Is training alone as beneficial as training in a group?
It is very much down to personal preference and fitness goals as to whether you prefer training as part of a group or training alone. They both have their own respective benefits and drawbacks. Quite often it is down to the training purpose, location and time that can be the deciding factor in whether you’re alone or not – for example doing a long steady run at an antisocial hour alone is extremely beneficial in teaching you how to maintain a certain pace for a long period of time, however interval sessions run as a group after work are also beneficial for a runner as the competition from other athletes may encourage a faster-paced rep or harder training.
There are vast numbers of benefits from training alone. You’re not only far less likely to become distracted but this gives you the opportunity to solely focus on yourself and push that little bit further. You’re able to tailor the session to your needs and work with your strengths, weaknesses and current fitness condition which will also help you improve your mental toughness. Training alone is a great way to have some time to yourself to think through thinks and de-stress, which you can’t necessarily do surrounded by others.
Training in Groups
On the other hand, training as a group reaps benefits for other reasons (McEwan et al, 2017). Training alongside others can encourage you to run faster, push harder and keep you going when you reach that point of giving up. Arranging to meet up with a friend or group of people to work out alongside will reduce the chances of you sacking the session off and keep you motivated for longer! Training with people, generally, will increase the amount of support headed in your direction – if people see you flagging they’ll give you a boost and tell you to keep at it! It can be a great way of being social with friends or training partners whilst also keeping fit at the same time!
When you’re carrying out your GHOFitness Exercise plan it can be a great opportunity to work out alone and have some me-time, but if you schedule a friend in to meet you before and after your gym session it might just help motivate you that little bit more.
Next time you plan on doing some exercise, set out your goals and decide whether going as a group or doing it alone would be more beneficial and you never know, choosing the alternative to usual could improve your workout and keep your fitness regime mixed up!