In a fitness slump? It happens from time to time. You may lose your motivation to work out and pretty soon, you’re packing on the pounds. When your enthusiasm for physical fitness starts to plummet, partner up.
While some people thrive on solo exercise, others need the extra push that comes from a supportive workout partner.
Research shows there’s strength in numbers. One study found that couples that worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate, compared to the 6.3 percent dropout rate of couples who exercised together at the gym.
Here’s a few other great reasons why having a gym buddy is the best way to go.
Stop the Excuses
Excuses can derail your fitness journey. Sure, it’s easy to stay in bed when you have plans to go to the gym on your own, but when you’ve made plans with a friend, backing out gets a little tricky.
A workout buddy holds you accountable for your fitness, or lack thereof. He or she will likely stop you from making lame excuses on why you can’t go the gym. If your buddy is really motivated, he or she may even come to your home and drag you out of bed.
In short, the buddy system encourages you to get things done.
Get Excited Again
Remember when you used to get excited about going to the gym? Well that excitement probably took a nosedive after months of training.
The same old routine can get boring. The good news is that small changes can make hitting up the gym feel invigorating again.
Having a gym buddy by your side is an easy way to make your workouts more enjoyable. By persuading a friend to come along, you have something in your day to look forward to.
Whether you’re gossiping as you run on the side-by-side treadmills, or celebrating a small victory after a gym session, having a friend/gym buddy along for the ride can keep you engaged in your fitness.
If you have a competitive streak, a workout buddy may be just what you need. With a great competitor in tow, you’ll likely have the urge to challenge yourself to keep up.
When you get bored of your workout routine, a new challenge is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe you’ll compete to see who can do more pushups, or perhaps you’ll square off and see who can hold a squat longer.
Who wins doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you’re challenging yourself and giving your motivation a much-needed kick.
Have a Spotter Present
If you’re not overly socialable, you may feel awkward asking strangers at the gym to spot you. With a workout buddy available, you’ll always have a spotter.
Your spotter can help you with all sorts of things, from counting your reps to watching your form.
With a spotter in your presence, you’re also less likely to get injured. You can test your newfound strength without the worry that you won’t be able to lift that added weight.
With someone watching, you’ll feel more encouraged to power through your workouts, resulting in a longer, more intense weight lifting session.
Drumming up self-motivation can be tough after weeks or months of grueling workouts. Having a gym buddy can not only skyrocket your motivation, but can also give your confidence a major boost.
For many people, having someone in your corner can make a significant difference in the way you perform and your overall commitment to your fitness goals.
One study found this concept to be true. Researchers at the Society of Behavioral Medicine discovered that participants that trained with a partner were more likely to workout longer than participants that exercised alone.
Over time, this motivation will stick and you’ll get in the habit of working out to the best of your ability without relying on outside encouragement.
Working out with a gym buddy adds variety to your fitness routine. Your exercise partner can teach you fresh workouts and introduce you to new machines.
When you work out alone, it’s easy to fall back to the same-old exercises. Overtime, you may find that you experience a fitness plateau. As you become accustomed to a certain exercise or machine, it no longer presents a challenge. By increasing the intensity, adding weights, or adding in new exercises to your regimen, you can challenge yourself again.
Learning new workouts at the gym also keep things interesting long-term.
Reach Goals Faster
Motivation is a powerful thing. One study found that simply receiving a phone call every two weeks can increase your amount of exercise by up to 78 percent.
If a phone call from a machine, trainer or friend is able to produce such amazing results, the outcome of a gym buddy should be two-fold.
With a workout partner there to keep you accountable, you’ll stay more consistent with your fitness routine and push yourself harder to reach your goals. This will inevitable allow you to reach your goals faster, whether it’s losing weight or toning your physique.
Face it, life can get hectic. When you’re trying to work out with a gym buddy, you’ll most likely have to schedule your workouts so that it conveniences both parties.
As time is likely a luxury, you’ll be more likely to schedule your workouts and stick to them. You don’t want to disappoint your friend by skipping out on your gym date, so you make time in your schedule to be there.
Scheduling workouts is key to maintaining a regular fitness regimen. When you know time is precious, you’ll push yourself harder and not waste time during your gym visits.
With a gym buddy, your workouts double as therapy sessions. Not only are you getting the benefits of physical health, but also emotional health.
We all know that exercise has natural stress-relieving properties. With friends involved, your stress levels dwindle even more.
In a study conducted to determine the stress-reducing benefits of exercise, it was found that exercising with others versus exercising alone can result in greater stress relief.
Even if you don’t like to talk when you work out, exercising with a friend nearby can create good vibes and a comfortable energy that can be advantageous to your bottom line.
There’s no denying that a gym membership can get costly, forcing many people to look for alternative fitness avenues.
You’ll be glad to know that many gyms offer discounts when you and a gym buddy sign up together. A personal trainer may also charge less per person when you book a session with someone else.
Persuade a friend to join the gym with you and get the perks of having a gym buddy, while saving a few bucks.
Form a Stronger Bond
Whether it’s with a friend, partner or spouse, working out together can help form a special bond between two people. The road to better health and fitness is a journey that two people care share together.
This bond can be especially beneficial for couples, as the time spent together during exercise can bring two individuals closer together. When couples work out together, it can have both a physical and emotional impact.
That special bond also breaks down to an intimate level. The physical symptoms you experience after exercise, such as faster heart rate and an adrenaline rush, are similar to effects associated with arousal. This may be why some studies suggest that men and women feel more attracted to one another after an adrenaline-driven activity.
What’s better than working out together? Shopping together. If desired, your gym partner can easily double as your shopping buddy.
Get excited to go back to the gym by shopping for some new athletic wear and accessories. Get advice from one another on the best materials and styles to wear. Try out new health gadgets that may take your fitness to the next level.
Whether you’re shopping for a new pair of running shoes or a spacious fitness bag to lug all of your gym essentials back and forth from the gym, shopping together can help foster motivation.
Reaching your fitness goals is a great reason to celebrate. However, celebrating your progress alone is not as fun as celebrating with a partner.
Make your fitness journey more exciting by setting small goals and celebrating every few weeks when you reach them. A small victory could mean a trip to the spa or a splurge at a pricy restaurant.
Celebration is significant for many reasons. Your partner has seen you through your highs and your lows, and when you finally reach your desired goal, it’s due to a team effort.
Having the right ymym buddy can make all the difference in your motivation, confidence and ability to reach your goals. The buddy system means more than just driving to the gym together. It refers to the encouragement that two partners give to one another and the successes that they share together. If you need a push to stay on track with your fitness, grab a buddy.