is the fun without compromising the results.
In a group session, you get to do a variety of exercises.
The variation keeps the routine creative, practical, and fun.
And not to forget that you get to socialize while burning out the calories!
Compromised Individual Attention
Usually, group fitness programs include 20+ people per session under a single instructor.
With such a large group, it gets difficult for the instructor to focus individually on everyone.
As a result, you don’t know whether you are using the proper form or not.
And it ultimately leads to complexity and bad movement patterns.
Same Routine For All
Every individual has their own fitness goals and needs.
While some might need muscle strengthening, others might need to focus on cutting or bulking exercises.
That’s where group fitness classes are flawed.
They use the same routine for everyone in the group.
Solo Workout Routine
Solo training is a great workout approach.
It challenges your willpower and builds endurance, and makes you persistent.
With the pandemic going on, people have switched to solo training.
In addition, solo training allows you to keep track of your general and specific fitness goals.
Solo workouts give you freedom and flexibility.
You are in complete control of the duration and physical activities.
With solo training, you are not bound to a specific period.
You can train at any time of the day.
Unlike group training, solo workouts cut out unnecessary distractions.
As a result, you can peacefully give yourself 30 to 40 minutes.
Besides, working out solo doesn’t make you self-conscious, allowing you to focus on your form and goals without hesitation.
When you push yourself to spare 10 to 30 to 50 minutes of your day, you eventually build discipline in your life.
One of the best things about solo training is that you can choose the routine.
You can design your routine according to your fitness goals and stick to it as long as you want.
Lack of Assistance
Solo training can be challenging, especially for beginners.
Without an instructor, it’s tricky to understand your proper form.
Also, the lack of assistance can lead you to pick the wrong exercise/activities as well.
Working out alone requires excellent motivation.
Solo training can be tedious and lonely.
It is especially true if you are an extrovert.
The lack of social interaction and accountability makes people lousy.
As a result, people often skip or discontinue training.
Key To a Successful Workout Regime
Solo or group training, no matter how you like it, you need to focus on the six fitness training elements to make it successful and effective.
These elements are equally crucial for both beginners and pro fitness enthusiasts.
Our mindset is the first step of the fitness training program.
Gary Mack, a sports psychologist, has explained the importance of mindset in building our “mental muscle” and “physical muscle” in his book: Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence.
The key to a successful workout is to shut out the negative thoughts. You need to learn to talk back to thoughts like “It’s too cold or dark outside” or “I don’t have the energy or time to work out today.”
So before focusing on the physical routine, change your mindset and get rid of all the lousy excuses first.
Motivation is the vital ingredient for cooking out a successful fitness regime.
To achieve your fitness goals, it is essential to stay motivated and focused.
Your motivation drives you to carry on.
The best way to stay motivated is to set small goals without expecting quick results.
Consistency and flow
One of the primary reasons people fail at their fitness journey is a lack of consistency, continuity, and flow.
For example, it is unfruitful to do high-intensity exercise one day and switching to moderate or low intensity the other.
Similarly, working out for 40 to 50 minutes, in the beginning, will only exhaust you.
So instead, use the gradual approach.
Start with low-intensity exercises for 20 minutes, gradually increasing to 40+ minutes or high-intensity activities.
Proper Diet & Nutrition
If you are doing fitness training on an empty stomach, then you have been doing it wrong the whole time.
Fitness doesn’t mean skipping your meals or starving.
To successfully achieve your fitness goals, you need a proper diet and nutrition; therefore, pre-workout meals are crucial.
First, eat something 30-60 minutes or 2-3 hours before the workout.
For example, if you are taking pre-meals 30-60 minutes before training, eat high-carb, moderate proteins and a low-fat diet.
Then, for a 2-3 hours slot, eat high-carb, high-protein, and low-fat meals.
You should be aware of your workout goals.
It gives you a direction.
The best approach is to set out small goals.
Not only are small goals more attainable, but they also lift your spirit.
Mental toughness is one of the significant elements of a successful workout regime.
It is the ability to perform consistently to your full potential irrespective of the challenges and competitions.
You need mental toughness to carry on the workout routine with the same enthusiasm that you initially have.
Our Take On Solo vs. Group Workouts and is it better to workout alone?
Weighing the pros and cons of solo training vs. group training makes the decision a lot easier.
However, the atmosphere, fitness goals, and the overall experience you want to have are vital factors to answer this question: is it better to work out alone?
Group training is best for people who want to train in a high-energy environment.
Similarly, for someone who wants a more relaxed atmosphere to self-motivate themselves, solo training is ideal.
Solo or group training; it is recommended to take at least six months of personal fitness training.
Training with a personal trainer helps you understand the proper form, and you learn to set long-term goals.
You also get an appropriate nutritional guide for your fitness journey.
Whether you go for solo or group workouts, what matters is that you make fitness a priority.
With a consistent and well-balanced routine, you will feel happier, healthier, and motivated!