The New Year is here already, and you’ve made up your mind that 2017 will be the year that you take health and fitness to a higher level. Congratulations! But you’ve likely made that commitment in the past, and perhaps it didn’t quite work out as planned? If your health goals in the past were derailed by plummeting motivation, skipped workouts, nagging injuries and boredom, maybe it’s time to try again with a gym buddy by your side.
Below are six benefits that come with enlisting a friend, spouse coworker or relative in your fight for fitness. Read on and consider how two are better than one.
Less Likely To Skip Workouts
One of the best things about having a workout buddy is accountability. You’re going to be a lot less likely to skip a workout when you know that your friend is counting on you to show up at the gym at the appointed time.
Of course, this could be a double-edged sword. If your training buddy makes a habit of not showing up for your workouts, then that can start eroding your motivation to show up every day. So when choosing a partner, make sure to choose someone you can depend on – someone who is as serious as you are about getting in shape and reaching your fitness goals.
Spotter Available On Every Set
Safety is always a factor in the gym, especially when you’re performing heavy barbell exercises like bench presses, squats and military presses. Sure, most people around you would be happy to lend a hand and spot your while you’re doing a set on the bench – if anyone’s available – but you might be hesitant to ask a total stranger. This is where a training buddy can help.
With a training partner, you’ve always got someone to spot you for every single set. Having a spotter is a great way to make your workouts safer. But it’s also a great way to make your workouts more effective, because you’ll be able to push each set to the point of failure without fear of losing control and having the bar come crashing down on your chest. Most experts agree that your greatest gains in the gym come when you push yourself to failure, so having that spotter will make it safer for you to push to the limit.
Someone To Push You
To get the fastest results possible, you need to really push yourself to the limit when you’re in the gym or out on the field. This is why competitors in solo sports have training partners and coaches – to push them farther than they would push themselves.
You might not be training for a competition, but chances are good that you want to get the very best results you can get in the least amount of time possible, and having a good training partner can do that for you. One of the most famous and most successful athletes in the world – former bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger – spoke often about his training partners and the positive effects they had on his bodybuilding success. He said that without the support and motivation of his training partners, he would not have risen to the top of his sport as quickly as he did.
If you’ve struggled to achieve the results you wanted in the past, do not underestimate the power of a good training partner to help you take your fitness to the next level.
Build A Stronger Friendship
When you’re hitting the gym several times a week with a friend or relative, that can be a great way to not only build your bodies but to build your relationship as well.
Granted, some people aren’t in the mood for small talk when they’re working out at the gym. You might be like that, or the person you’re considering as a gym buddy might be like that, and that’s perfectly fine. The important thing is that you’re both on the same page about what level of socializing is and isn’t welcome during your workout, so don’t be afraid to bring it up before your next workout.
More Variety And Balance In Your Workouts
When you only work out by yourself, it’s easy to get locked into doing the exact same exercises and the exact same routine week after week. More often than not, you’ll be tempted to put a lot of effort into your favorite exercises while just going through the motions on exercises you don’t enjoy. Or worse, you’ll end up skipping certain exercises completely. This is why you often see guys at the gym who have big arms and chests, yet they’ve got skinny little chicken legs. They gravitate toward their favorite exercises and skip the harder ones.
But when you have a workout buddy, it’s a lot harder to do this, because you’ll have certain exercises that you love, and your partner will have other exercises that they enjoy. So you’ll end up doing all of them together and getting a greater variety of exercises into your routine, and that means you’ll end up training more parts of your body and getting a more complete workout.
This benefits both you and your workout partner, so it’s a win for everyone!
You’ll Have More Fun
While all of the above are great reasons to have a workout buddy, the greatest benefit for many is the one that hasn’t been mentioned yet – fun! Workout out with a friend can be a whole lot of fun!
With a new year solidly underway, gyms around the country are flooded with new members seeking to tone up their muscles, lose weight and improve their health. While motivation is high, they pack their gym bags and head to the gym several times per week.
But many of them are not having fun, and this is where a workout buddy can make the difference between pressing on through the aches and pains or throwing in the towel. Meeting up with a friend at the gym can really make a difference for both of you, so if you haven’t already set things up – now is the time!
Call up a cousin, a neighbor, a coworker or just grab your spouse and get going. By enlisting a workout buddy to join you on your fitness adventure, you’ll skip less workouts, push yourself harder on every set, work muscles you’d normally let lie dormant, reduce your risk of injuries and deepen your relationship all at once.
That’s a pretty good deal!