Benefits of a Workout Buddy vs. Going Solo

 Are you someone who thrives in a group setting?  Perhaps that 6 A.M. Cross Fit workout is what pulls you out of bed with a fire in your belly to compete your guts out?


Maybe you’re more the solo type and there’s nothing more appealing than a meditative trail run that allows you to work both your skeletal and intellectual muscles at the same time?


There’s room in your regime for a little of both.


There’s no doubt that a plan to meet a workout buddy on the corner for an early morning walk can be tremendously more motivating than not having that extra level of responsibility. And the added motivator of a group setting can further boost the impetus to get, and stay, on a great fitness trajectory. According to Michelle P. Maidenberg, PhD, MPH, clinical director of Westchester Group Works in Harrison, N.Y.1 “exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition. They can play the role of teammate, co-coach and cheerleader — all while working out.” 


At the same time, there are certainly times and places where a solo workout is fitting. For athletes, the intense focus needed to hit that pace goal for those one-mile repeat runs down to the second isn’t easily achieved if your workout buddy is jabbering on about how her date last night was a flop. Similarly, if the purpose of a session is recovery from the previous hard day’s training, it may very well be better to take it on independently and allow the mind to drift into a more peaceful mode.  Mental relaxation and recovery is just as important as the physical!


Just as we approach our eating with balance, the same mindset can be the winning formula for our fitness routines. Everyone has their own idea of how much time is too much to spend training alone or with a workout buddy, as well as their own reasons for engaging in the activity in the first place.


Ultimately, as long as one is moving regularly and challenging their mind and body in various capacities, there’s no wrong answer.


There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach. Chances are, your decisions will vary when it comes to which workouts you’d like to do and whether or not you prefer to do them solo, with a workout buddy, or simply with a four-legged friend.


One thing’s for sure – it always comes back to the same concept: Eat food and move!




[1] “Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies.” Experience Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2015.