Is it better to exercise in a class or alone?

HIIT. Spinning. Yoga. It seems like virtually everyone is getting involved in group exercise today.

And for good reason: There are big benefits to working up a sweat alongside other people.

That's great, but the truth is that solo exercise sessions and partner workouts also have their own perks.

So how do you know which is best?

We've pitted group exercise classes against solo workouts to help you pick your winner.

 

The perks of group exercise classes

 

1.       It's a caffeine free pep-up

When you've had a tough day and you're on your 4th coffee, it can be hard to get psyched for your workout.

That's where group exercise classes come into their own.

When you walk in, you can't help but pick up the energy of the instructor and buzz of the class when the music kicks in.

Soon enough, your head will be back in the game!

 

2.       There's someone to watch your technique

If you're just starting your fitness journey or trying new exercises, it's more important than ever to get someone to watch your technique.

In a class, you've got an instructor to keep an eye out.

Having someone to fix your form helps you dig deeper while keeping your risk of injury low.

 

3.       Helps you stick to your plans

It's no surprise that the number 1 reason for not exercising is not having enough time.

In fact, a study found that 40% of participants drop a fitness course shortly after it begins, if they attend on their own.

Here's where group workouts help:

When you sign up to a class in advance, it dedicates that time in your schedule to working out.

It's also harder to skip the class: we find it easier to keep promises to other people, like your instructor, than keeping promises to ourselves.

Plus, not only will you be missing out on a workout, you're likely to have taken a space from someone who was really keen to sign up.

 

4.       Pushes your limits

If you've worked out with a partner before, you'll know that a bit of healthy competition helps you raise your game.

Plus, the added bonus of your fitness-instructor-come-motivational-speaker's encouragement helps you rise to the challenge too.

And it works for your body too:

A 2012 study found that burning more calories is easier when working out with someone you perceive as better (or stronger)

The variety of moves often included in a class means you'll be kept on your toes - which means no chance to get bored.

 

5.       The group bond

The majority of us love to be around other people and when we workout, it's no different.

There's just something about surviving tough workouts with everyone else that bonds you together.

 

The perks of solo workouts

 

1.      You can time it right

When you're riding solo, you've got the freedom to fit in your workouts when you want - with no schedule to tie you down.

It's particularly helpful if you want to max out your time in the gym - a real bonus when you've only got 30 minutes to cram a workout in.

  

2.      You're in control

When you're exercising by yourself, you can focus 100% on you.

A solo workout means you can be more impulsive and go full charge towards your own goals.

If you have a niggling injury, it's also your best bet and you can tailor your workout to your body's needs.

 

3.      An excuse for "me time"

We've all been there.

Some days we want to just turn the music up and work out while zoning the world out.

A "lone wolf" workout allows you to do just that.

In a hectic world of email pings and social notifications, the 30 minutes you spend working out is often one of the only times that you've got time for your mind to wander, allowing you to be alone with your thoughts.

 

4.      Cuts the distractions

We know that group classes are a great chance to bond with others but chatting can often be a real distraction to your form.

Here's the best part: Working out alone narrows your focus to the task at hand.

 

5.      Boosts confidence

If you're new to exercise, working out in the company of other people can be intimidating.

Starting out in the gym first is a great shout for building up confidence before joining a group.

 

Bottom line?

Class workouts are a winning choice for those looking for extra motivation, top instructors and looking to meet like-minded people.

On the other hand, solo workouts give you much needed 'me time', bags of flexibility and 100% focus on your needs.

At the end of the day, whichever gets you motivated to get moving is the best choice for you.

 

The best part?

You can give a solo workout or a class a go for free - download your free pass to your closest Fusion centre here.

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