Whether you are an avid gym goer looking to switch things up or someone who is newer to the gym, trying to maximize the benefits of working out
is usually the main goal. You may have wondered if you would get more out of your workout if you worked out in a group setting or if you worked
out alone. Although there is no right or wrong answer, the research tends to show more benefits to those who workout in a group setting. Not as
to say working out alone is bad. Finding a balance between the two is key.
Having a partner or a group that is expecting you to show up makes it a whole lot harder to skip.
One study found
95% of those who started
a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, compared to a 76% completion rate for those who tackled the program alone. The group
setting was also 42% more likely to maintain their weight loss, as compared to the group who exercised alone.
Besides actually making it to the gym, boredom is another huge deterrent for most people when it comes to maintaining a consistent exercise
routine. Those who workout in groups experience more social interaction, which enhances their experience. Part of the success of programs like
Cross Fit and Yoga depend largely on the social component and the ability to switch up the routines for each class so that participants don’t
get bored as easily.
The downside to the social aspect of exercise is if the class isn’t structured enough, it may be tempting to talk rather than work out. Those who
are not intrinsically motivated may be better suited to stick to well structured classes.
You Workout Harder
According to a
published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, working out with a partner increases the intensity of aerobic exercise when
compared to working out alone. When we workout with a partner, we are more likely to increase our pace or intensity to match that of our partner.
This is why it is a good idea to workout with someone who is close to or slightly above your level of fitness.
The best workout plan for you is the one that you will actually do! Whether you prefer to workout alone or with someone or in a group setting, stick
to what you love. Some people may want to hit the gym after work to decompress from the day...alone. Others may think of the gym as a social gathering and
look forward to it, especially if they live alone or don't have a job to go to every day. Everyone is different. The key is knowing what's best for you
and sticking to it.