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May 11, 2012 at 1:03 PMComments: 8 Faves: 0

Choosing the Right Workout Partner

By Cornelius Bounds, CPT More Blogs by This Author

“When we dream alone, it is only a dream, but when many dream together, it is the beginning of reality.” -Friedensreich Hundertwasser

I see it all the time. Being in the fitness industry, working with bodybuilders, athletes, and people on many fitness levels,  I’ve noticed motivation spiral down from an impressive compulsion toward excellence to a loss of passion, focus, and desire. After awhile, people find themselves bored of their regular workout routine and less motivated to exercise as a result.

 When people hit this stage  there are two things that tend to happen workout2:

  1. Time spent at the gym decreases and
  2. They quit exercising altogether.

Motivation is key to keeping exercise to reaching your goals and maintaining long-term success in the gym or in life. 

Is all this familiar?

Don't give up. Change things up.

Find a workout buddy!

You Don’t Have To Do It Alone!

We all need external motivation to get us through the workout. Find someone to sweat through those tough times with you.

While you can absolutely work out alone; and in fact, there are times when you will need to go it solo, the best bet for success with an exercise regimen is a faithful and genuine workout partner. Having a workout buddy gives you both the sense of being held accountable and not wanting to let the other person down and increases both of your odds of reaching shared goals and accomplishments.

Finding the Right Workout Partner!

This said, there is nothing worse than getting that instant message, text message, or voicemail from an unreliable, slacker workout partner that doesn’t keep commitments. The wrong partner can bring you down by suggesting and practicing bad habits. Choosing  good partner is important. A good partner:

  • Likes working out.  Find someone who is genuine, enjoys working out, and can increase your performance.
  • Has similar goals. Find someone with similar fitness goals.

  • Will swap ideas with you. Exercising with a friend gives you something to look forward to. Instead of engaging in the same workout routine, a partner can suggest new techniques, exercises, and add variety to your routine. Having a workout partner helps keep your workout feeling fresh, keeping your mind and body focused.
  • Pushes you. Having a workout buddy can increase your level of fitness. Working out with someone who’s a little stronger, faster, or at least on the same fitness level, will challenge you to be your best and vice versa.

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  • I totally agree with this. On one of my stints of hardcore exercise, I had a friend who worked nights. He showed up at my house every day at 7 am, right after his work, and we would work out. Some days I HATED him. I didn't want him there, but he always was, pushing me to continue. I look back on that with fond feelings, knowing that it was only with him pushing me that I continued. Actually, when our lives got busier and the 90 days were up, we said we would totally keep working out on our own. I made it three weeks, he made it two. It is so much easier to be kind to yourself, not feeling the push of someone else. A workout buddy is almost a necessity!

  • I agree totally. There is nothing better than being encouraged whether it is mental or physical. A partner is great to have!

  • Rex,
    Seems like your friend found his motivation by waking you up early in the morning.

    Seriously, many of us are consumed by our busy lifestyles. But for our good, we all need that wake up call to keep us working towards our commitments. Its good to have that friend that genuinely cares and is willing to sacrifice their time to stick by your side.

  • thecook,

    There is so much negativity that surrounds us daily. A little encouragement is definitely refreshing for both the mental and physical health.

  • thanks for the tip, now to put it to practice! I agree it is motivating to have a partner - at work we try to walk on our break time, it's nice when a group goes it keeps us moving faster.

  • Nancy,
    Walking during your break is a great opportunity to increase the heart rate, burn off those calories from lunch, and rejuvenate the mind and spirit for remainder of your work day.

    Walking is one of the easiest aerobic exercises to stay fit and soak up the sun with a group of friends.

  • Workout buddies are key!

    In CA I had a couple great workout buddies and I would go a lot. Even when they couldn't make it I was motivated to go alone. Now that I've moved away to MI I have no workout buddies and my attendance is now comparable to below that of a college drunk.

    If anyone is in the GR area and goes to the Y downtown send me a message!

  • Garchow,
    Unexpected events occur and sometimes force us into a fitness hiatus. I hate those...It can be hard coming off of a fitness hiatus, but I definitely admire your motivation. The first couple of weeks can be challenging. Don't be compelled to pick up where you left off. A couple of things to remember is to stretch before and after your workout, gradually increase intensity and resistance...

    Good luck...

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