Confession up front; I am not a person who likes to have a workout buddy. I’ll workout with someone else for time to time, but find that my sessions are more efficient, more focused when I’m solo.
That’s me. I am an oddity.
Most folks do not relate to this. In over twenty years of fitness, I’ve found that most people benefit from a workout partner.
You’ll generally do better with someone who will meet you at the designated spot (gym or otherwise) help you create a system of accountability, but will also be a motivator and a safety net.
Most people I talk to see themselves as independent people. Then we dig into their workout.
I can usually get people to admit that they will skip workouts on days they could otherwise go. When it comes to the gym, skipping is a death knell.
If you are your habits, if your habits are the things you always do, then consistency is everything.
Once you find inane excuses to slack, then it’s a matter of time before you’ll stop exercising altogether. A partner won’t let you off easy, not if you pick the right one. You’ll be the same support to your partner.
Create a schedule. Agree to the rule, we don’t break our agreement, ever. If you want to bake in a failsafe, agree to something like a double-session if you ever miss one, even if you were sick as dog.
You’ll rethink your priorities to each other when something comes up.
Very little will motivate you, sorry to report. We start motivated, then things demotivate us. Usually, those “things” are ourselves.
Rather than leaning on motivation to drive you, let consistency be your guide.
A partner can help you navigate life’s distractions. Sometimes they help by talking to you. Sometimes it’s just being there for you, waiting at the gym.
Remember, showing up is most of what life is about.
During your workouts, your partner pushes you to go a little farther than you would have by yourself. They tell you “good job” or “great to see you.” You do the same.
See how nicely that works?
In general, you are less accident prone in the real world if you workout, but the gym presents you with an environment where injury can occur.
A buddy will spot you, but also help you focus. She tells you to sit down, to drink some water, or maybe eat a bar because you look pale. With these elements under control, you should be able to navigate your workouts with better safety than if you’d flown solo.
You and your buddy would be wise to hire a professional to work with you on technique if you’re not experienced. That way you can check each other for faults.
In general, it’s nice to have a buddy with similar goals, but not necessary. You can even split up for parts of the workout if necessary.
In some workout partnership situations, it’s all about that accountability piece. It’s about having someone to meet at a designated time, then it’s leave-me-alone for a bit.
If it keeps you and your buddy on your respective programs, then mission accomplished.