It’s always good to have someone there for you when you fall, both literally and figuratively, but when is it best that you do things on your own. There are two sides to this topic when it comes to working out: to workout alone or with a partner(s). I would like to go over the pros and cons of both sides in order to help to clear up what may be a very helpful item in your workout regime.
Motivation to work out – Getting into the gym can often be hard enough between work, family, traffic, household chores, and friends. Having a workout partner can be a great way to maintain motivation for both of you. On days when you aren’t very excited about working out, a partner can give you that little extra kick in the butt to get out the door and into the gym. Just makes sure that you pick someone that is really excited or already involved in working out. Picking a partner at New Years sounds fun at the time, but sooner or later you run the risk of convincing or being convinced that you can skip a workout here or there. Eventually, that leads to stopping altogether.
Safety is a priority in any gym, especially when it comes to using free weights. Having a partner there that can exercise proper spotting technique can not only save your life but push you to go beyond what you would do if you were by yourself.
Double the knowledge: Two heads are better than one. There is a lot of information out there in regards to working out, and it can be a daunting task to learn as you go. Sometimes a workout partner can provide those little tips and tricks that are just right for your workout and something you may have never discovered on your own.
Worst advice ever: I once heard that the worst vice is advice. The gym is the definition of such a thing. Everyone goes into the gym thinking that they know what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes feeling comfortable with someone means that you will take their advice even if it is unsubstantiated. Before you take it as fact, check it out.
“I’m done. Are you?”: Unless you have a set workout reschedule or routine, it is very common that one partner will cut another partner short in a workout, just because they feel that they are done. And rather than their partner saying that they want to work out a little more, they will often concede and leave, especially if they feel guilty about keeping someone at the gym in a carpool scenario.
“Can’t go today, I’m busy”: If you rely on your partner to motivate you to get to the gym, these are some of the worst words that you can hear. Getting used to having someone there means that you don’t feel that you should or can do it alone. Don’t lose out because your partner has their own life.
Focus: It’s just you and the weight. You are as focused as you want to be. No one is there to tell you what to do and when to do it. You are your own person and have to push yourself to the limit.
Timing: You are the one that decides when you want to go to the gym. If you are busy at your normal workout time, go later, or earlier, it’s entirely up to you when you go and how late you stay.
Tune everyone out: This works best when you’re listening to music while working out. Remember, you are there to self train. You can escape from the babble of others around you and shut out the advice that is just waiting to ruin your workout.
Just because this seems to show that working out alone has a plus side, don’t take it to mean that it is a better option. It really only works if you have a certain amount of experience. For safety and motivation purposes, beginners would be wise to find someone to show them the ropes and push them to places that they couldn’t get on their own be it a friend, trainer or anyone that you feel comfortable with.
Motivation: If you don’t have no motivation to work towards your goals, then you are stuck. No one is there to tell you that you need to work out. If you get caught in a rut, it is much harder to dig yourself out when you work out alone.
Safety: When you are working out alone, you run a much greater risk of injury and not just when you are handling heavy weights. Sometimes just a lapse in judgment can lead to strains, pulls and serious incidents. If you are going to workout alone, machines are much safer than free weights.
Bad form: If you are doing something wrong, you aren’t going to know it. And even if someone tells you, you are more than likely to shrug it off that they don’t know what they are talking about or take offense in the implication that you don’t know what you are doing. If you’re going to do something, make sure you can do it right.