We all know that we need exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. In fact, most of us even like the idea of working out. But for some reason, when it actually comes to driving to the gym, getting on a treadmill, or pulling the weights off the rack, that motivation turns to excuses. It’s easy for our priorities to become misaligned – causing us to forgo exercise for other things in our lives.
While there are many possible explanations for why we’re quick to ignore or forget about our fitness routines, some of it has to do with isolation. We feel like we’re doing it all alone, which makes us less likely to follow through on a daily basis. One solution that works well for many people is to find a workout partner.
What is a Workout Partner?
A workout partner, also known as an “exercise buddy,” is simply a person you exercise with on a consistent basis. The partnership is mutual, meaning you are both pushing, encouraging, and motivating each other. There’s also a level of accountability associated with working out together.
You can find a workout partner anywhere. It might be someone you already know, or it could be someone you meet at the gym while doing your own individual workouts. It’s less important how you find a “buddy,” and more important that you find one. Having a partner can single-handedly change your approach to exercise and fitness.
The Benefits of Having a Workout Partner
Having a workout partner is beneficial on multiple levels. Here are some of the top reasons that sweating together is a good decision:
1. You’ll Have More Fun
A study out of the University of Southern California shows people who work out with a friend enjoy exercise more than those who work out alone. There’s something nice about being able to talk, laugh, and enjoy the presence of someone else (rather than sweating by yourself).
2. The Time Will Pass Much Quicker
Think about the last time you went on a long road trip and you listened to a gripping podcast. Now think about how much faster the time seemed to pass between your home and the final destination. Having a workout buddy creates this same effect. While a 60-minute workout is always going to take 60 minutes, having someone there to take your mind off it actually creates the illusion that time is passing much quicker.
3. You’re Less Likely to Flake
When you’re working out alone, nobody knows if you sleep in later than usual on a Monday morning or skip that Friday night weight lifting session. But if you have a workout partner, you’re less likely to flake. There’s a level of accountability (and you don’t want to let the other person down).
4. You’ll Feel Safer
If you’re someone who likes to work out very early in the morning or late at night, having a workout partner can actually keep you safer. It’s especially important to have a buddy if you’re running in the dark or going to a 24/7 gym in the middle of the night.
5. You’ll Push Harder
Researchers at Kansas State University performed a very intriguing study where they measured effort levels of people when working out in a gym. Here’s what they found: People who exercise with a partner who they thought was better than them worked out up to 200 percent harder and longer. That’s incredible! If you find a buddy who is slightly more advanced than you, you’re likely to work out twice as hard and twice as long.
6. You’ll Try New Things
We all get stuck in our own routines. We use the same machines, go through the same sets and reps, and follow the same exact technique and form every time we lift a weight or get on a cardio machine. Unfortunately, our bodies reach a point where they get used to these exercises and they become less effective. With a workout partner, you’re more willing to try new things. And by pushing beyond your comfort zone, you’re able to “shock” your body more often and promote better results.
What to Look for in a Good Workout Partner
Clearly, there are tremendous benefits associated with having a workout partner. However, not all workout partners are created equal. If you want to tap deep into these benefits, you need to choose the right partner. Here are some characteristics and factors to consider:
- Do they have a similar fitness level as you?
- Do they have similar fitness goals to you?
- Do they have a similar schedule as you?
- Are they genuinely committed to following a workout plan?
- Are they willing to hold you accountable?
- Are they willing to be held accountable?
- Do you enjoy spending time with this person?
Typically, your best friend isn’t going to make a good workout partner. If there’s too much of a pre-existing relationship where you can’t call each other out, it’s not a good match. On the other hand, if you don’t know each other particularly well and you’re fearful of saying something harsh or pushing too hard, that can be a bad match too.
Good options for workout partners include coworkers (similar schedules), neighbors (convenient proximity), other gym members (familiarity), or even a spouse or partner (though this can easily hit too close to home).
Get Fit With Nathan DeMetz Personal Training
Consistency and accountability are very important components of a good workout routine. You need a good plan, consistent execution, and the accountability to stick with it week after week. And at Nathan DeMetz Personal Training, we help you crush your goals in each of these areas.
When you work with us, you get access to custom online programs designed for strength training, general fitness training, or run coaching. We also offer nutrition coaching that’s designed to accelerate your progress and move you closer to accomplishing your overall health goals.
Want to learn more about how you can work with us? We’d love to chat. Simply contact us today, and we’d be happy to find an option that works for you and your fitness needs.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!