As much as you love working out, it’s difficult to be consistent about going to the gym. Let’s face it, life can be distracting and just plain busy. Even when you are at the gym, you may not be testing your limits the way you should. So, what’s the best way to fix this? A gym buddy—whether it’s your mom, friend, co-worker, or partner.
Here Are Five Reasons A Gym Buddy Is The Best Thing For Your Workouts:
1. Add variety to your workout
Having a gym buddy is great because it allows you to incorporate exercises that require two people. You can try a mix of different exercises using resistance bands, medicine balls, and good ol’ bodyweight. A lot of exercises that require two people are modeled after a mirrored or copied practice. Your partner does it and then you, or you initiate the movement, and your partner follows. This kind of exercise can drastically improve your form (i.e. your squat) because someone is watching you perform the exercise. This gives you a second set of eyes to what may be hindering your workout potential. Even though you may know what the correct form is for any given exercise, it’s not always easy to catch yourself falling out of form while you’re in the moment doing it.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Having a gym buddy present to spot you is a gift! Having a friend who you can feel comfortable communicating your workout needs with is very important. It is also crucial to trust them. Make sure you are both on the same page about how to spot each other. Having a spotter allows you to push your weight limits on your reps without worrying about overdoing it. Your gym buddy will empower you to lift five more pounds and squat just a little bit deeper. Also, it’s easy to fall into a routine with your exercises, and it’s critical to add a variety of exercises that target many different muscles. Your gym partner may have strengths where you have weaknesses. This is a great way to stray from your comfort zone and try different exercises.
3. Friendly competition fuels your motivation
We have all been there! When we work out with friends or partners, we like to show off! This motivation to perform your best will ignite some of your most intense workouts. Of course, playful and friendly competition is just fine to get you going a little harder. Whether you are trying to lead by example or trying to outlift your gym buddy, you are encouraging your body to push itself, which does not always happen in a solo workout routine.
4. You have your very own cheerleader
Exercising with someone else really achieves a deeper level of the relationship because you are creating a dynamic where you push one another to be the best that they can be. That kind of empowerment has amazing effects on your relationship with that person. Having someone to inspire you with positive energy is one of the easiest ways to achieve a gratifying workout experience. It’s also nice to have someone to remind you to take a break and hydrate! The goals you set for yourself, like beating your PR, are better when shared with someone who cares. It’s also great to share in your partner’s personal achievements as well.
5. You will be held accountable
By committing to go to the gym with a friend, you are committing to a schedule that works for both you and your friend. This motivates you and your gym partner to be present at the gym on mutually agreed days. Both of you are probably very busy and likely to have conflicting schedules. Once you can find enough times per week to meet, it will be harder to cancel because your scheduled workout dates won’t be very flexible between two demanding schedules. When you know that your gym partner is relying on you to be present, it adds additional incentive not to skip out on a good sweat session. It’s easy to talk yourself out of things, but it’s a lot harder to let down a friend.
When picking your gym buddy, make sure you choose someone that has similar workout goals as you. Someone who focuses mostly on aerobic exercises is probably not going to be the best partner for someone who power lifts. Of course, they do not have to be the exact same goals, but just keep this in mind when choosing a buddy. Also, don’t pick someone who is notoriously flaky or late. It will discourage the entire process and become extremely frustrating.