Some people like to train by themselves and some like to train with a partner or as a small group. Either of these isn’t right or wrong it comes down to personal preference as to what suits you and the way you train best. Below is some pros and cons that you may want to consider when deciding whether to be a lone ranger or find a gym buddy.
Training alone benefits:
- A bit of time to yourself. This can be important to just switch off from life, put your headphones in and work hard.
- You can get your workout done without interruptions. There is nothing worse than coming in for a workout and getting caught up in conversations, which prolong your session and bring the intensity right down.
- You stick to regimented rest periods. This can be very important in keeping the intensity of your sessions up. So training in a pair or as a group can make these very hard to stick too as conversations flow and the next thing you know a 90sec rest has become 5 mins!
Training alone cons:
- Training by your self can be very boring!
- It is easy to stay in your comfort zone and stick to exercises you like. This is likely overtime to have a negative effect on your progression.
- Not meeting someone at the gym can resort in low motivation or making it easy to miss sessions, as you’re not letting down a training partner. Even the most motivated of people go through times when they can make excuses not to train!
Training with a partner benefits:
- Being competitive is a great way to get more out of a workout! Seeing your mate lifting more weight or doing more reps than you can really get those juices flowing and give you extra push that is going to give you progress in the long run.
- Having someone on hand to spot you is great as you can go right to failure without the risk of dropping a weight on yourself and causing injury.
- Doing exercises you wouldn’t normally do. Everyone uses different exercises and trains differently so getting out of your routine and comfort zone is going to benefit your progression.
Training with a partner cons:
- Talking can take over training. Sessions can drag on for a lot longer than they need too. Speaking from personal experience, I have had sessions with mates that have been almost double the length they need to be due to talking and going off on tangents.
- Letting them down. Even though I said earlier in the post that training with a partner makes it harder to cancel because you don’t want to let them down, but if your partner cancels it can be all too easy to not train too. So unless you are highly motivated if you’ve got a mate who is a serial bailer then this can have a negative effect on your training.
Personally I prefer to train by myself as I can put my headphones in and get on with the workout and leave, but I think there are a couple of ways to get the best from both worlds.
- Find a like minded training partner which will help cut out the pointless chit chat and let you keep the intensity of the sessions up whilst having the competitive side of things still there.
- Train by yourself for some sessions and for your ‘heavier’ sessions train with a partner to help push you and spot you when needed.