Molly McNamee | Solo vs. Group: What’s the right workout for you?
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Solo vs. Group: What’s the right workout for you?

Everyone has his or her preference of working out alone, with a friend, group fitness, or working with a trainer. There are positives to all of these options. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, it’s probably best not to workout alone. If other people’s energy inspires you, try a group fitness class. Today I’m going to give you a run down on the positives, and possible negatives of each option.

Solo Workouts. I personally choose to workout solo. I just want my music and to tune out the world. My workouts are my therapy, and I need to be alone for that! But not everyone is the same. Solo workouts are fine for me because I know how to create a structured workout and motivate myself to complete whatever challenge I’ve created that day. If you have a hard time motivating yourself to workout, this is a terrible option for you. No one is making you get off the couch except for you with this option. Solo workouts are also not a good option if you don’t have a good understanding of what to do during your workouts. A workout won’t be very effective if you spend half of it standing around wondering what to do or if you are doing an exercise incorrectly. Solo workouts aren’t for everyone, but they can be great!

Buddy Workouts. Working out with a friend is a great motivation. This will hold you more accountable to workout. You don’t want to be “that friend” that cancels last minute on your park workout. There is also an element of friendly competition with this option. Whether you have a friend who’s in great shape you want to be like that person or the roles are reversed, you will either be motivated to get in better shape or stay in shape. Friends are your own personal cheerleaders. A good friend doesn’t want to see you fail, so they will cheer you on during your workouts. The downfall to this option, again, is that you don’t have a professional around giving you a structured workout. Also, your friend is going to be a lot nicer to you and might not be completely honest about how much skinnier you look. If you want to workout with someone who will still inspire you but make you work really hard, it’s better to enlist a professional for some help.

Group Fitness. Group fitness can be really great or terrible. Great, because the energy is high, you meet new people, there’s that friendly competition again, the music is fun, and you have a professional structuring the workout for you. You don’t have to come up with your own workout routine; someone who is certified in fitness will guide you through your workouts. There are also hundreds of different classes to choose from, so you can constantly try new things and challenge your body. Group fitness can be bad because you don’t get much personal guidance in most classes. There are lots of people around, so an instructor can’t stop the class to focus on your different questions. Yes, a good instructor will notice if you are struggling and help you. But, in a full class it’s near impossible for any professional to give you the exact help you need. You can also hide in the back during a group fitness class. It’s fine to stand in the back, but when you hide in the back and don’t work very hard it’s a waste of your time.

Personal Training. Now onto personal training, this is a one-on-one experience. Someone you don’t know is leading you through a workout customized for you and your goals. You are being led by someone who knows how to keep you safe but still work you hard and hold you accountable. Some people find it harder to cancel plans with someone they don’t know (others are the opposite), so you might find you show up to workouts more often with a trainer around. A trainer assumes you are committed if you are paying them to take you through workouts, and with that commitment you will start to get fitter! This option is similar to buddy workouts, the only difference is someone is around who knows what he or she is talking about! You might experience fewer injuries with a trainer, and you might see results faster with one too. One of the only things I hear from people who are not interested in personal training is that they like the group environment better. That’s true, you don’t have the same energy in a one-on-one session that you would with 15 people around. Like I said before, there are pros and cons to all the options, it’s just about finding what’s right for you!