So you’ve decided you exercise better at night. (Or in the morning--who are we to judge?) But sweating with a group of total strangers? Or forcing yourself to dole out your own motivation? Before you pick, weigh the pros and cons.

group workout

Pros of a group workout:

It’s motivational. Face it: Misery loves company. There’s nothing like the panting of 30 other people to make you finish that last set of burpees.

You can make friends. Group fitness classes are a great place to meet like-minded people. Whether those are “let’s go shopping this weekend” people or “I’d like to see you in a candlelit restaurant” people is completely up to you. 

You can get competitive. Miss the days of high school sports? Group fitness is most certainly for you. The girl on the next treadmill doesn’t even have to know that you’re racing. (But you know. Oh boy, do you know.)

solo workout

Pros of a solo workout:

It’s cheaper. Generally. Yes, gym memberships cost money (and yes, they often include group fitness classes), but if we’re comparing them with classes at boutique studios, an hour on the stationary bike is a hell of a lot easier on the wallet than a $34 spin class.

You’re the DJ. That boot-camp instructor who favors Ibiza house music? Eek. When you work out alone, though, you get to make the playlist, which might contain one vaguely techno beat--over a Britney Spears remix like the fitness gods intended it.

You can sweat as much (or as little) as you want. Not feeling your best? It’s OK to take it easy when you need. Combating a particularly carb-heavy dinner from the night before? By all means, go crazy.

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