There are millions of different ways to get fit, but some of them are more fun than others.
Instead of grinding away by yourself, try bringing a friend to the gym with you.
Exercising with a buddy is not only a great way to stay motivated, but it may also improve the intensity of your gym sessions by initiating some friendly competition.
If you’re still working out alone and need some convincing about why getting a workout buddy can take your sessions to the next level, here are five reasons you may want to grab yourself a partner.
#1 A Workout Buddy Keeps You Accountable
When you start a new training program, your motivation levels are likely as high as they’ll ever be.
However, after a few weeks or months on the same program, it’s enviable that boredom will creep in.
Having a workout buddy who keeps you accountable can help you resist the temptation to skip a workout and spend the day in bed watching Netflix.
When choosing your buddy, it’s a good idea to pick someone whom you know isn’t going to let you slack off.
But keep in mind that it goes both ways.
If you expect your friend to keep you on track, you’re going to have to drag them off the couch when they’re thinking about flaking, too.
#2 A Workout Buddy Gives You Competition
If you’re a naturally competitive person, it can be nice to have somebody to keep score against.
For example, if they set a new PR in the bench press, that gives you a number to shoot for.
As much fun as it might be to ‘beat’ your friend, you may notice you feel the most motivation to improve your fitness when you work out with somebody at a similar level to you.
If your friend is a gym newbie and you routinely bench three plates, they’re not going to push you to take your lifting to the next level.
However, if your lifetime best is 215lbs and their best is 205lbs, you can have a fun race to see who hits two plates first.
#3 Having A Workout Buddy Makes The Workout More Fun
As long as you’re working out with somebody whose company you genuinely enjoy, spending time with your friend should make the workout more enjoyable.
Exercise is essentially undergoing short-term pain for long-term benefits.
Having a workout buddy gives you somebody to commiserate with.
Groups of soldiers who risk their lives for each other often form extremely tight friendships.
You may not be going to war, but when you and your friend are ‘suffering’ leg day together, it can be a nice feeling knowing there’s somebody on your side.
#4 A Workout Buddy Can Spot You
When you bring a friend to the gym with you, you never have to worry about finding a spotter.
We’ve all had a day when we’ve been lifting close to our max but don’t want to bug somebody to spot us every three minutes for the next 20 minutes.
It’s also nice to have somebody who can watch your form and tell you when you’re breaking down.
You can probably feel when you’re swinging the weight when you’re doing a set of curls, but it can be less obvious when your form is less than optimal for some other exercises.
For example, you may tip the bar to the left and right when benching, which puts additional stress on one side of your body. Overtime this could lead to muscular imbalances.
#5 A Workout Buddy Brings New Ideas
Sometimes your workouts get stale from doing the same thing week after week. Having a friend with you provides twice the brainpower to think of new exercises to add to your routine.
If you’re an expert at bodybuilding style lifts and your friend is an Olympic weightlifter, you can teach each other complimentary lifts in each other’s area of expertise.
Final Thoughts on Workout Buddies
Bringing a workout buddy to the gym can help you stay motivated and challenge you to push your workouts.
Try to work out with a friend who is at about the same fitness level as you so that you push each other.
What if your friends don’t lift?
One of the great aspects of working out at a gym opposed to at home is that there’s plenty of opportunities to make new friends.
If the friends in your current social circle don’t exercise, start chatting it up with other gym enthusiasts you meet while working out.