Ever have one of those mornings when you’d rather hit the snooze button than the gym? You aren’t alone. Even the most die-hard fitness fanatics have days when they just aren’t feeling it. That’s when having a workout buddy can help.
About three years ago I decided I wanted to train for a half marathon, but I was having a hard time pushing myself to go the extra miles, both literally and figuratively. I needed some motivation. Luckily, I met a fellow runner whose pace and energy level were compatible with mine, and together we pushed each other to go farther and faster than we probably would have alone. When one of us didn’t feel like showing up or running one more mile, the other one rallied. And though we didn’t know each other very well when we started training, somewhere along the miles we became really close friends, and today we have our own personal training and fitness business.
Not everyone is so lucky. Finding a good workout buddy is kind of like finding the perfect pair of jeans — you may have to try few on before you find the right fit. Look for someone who is at your fitness level or a little above. It will help you push harder. Make sure your personalities are compatible. Why does that matter? Because if you are a high-energy, go-hard-or-go-home person, you don’t want a workout buddy who prefers a slow and steady approach or vice versa. And finally, find someone you know you can depend on and who will hold you accountable. There’s nothing worse than someone who is always cancelling or coming up with reasons why the two of you should “just skip today.”
Working out with a partner can help you step up your game. It’s harder to sleep in when you know someone is depending on you to show up.
Once you find your fit, you’ll soon discover that working out with a partner can help you step up your game. It’s harder to sleep in when you know someone is depending on you to show up. If you are both working toward a common goal, like a half marathon or CrossFit competition, training together can help you stay motivated and even spark a little friendly competition.
Have you always wanted to try aerial yoga or compete in a triathlon but were too scared to go it alone? It’s easier to get out of your comfort zone when you have someone who’s willing to do it with you. And on those days when the going gets tough, having someone to cheer you on and celebrate with you when you meet your goals can go a long way in building inner strength and confidence.
Ultimately, motivation has to come from within, but don’t underestimate the power of teamwork to keep you on track. And who knows? You may get lucky like me and find a new friend too.
Bonny Osterhage is co-founder and small-group trainer at BodyArchitecture Personal Training and Fitness in San Antonio, Texas.