Tuesday, 7 October 2014

FITNESS: THE PROS AND CONS OF WORKING OUT WITH FRIENDS


Hi lovelies! Today, I wanted to expand on a point I've made in a previous fitness post, which is working out with a friend, yes or no? Google motivation tips or fitness advice and you'll find several pages of advice on why working out with a friend is so great. However, they never seem to mention the downfalls of working out with a friend and today I thought I'd discuss the pros and cons of this. As I say with all my fitness posts, this is just my opinion and what works for me may not work for you. That said, if just a few people find this interesting or helpful, then that's good enough for me!

Working out with a friend can help with motivation and it can be more fun and if you have a friend that's into fitness and working out, or wants to lose weight or get in shape, then that's fab. Doing some of your workouts with said friend could well be beneficial to you, however there are a few reasons why regularly working out with a friend doesn't suit me personally. This isn't to say I never workout with others and today I'm going to share with you the pros and cons of working out with friends and some tips on how to overcome issues you may run into while working out with others.

Pros

Competiton
One great thing about working out with friends is that you can sort of make it into a bit of a competition. Is she doing more reps that you? Is she squatting lower? Running faster? Beat her! Sometimes, you'll find that you push yourself harder when you're with a friend. As I'll explain in the cons section of this post, this won't always be the case. But if you can find a friend that enjoys working out and is into fitness, they'll be a great friend to go with as they'll spur you on and hopefully make you work harder.

Fun
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest and best parts of working out with a friend is the fact that it's definitely going to be fun! This may be helpful for you if you don't particularly enjoy exercise and want to someone around to make it a bit more of a laugh. However it is very easy to lose concentration when you're working out with a friend, but we'll talk more about that in the cons section!

Motivation
This can go either way, but sometimes working out with a friend can be really great for motivation, as when you take a day off, you're not only letting yourself down, but your friend too. If you've agreed to run, or hit the gym 3 nights a week, you may be more likely to stick to it if you've made plans with a friend than if you just decided to go alone. If motivation really is an issue for you, it might

Cons

Timing
This for me was one of the biggest issues when I used to workout with my Mum in particular, but friends too. If you're going jogging, swimming or to the gym together, then you may possibly be restricted to a specific time limit. If you're in the mood for a good 90 minutes at the gym, but your friend only has half an hour to spare, you're more likely to cut your own workout short to fit in with them. You may feel as though you have to leave when they do, or if you're used to only being at the gym with a friend, it may seem a bit daunting to be there alone.
Overcome it: If you like working out with friends and this is an issue for you, I'd recommend maybe not travelling to the gym, pool etc together and not agreeing on a specific time to leave, but instead setting your own goals.

Concentration
I am absolutely guilty of this one and I know for a fact that when I do a workout with a friend, I don't work as hard. If you're chatting, chances are you aren't pushing yourself as hard as you could be. Overcome it: Easy days are important and if you like having a friend with you, maybe save it for the days that you know are going to be easy days. For example, if you do cardio 4 times a week and lousy yourself to the absolute limit on 2 of these days, bring a friend along on the other 2, this was you won't feel so bad when you set the treadmill down by a couple of mph! 

Self Conciousness 
This is a toughie. Obviously it would depend entirely on how comfortable you are with the friend you're working out with, but let's face it, really you'll never feel as comfortable getting sweaty, red and gross next to a friend as you would on your own! Initially I used to feel like this, which is why I work harder at my home gym than I ever did at the public gym infront of lots of people.
Overcome it: The only way around this one is to either workout with someone you're super comfortable with, or just stop caring! If you really don't like looking like a sweaty mess infront of people, the same point applies as above, workout with friends on your easy days and keep your harder workouts to yourself!

What do you think? Do you like working out alone or with friends?

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1 comment:

  1. Great post and very true! I prefer working out on my own but that's just me!

    Hannah Rose Williams

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