What’s Better For You: Group Fitness Class or Solo Work Out?
Physical activity of any form is beneficial to prevent the risk of chronic diseases. When it comes to workouts, going with group performance can boost your health a bit extra. It is a great way of investing in physical activity. But if you like to keep things grounded, a solo workout can better fit you. Comparing the pros and cons of both can simplify your decision to choose the best for yourself.
Benefits of exercising with a group
Sweating, breathing, and toning in sync in an outdoor activity such as running and cycling or in an indoor activity such as a group fitness class give you a platform to socialize and interact with fellow participants. Several studies are reporting that exercising with others is superior for adherence in comparison to exercising solo.1
- It makes you set up group goals, share feedback, interact with others, build a healthy competition and develop a participatory feeling that you are unable to execute in a solo workout.
- Particularly, for those stuck with their busy schedule or homely chores, it’s a good approach to help you keep accountable. The regular showing up at the group class will also make you accountable to fellow trainees and even the instructor and that should be enough to keep you motivated to attend the class regularly.
- The good vibes that we run across in a group class can be an effective remedy to heal depression.
- You are under professional surveillance so you don’t need to worry about the correctness of your postures.
- Sometimes despite having time and sources we are unable to structure or plan physical activities. The group classes offer fun and creative ways of physical activities and retain your interest in the physical regimen. You don’t have to plan your set of exercises. You need to follow your group instructor.
- The flow maintained with the massive motivation also increases your pain tolerance even though the partner you are collaborating with is a known or a stranger. The tolerance towards discomfort associated with fatigue after exercise further pushes us harder to perform better.
- It can also positively reduce the risk of physical and mental distress by improving compliance to physical activity, psychological factors, and social connections.
- Apart from physiological effectiveness, exercising in the group can also potentially improve the quality of life and functional effectiveness.
Popular group activities that are worth indulging in:
- Circuit training
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
- Boot camping
Drawbacks of performing in a group
- Those indulged in group exercise enjoy the training sessions only at moderate intensity but not at high intensity. It means that if they derive pleasure from exercise participation, then only they would presumably seek to repeat this activity. That indicates that exercise intensity is the major influencing factor to support adherence to group exercise programs.2
- The longer sessions in group classes can be time bound which can make you skip classes sometimes.
- Since everyone has a different body type, pace, and health conditions. So following someone other’s benchmark can be misleading and you can end up having a physical condition.
Benefits of Exercising solo
If you are a self-contained person and don’t like to be very reflective with your workout sessions, then a solo workout gives you that space to manage your schedule your way.
- It gives you the freedom to work out independently, you can exclude or include the set of exercises up to your convenience. You can just have a quick 10 mins intense cardio or have intense bouts of exercise, depending on your availability. It gives you your own space while workout which can be therapeutic in some cases while depressing for others.
- You are free to plan your set of exercises for the area or muscles you want to focus on.
- It doesn’t ensure workout consistency but it can better help you lose weight and gain muscle. You set up your health goals that are not time-bound.
Drawbacks of Exercising solo
- At times, many of us come to a saturation point where we lose interest in working out solo. We might also face depression in solitude.
- There is no motivation to push you a step harder.
- Planning your workouts can be a task at times.
- Intense weight lifting without professional guidance can get you into a troublesome situation.
Among both workouts, group training provides you a paid platform to get your training structured with professional guidance that can get us on the fitness track effortlessly. It is a better investment that makes you more focused, consistent, social, de-stress, and efficient with your functioning and improving your quality of life. Though, searching for a well-qualified instructor and an accessible space can be of concern. However, there is no fixed rule for going solo or with a group. You are free to perform any of them or their combinations.
Like a healthcare system offers group-based interventions or individual counseling to promote physical activity. Similarly, the amelioration at workplaces now allows you to get fit with your hectic schedule. Many worksites also offer an individually targeted health intervention or regular fitness group sessions to promote physical activity. Make sure to make the most out of it.