Reasons to Find Someone to Exercise With

Workout Buddy

Have you ever considered asking a friend, significant other, or family member to get fit with you? If this workout concept is new to you, no worries! In fact, there is plenty of research that proves how helpful having an exercise partner can be! Government agencies, health media outlets, and credible fitness brands alike have all published articles on the positive benefits associated with working out with a partner. To add to the ongoing debate of working out alone versus working out with a partner or group, I have compiled a list of reasons why you need a workout buddy ASAP — Check them out below!

Get motivated.

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself. Working out with a partner can transition you from performing a boring, mildly challenging workout to a high-intensity, grueling workout session. When you workout with a partner, you will be more motivated to push yourself to do that extra rep or run faster. Some studies have even shown that working out with a friend or group of friends is more stimulating and motivating than working out alone. What’s key to being motivated by your partner is their fitness level. A recent study on the Köhler Effect, otherwise known as the effect of the motivational gain, conducted at Kansas State University, found that those who exercise with a stronger or more athletic partner work out longer and more intensely compared to individually. This study also revealed that working out with a partner during aerobic activities, in particular, is extremely motivating, leading to a better, more efficient workout session. According to the Kohler Effect, in order to maximize motivation, your workout buddy should be about 40% stronger than you are. When you pair yourself up with a partner who is in better shape than you, it tends to force you to not want to be the weakest link. This makes sense, right? Honestly, when you think about it, who wants to work out with someone who is not more fit and motivated? If you are serious about getting physically fit, you want to surround yourself with disciplined, athletic individuals who can positively influence you and your health decisions.
Improve your posture and technique.

With a workout buddy, you will always have someone spotting you and monitoring your technique, which will ultimately force you to perform exercise routines properly and with good form! The pressure of having your fitness partner watching your every move will likely pressure you to perform exercises as precisely as possible. As a licensed physical therapist and a strong advocate of injury prevention, I appreciate the partner workout approach because it helps in reducing physical injuries.

Be accountable.

With someone there with you for each step of your workout, you will be forced to complete every rep with great effort. More importantly, you will notice that you are less inclined to cancel your workout sessions because you will not want to let your partner down. By working out with a partner and assigning a regular workout schedule, your workout program will become consistent, leading to real fitness results. To make a workout schedule that suits both you and your partner’s schedules, create a calendar of all your exercise sessions. It will make your planning simpler and allow you and your partner to establish clearly defined goals and workout appointments.

Reduce costs and avoid the need for a motivational coach.

Another great benefit of working out with a partner includes the motivational support you can receive and give to one another. In fact, a workout partner is a great alternative to hiring a personal trainer or motivational coach and can help you burn more calories per workout session and remain positive and optimistic.

Get a second perspective.

Two minds are typically better than one and this particularly applies when working out with a partner! Your partner can offer a different opinion and continue to provide advice on how your endurance and strength levels can improve. This can be extremely helpful when you feel like you aren’t seeing the results you want. Remember, some results are better than none and your partner can encourage you to keep going so you get to the fitness level that you desire!

Improve a friendship or personal relationship.

We live in a day and age where we communicate and stay in contact with our friends via Facebook, email, text, and Instagram. Although there is nothing wrong with social media and other tech formats of communicating, human interaction is still important! Instead of always going to a movie or going out to eat with loved ones, switch it up and workout with them! Wouldn’t you rather establish a tighter bond with a friend or boyfriend while getting in shape? Working out with a friend or significant other can add another dynamic to your relationship, which can ultimately make you happier and more secure in your relationship.

Improve mental health and wellbeing.

Believe it or not, there is research that suggests group exercise helps the human body release a flood of chemicals in the brain that triggers similar responses to that of dancing and laughing. If you are serious about making a healthy lifestyle change and really want to incorporate fitness into your daily schedule, it’s important that you exercise in a manner that will make you happy! Whenever you are stressed or feeling down, workout with a partner to talk and exercise your way through your emotions. You’ll feel better in more ways than one!

Now that you have learned about some of the benefits that working out with a partner has to offer, it’s time to actually give it a try!

Below are what you should look for in a workout buddy:
You like them.

A good workout buddy has to be someone you actually like. Your workout partner could be incredible in every other respect, but if you don’t actually like them as a person, you’re not going to stick to the workouts. Remember, a good workout buddy makes your workouts more fun, not less.

Fitness role model.

Ideally, you want your workout buddy to be about 40% fitter than you are – aim to get a person who is a fitness role model, yet at the same time, their level of fitness seems achievable to you if you really worked for it. If you’re a guy, you’ll get the biggest boost to your motivation if your workout buddy is female and fitter than you. In addition, they’ll be more knowledgeable and skilled than you are on the workouts.

Good attitude.

Positive and friendly, solution-focused and they keep working for better results. They also need to respect your time, be dependable, and if they’re spotting you, you need to be able to trust that they’ve got your back.

Compatible styles of motivation.

If you need a cheerleader to get motivated and they need a drill-sergeant, then it’s probably not going to work out. Make sure you share the same motivational style.

Share similar goals.

If you want to get to 14% body fat and they want to become a yoga expert, there’s a mismatch there – you need to share similar goals to really gel. It’s also critical that your workout buddy is as committed, and ideally, more committed to the goal than you are. They also need to be someone who won’t cave in on those days where you don’t want to work out – they need to be able to call you on any excuses you make and not back down if they’re bs.

Compatible schedules.

No-brainer. If your schedules never coincide then it’s not going to work.

Avoid these pitfalls.

You also want to make sure they don’t suffer from the following: constantly make excuses, excessively egotistical, use unhealthy shortcuts (like drugs), overly competitive, obstinate, always late, bad attitude, talk more than they work out… the list goes on and on. Which is exactly why you owe it to yourself to be picky when you choose your workout buddy.

If I was looking for a workout buddy that’s the mental checklist I’d be checking off… And remember, they should be checking the same checklist off about you, so you also need to rise to the occasion – it takes two to tango. It’s quite a laundry list of things to look for, but you’ve got to be picky, after all, a great workout buddy is worth their weight in gold.
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