4 Great Reasons Why You Need a Workout Buddy

Finding a workout partner can sometimes make or break your fitness habit. If you’re finding yourself unmotivated, here are four great reasons to find a workout buddy!

1. Less Intimidation

Yes, you read that right. When you find the right workout partner, you’ll be more empowered and ready to tackle new workouts. Think about it. When you’re new and alone, even walking into the gym can be scary. But with a buddy, you’ll be more confident; there’s power in numbers.

Once you’ve been working out for a while, a workout buddy can also motivate you to try a new class, workout, or machine.

2. Motivation & Accountability

Regardless of how much you like to exercise, there will be a day when you simply don’t want to lace up your shoes. Enter your workout buddy to provide the motivation you need to get to the gym!

A study from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together. It found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate over a one-year period. But those who worked out together, regardless of whether they focused on the same type of exercise, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate. How’s that for motivation?!

Accountability plays a roll, too. If you’ve made plans to run with a friend at 6 a.m., you’ll be less likely to roll over and go back to sleep when the alarm goes off because you know someone is waiting for you! When you don’t miss workouts, you start seeing results.

Speaking of making plans… One of the secrets to making exercise a lifelong habit is scheduling your workouts. And it’s a convenient must to coordinate schedules when working out with a friend.

3. Multitasking

One of the number one reasons cited for not working out is time. Another advantage of working out with friends, colleagues, or family members: You burn calories, but you also sneak in socializing!

Talking between sets or during warm-ups, cool-downs, and recoveries will not only make your workout pass quicker, it eliminates the time needed for a chat later in the day.

4. Perspective & Challenge

Having a workout buddy for the long haul will help you remember how far you’ve come. Celebrating your small victories along the way can be motivational and is much more fun when someone has witnessed these triumphs by your side. A workout buddy can say, “Look at us now!” and can also serve as a reminder, or the reason, to take it up a notch.

You’re naturally inclined to work a little harder when other people are around. Having an “audience” can lead to increased intensity and duration, which means more calories in the long run!

One Last Note

It’s important to take time to find the right workout buddy for you. The best candidate doesn’t have to be your BFF, but he/she should complement your workout style and make you excited about getting to the gym. Pick up the phone and make a date; try out a few different people before you make your final selection. Exercise partners can be a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation, and healthy competition. All are sure to help you get to a healthier place!

Source: Society of Behavioral Medicine (2012) 

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Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, is a fitness business and programming consultant who has helped impressive brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, and BOSU® over the last 20 years. As an experienced educator and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money. Fable, a member of the ACE Board of Directors, is the owner of GroupEx PRO®, a cloud-based group fitness management tool, and Balletone®.