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Working out: Group vs Individual

I talk a lot about making workouts sustainable for your lifestyle and what suits you best, whether that’s a long walk, a 5k run or an hour in the gym. There are so many opportunities to take part in exercise and one of the great debates is Group Vs Individual workouts. My opinion is that there is no right or wrong way to exercise as long as you are doing something but there some pros to both so have a look at my rundown below and see which one might work best for you.


Working out on your own might be you going to the gym on your way to work or doing a plan at home in front of Eastenders but you are the master of your own workout. Some people find that this works better for them and here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Time: You can fit a workout in to your own schedule. You don’t have to worry about fitting in with a particular class time or being able to co-ordinate diaries with a friend which can add pressure.

  2. Tailor made for you: Your workouts can be structured to the time, space and equipment that you have. If you have particular things that you love to do you can make sure you incorporate them or, if you have a pre-existing injury you can avoid the things that you know are going to aggravate it.

  3. Time to unwind and switch off: In a world of constant connectivity to other people, an individual workout could give you some space to switch off from what is going on around you and just have some ‘me time’

  4. Less intimidating: For some people group situations can be stressful, they may suffer with anxiety or find they are constantly comparing themselves to others so working out alone removes any of those barriers

  5. Go at your own pace: Sometimes in group situations you feel you need to speed along to keep up with everyone else which can mean you lose your form and the workouts become less effective. If you’re on your own you can go at your own pace.


Group exercise has benefits from a social perspective as well as a fitness one and for some this is the perfect way to get themselves fit:

  1. Social interaction and fun: Over time you build a camaraderie with those in your group which makes workouts fun and make the time feel like it is going more quickly

  2. Motivation: Working out with like-minded people can be a real boost to your motivation and you will find that you can push each other when one of you is struggling and help to get each other over the finish line

  3. More focused: Group sessions

that involve an instructor will be more focused – you can turn up and do as you are told without having to think about or plan what you are going to do that day and what or where you need to do it

  1. Variety: If you enjoy group exercise there are so many ways to do it from running clubs to boot camps to spin classes or yoga, you can mix it up and keep some variety each week to keep you interested and motivated

  2. Improved form: If you are with an instructor they will help you to improve your form which in time will mean you can achieve more form each workout.

  3. Accountability: With most classes you will need to book, this means that you have made a commitment and may encourage you turn up even if you’re not feeling like it so you don’t let someone else down

As I said, there is no right or wrong way but what’s your preference?

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