Some would argue that we go to the gym to do a workout and that's it. We arrive, get changed, workout, shower, change then leave all in a certain timescale as planned. During the workout we studiously ignore what's going on around us to make sure we stick to our program to get the most out the time we set aside. We can see the benefit of this. It could ensure you get the most amount of exercise done in the allotted time slot, therefore giving the most return on our investment in the gym.
On the other hand, one could argue that going to the gym is a valuable social outing as well. If you get to know the staff and other gym members that are around at the same time to work out then you could not only have a workout but you could also enrich your social life. Sure it may take ten minutes off of your allotted exercise time but we've discussed before how having a health social life is key for health and longevity.
So it's an interesting question. Do you go to the gym to get the key exercise you can in the allotted time or do you speak to people and enjoy the social aspect as well?
We think there's times for both. We think it depends on the type of training you're doing, the amount of time you have and how you're feeling that day. Certain types of training will have you working with little rest in between, and that's how you get the health benefits. Taking longer periods of rest to talk can reduce your results. On the other hand, some of the most effective workouts can be done in half an hour (excluding your warm up / cool down) and actually require plenty of rest breaks.
If you're pushed for time then we can understand just getting on with your program and not socialising at all, but we wouldn't recommend rushing the gym each time you go. There's 168 hours in a week and spending a couple in the gym equates to about 1 or 2% of your time. That's not a huge investment in your health and well being, so allow yourself an extra ten minutes each time to make the most of it. Your health should be at the top or very near the top of your priority list.
If you're not feeling up for socialising that day then we think that's a fair enough reason to not socialise. We all get that feeling sometimes, but it hopefully won't be too often! Could there be underlying reasons why you're not feeling up for being social that you need to rectify?
To summarise, we think 'wasting time' by being social in the gym isn't such a bad thing. In fact we thinks it's a key part of exercising effectively. Anything done in a team / social atmosphere generally has better chances of success than going alone,
What do you think?