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So you’re ready to find your new perfect workout partner. But the question is, where do you even start looking? We all know it’s fun working out with a sidekick who’s just as excited about smashing goals as you are. Yet, how do we choose one? Here are our top 5 tips to get you started.
What makes a gym buddy a great idea?
When you were younger your mom always told you to share. Well, according to science she was right all along. Except we’re pretty sure your parents were talking about toys and candy, not chalk, kettlebells, and spin classes.
Yet, a study published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise says it could help you get fitter quicker. According to the researchers, when people were told that 80% of others held a plank for longer, the test subjects second attempt time increased.
So, as it turns out when others seem to do well, it inspires us to push that little bit harder. Pretty cool, right?
Not only that, but experts at Michigan State University also claim that hitting the gym floor with a buddy can double the length of your workout. Imagine all the extra burpees, barbell thrusters, and wall balls, you’ll push out with a partner by your side!
But before you grab your phone and light up social media check out these top tips. Because at the end of the day, there are more boxes to tick than simply owning a pair of yoga pants, or having a slight interest in CrossFit. Your gains are precious, only the best workout buddy will do here. So, here goes…
#1 – PPMA (Prioritize Positive Mental Attitude)
When it comes to crushing PRs and smashing goals attitude is everything. Ultimately, it is the mind that controls the body not the other way around. So when looking for a gym buddy, keep an eye out for who’s a Ms. or Mr. PMA. Don’t worry these guys are instantly easy to spot by their body language.
Nothing compares to knowing your buddy has your back when the going gets tough. And let’s face it, when it comes to training, we all have those days. Having someone by your side who believes in you can give you that fraction of extra energy to keep going.
A positive mental attitude can go far, and as they say, likeness attracts. Whilst it might suck during the final 10 secs of a kettlebell Tabata staying positive will see you through.
Together you can feed off each other. Kicking each other in the butt when necessary and making sure you walk out of every session feeling good – even if you are drenched in sweat.
Just try not to fall for a personal cheer squad – studies have also shown generic motivational encouragement can feel condescending and reduce performance. You’re after a bit positivity here, not an entire fan club.[infobox]
Key point: Positivity is infectious. Pick a glass-half-full kind of workout partner.[/infobox]
#2 – They’re Fitter Than You (Just a little, though)
Surely it makes sense to grab a gym-goer with an identical fitness level to us? Then we both hit all the same reps, sets, and improve together. Well, as it goes, there’s a much more effective way to go about things.
Yep, that’s right, workout with someone actually fitter than you.
Having someone around that possesses superior strength or mightier lungs literally raises the bar. All of a sudden you feel an urge to go that little bit further than you normally would. Kind of how you do with a personal trainer, but without the hefty price tag.
After all, you’ll probably want to make a good impression of your own ability. Finishing a set one rep early because you’re tired just won’t fly with a fitter person.
Especially not like it would with an exercise buddy a whole less athletic than you. In fact, training with someone you’re much more advanced than convinces us it’s okay to slack off.
Obviously, SMG never gives less than 100% and neither should you. But, tread lightly here. Scientists suggest that training alongside a superstar athlete can leave moral and motivation in the dust. Remember the idea here is to feel competitive and inspired, not overpowered.[infobox]
Key point: Choose somebody slightly fitter than you to raise your own game.[/infobox]
#3 – High Ranking Reliability
Okay, girls, this one should really go without saying. But come on, who hasn’t been 5 minutes late once or twenty thousand times in their life? We’re only strong-ass women after all – not robots.
But there’s a difference between lateness every now and then, and being downright unreliable. Hanging around the gym floor for someone who never turns up is a total buzz kill.
That energy and anticipation you built up all day fizzes to grey disappointment when you get the “lol I’m so sore can we do next time Saturn aligns with Jupiter??” text. Anybody who’s ever felt the discomfort of a slightly-too-tight sports bra knows what we’re talking about. Flakiness in fitness is so common.
So check out your prospective partners track record. Does this person consistently hit their training week in week out? Or are they flakier than the entire entrance list at the World F*ckboy Convention? We’re not saying go all-out weird and tap their phone. Maybe just make a mental note or two.
Knowing you will always have someone waiting for you in the gym lobby is amazing for motivation. No one likes to be a letdown.
When you’re about to back down from a workout, you’ll remember a friend will hold you accountable. All of a sudden the excuses get their gain busting butt kicked to the back of your mind.[infobox]
Key point: Reliability keeps you both on track and kicks exercise off with the best foot forward.[/infobox]
#4 – Look for Similar Goals
We all have fitness goals that are specific to us. From when we wake up in a morning to when we go to sleep at night they’re on our mind. They’re what drives us to get up early for at 7 am CrossFit class, or stick around when everyone else has left the gym.
Therefore, it’s important that finding a perfect partner in crime aligns with them. Look for someone with similar aspirations to your own.
If you’re wanting to build your deadlift, grab a girl with chalk on her hands and a badass barbell bending attitude. Alternatively, if you’re all about hitting those HIIT’s hard, shout out for a serial interval addict who loves to sweat.
By finding someone with similar goals you can both workout with a sense of purpose and direction. There’s no better feeling than finishing a final set, high-fiving and knowing you’re both one step closer to realizing your ambitions.
Plus, one other great benefit is you can thrive on each other’s knowledge. Maybe they know a few tricks that’ll make all the difference to your performance. A high tide raises all ships, ladies, let’s forget that…[infobox]
Key point: Having similar fitness goals will help you both smash them quicker.[/infobox]
#5 – Availability Alignment
Finally, is your availability in alignment? Because even if they’re absolutely outstanding all of the above, if you can’t meet up, it doesn’t count.
For sure you can work around each other. If you’re serious about your dedication to getting a sweat on you’ll make a compromise. Plus, that’s what friends do, right? We all make a little wiggle room for those we care about.
But before you make plans to assemble your two-woman Spartan Race prep squad think about timetables. Can you make it work? If so, that’s absolutely awesome! Why are you still here? Get out there and put some work in on the climbing rope.
If you can’t, then potentially hold up from penciling a tonne of “maybes” onto your workout calendar. Oftentimes the trouble surrounding trying to squeeze a session in can drain more energy than it’s worth.
If it’s a battle to just get to the gym, one of you is more likely to flake (see #3). Which, as we know, doesn’t set the right environment for stacking gains, girl.
Now, you’re probably both super dedicated people. We’ll not sit here and say you’re not because we know you are. But, if your availability doesn’t align, perhaps look to see other people (on the gym floor). It’s not you, or them, it’s the god damn universe.[infobox]
Key point: Having availability alignment means you’re less likely to cancel last minute. It will make planning easy and keep motivation high.[/infobox]
No matter whether you’re focused on fun, competition, or even just weight loss, a gym buddy can always help. Anybody who has trained with their friend knows the feeling all too well.
But, it’s not just intuition. Scientific studies are also out there backing up what we knew all along. Simply put, working out with someone else causes us to actually work harder. Plus it’s always fun to be around aspiring others.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need a gym buddy to kill it in the gym. No, not at all, you can go it alone for sure. With the right training programme and diet, almost anything is possible, girl.
Yet, if you are on the lookout for a new partner in exercise crime, use these top tips. We’ve been in the fitness game for so long 90% of wardrobe is some kind of spandex. We’re ready to go ass to grass any time, just watch us!
Before you go, girl!
Hey, one more thing. Once you find your Mr. or Ms. Right, make sure you’re reaching your very best potential with a solid workout programme. Oh, and don’t forget about the diet plan too.
We always recommend BOSS Workouts Shape & Burn, a complete 12-week transformation that’s specifically designed for women. Check out our full review here and see exactly what we thought.
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