4 Great Reasons to Recruit a Workout Buddy

When I first started going to the gym, my main priority was to get the work done, then escape as quickly as possible. There was no space for socializing. In fact, having a friend see me workout was the last thing I wanted!

Then, I met Danielle.

Jovial, committed and relentlessly optimistic, Danielle was the perfect addition to my “gym squad.” Together, we set wellness goals, crafted dietary parameters and met multiple times each week for spin classes, yoga and runs in the park. Before long, that mutual accountability provided the foundation we needed to begin weightlifting with a personal trainer.

And we’ve both seen the results!

group of women working out together in fitness class

Gym Buddies

The health benefits of working out with a friend  are numerous. In fact, research shows that doing so can help keep you accountable, cause you to work harder (and ultimately burn more calories), and help sustain your motivation.

Feel your commitment dwindling? Consider recruiting a friend to be your gym buddy! Here are five reasons it’s worthwhile.

1. You’ll be more motivated

A 2016 study conducted at the University of Aberdeen discovered that participants who worked out with a gym buddy were more likely to actually make it to the gym than those who worked out alone. The likelihood increased significantly when the partner was emotionally supportive and provided encouragement.

2. You’ll step up your game

Unsurprisingly, working out in a group makes us more competitive. No one wants to look like a wimp! A 2012 study at Michigan State University suggests that if you want to perform in the gym, you should recruit a gym buddy who will keep you at the top of your game. According to certified exercise physiologist John Ford, “Group settings can lead to a positive competitiveness. For instance, wanting to keep up with those around you can make you push yourself harder than you would on your own.”

two women lifting weights together

3. You’ll benefit from the structure

It’s a lot harder to cancel on a friend than it is to cancel on a treadmill. Knowing that you’ve made a commitment to someone you respect and enjoy will help ensure that you show up, even if you aren’t “feeling it” that day. You’ll both have opportunities to drag each other to the gym (in a friendly way), trust me.

4. You’ll enjoy yourself more

At its core, going to the gym with a friend (or partner) is a social event. Make the most of your workouts by picking classes that you know you’ll both enjoy, chatting it up and letting loose a little. At least you’ll be struggling through those pistol squats together!

48 comments

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