Are you one of those people who finds it impossible to self motivate to exercise? You are definitely not alone. Whilst sometimes there is nothing better than just besting out some deadlifts or hammering it out on the bench press with some music and no interference, there are those workouts where you just need a push from someone else and let’s not lie, those workouts tend to be based around intervals and cardio.
A training buddy can help increase your motivation through the hardest workouts and the worst weather. But before you go out and pick any one to be your “mr/s motivator” it is important that you know that not all workout partners are created equally. This person is going to be there to help you through your most gruelling sessions so above and beyond everything you must like and respect them. By the same token you are going to be their workout partner, so be prepared to step up your game and increase your effort so that you don’t let them down. In the mean time, here are some of the top benefits associated with having (and being) a great workout body.
1) Achieve your fitness goals: an exercise buddy is your social support system and provides you with a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and healthy competition. This combination of attributes is likely to see an increase your motivation to complete that last set, that last rep or to keep your legs moving when you just want to quit. Using the motto “anything you can do I can do better” will instil a sense of self pride and increase healthy competition between the two of you which can help you to push yourself beyond the limit that you would normally reach by yourself.
2) You’ll have more fun: getting a seriously great workout does not mean that the workout itself has to be serious. You can have fun with it. Training with a buddy can increase your level of enjoyment and laughter during even the hardest elements of your training session, which is likely to increase your motivation to continue training.
3) You don’t have to be afraid to try something new: ever gone in to an exercise class and then stood at the back embarrassed that everyone is looking at your because they have been before and know the moves and you don’t? Well you are not alone. It is very easy to learn a routine and then repeat it week in and week out for 6 months and wonder why we are no longer achieving the same success that we did in month one. We worry about being watched, about doing something stupid and about the risk of injury. But trying new exercises is a lot less intimidating when you’ve got somebody there with you. In fact, you can have a lot more fun discovering these hidden gems which will again increase your sense of fulfilment and commitment to your exercise regime and goals.
4) Hello motivation and support: having someone stood side by side with you, completing each repetition with you, and matching you stride for stride can help motivate you to push more, run faster/longer, rest less etc. It is an all round booster to a more efficient workout. They support you when you think you can’t, they push you when you’re not sure and they congratulate you when you achieve the outcome.
5) Keep your technique in check: It’s easy to face a mirror and assume that your back is straight when you pick up that weight. It is easy to rock that bicep curl up and think that you are increasing your strength because your weights are going up. But working out with someone, especially if they have a good knowledge of form and technique, can ensure that you are getting the best out of yourself without sacrificing form and increasing your risk of injury.
6) Keep your workouts varied: It is very easy to fall in to a predictable routine when training by yourself. Having someone stood there with you with different interests might mean that you complete exercises that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to do if you were training by yourself. This means that not only will your sessions be more varied but that you will become a more competent all round athlete.
7) Get results but not an ego: This is a key point. It is easy to let pride get in the way once you start achieving results and seeing the change in your body. But having a fitness ego can be highly detrimental to your health and fitness. If you get too big headed then you can start lifting weights outside of your capability, which will decrease your form and increase your risk of injury. Having a good workout buddy can keep you grounded and keep you on track to always push yourself to be better.
Having a good workout buddy can increase your passion for fitness as well as your enjoyment of each session and social competitiveness. All of these attributes can come together help you achieve your fitness goals faster and with a lot more fun. So why not get out there and find someone with a similar set of goals to you, a similar fitness level and make it your mission to train side by side, stride for stride and rep for rep.