Finding a gym partner may be difficult, they need to have a similar fitness level, similar training goals, and a similar schedule, it can be easier to just work out alone. However, there are many possible benefits of having a gym buddy:
- You always have a spotter – someone who will make sure you are performing your exercises with correct technique when lifting weights can prevent injury. This also means your progress will be quicker and you are less likely to injure yourself as you fatigue.
- Faster increase in aerobic capacity – studies have shown that completing aerobic training with a partner or group (running, cycling, rowing) can lead to greater increases in your aerobic capacity. This has amazing health benefits and will enable you to go out and be active for longer.
- Increased performance – Most people find that when they are being watched they will try harder and put more effort into your training. By having a gym buddy, this competitive drive causes an increase in performance as you work out for longer periods, completing the entire set instead of dropping off those last 2 reps because you are tired. You need to be mindful that this could lead to overtraining and injury if your fitness level is not similar to your partners.
- Increased motivation – a gym partner can give you the encouragement you need in order to complete your exercises. If you are a competitive person, having a partner can lead to an increase in motivation to prove that you can do as good of a workout as they can. Again, you have to consider their fitness level, as you could put yourself at risk of an injury from overtraining.
- Increased commitment to working out – if you find it too hard to get up on those cold mornings or your days are just too busy, having a gym partner can really increase your commitment to exercise. There is the guilt factor, that if you skip your training, you aren’t only cheating yourself, but also them. You can also kill two birds with one stone and catch up with your friend during your workout and make it a social event!
- Can achieve your goals quicker – A gym buddy can keep you motivated and stay on track and therefore get you that step closer to achieving your goals. Studies have shown that having a great support network (your training partner) can lead to reaching goals quicker.
- Try new exercises and classes – Have you ever wanted to try a new exercise or class but too afraid to do it alone? With a gym buddy, you can have the confidence to experiment and try new things!
- You will have more fun!
So find a friend who has the same interests as you, start working out together and you can find you are more excited about your workouts than you ever have been!
Brodie Scicluna (B.Sc Exercise and Sports Science) Exercise Consultant