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Posted on Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

Sweating together or alone? Both exercise options have pros and cons

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

There are many different opinions on whether it is better to work out with other people or on your own. There are definite benefits to both options as well as some downfalls.

Those who believe it is better to work out with others see the main benefit to be motivation. Especially those new to working out, it is incredibly beneficial to have someone else to answer to when planning and completing workouts. Additional benefits to working out with other include;

  • Camaraderie
  • Support
  • Accountability
  • Structure
Also, studies have shown working out with others results in a higher production of endorphins! However while there are a number of benefits, there are also some downfalls to working out with others: They can provide distractions, and if they bail out on a workout, it can cause you to bail as well.

There are other people who swear by working out solo for different benefits. One of the main benefits they see to solo workouts is that you are able to work out whenever it fits your schedule. Additional befits to solo workouts include:

  • You can skip the chitchat and focus on the workout

  • They provide you time to make mental to-do lists, brainstorm for work

  • You choose the intensity of the workout

  • The workout will be completed in less time

  • There's no need to depend on others to show up

While the debate exists between all of us, it is an individual decision. It seems that a healthy balance of group exercises and solo workouts would work perfectly. That way you get the benefits of both options!

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD, CSSD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor and a part time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at