Some things are just a whole lot more fun with a friend – parties, hiking, swimming, shopping – even working out can be more fun when you enlist the services of a workout buddy.
While some of us love a bit of solo time when we exercise, where we can re-centre ourselves, chase after our goals, or simply just get away from everything else going on in our lives, there are some great things to be said about exercising with someone else.
If you’re used to working out alone or you’ve always wanted to ask someone if they will be your workout buddy but haven’t had the courage to do so, keep reading to learn about the benefits of working out with others, as well as some awesome exercises that are made a lot better with someone else.
So, let’s get to it.
The Benefits of Having a Training Buddy
Exercise – whether we like it or not – it’s something we should all be doing.
It keeps us happy and healthy. And when you do it with others, there are a multitude of benefits.
So, whether you’ve never really thought about working out with someone else or perhaps you’re embarrassed about getting all huffy and puffy around someone else, keep reading to see why you should put your reservations behind you and get yourself a workout friend.
1. A buddy can help to keep you motivated
Even the most committed gym goers struggle with motivation. Whether we can’t be bothered because we’re tired, bored, or perhaps we’ve hit a plateau, it’s something we all have to deal with from time to time.
Whatever the reason for the lack of motivation, one of the best ways to conquer it is by exercising with a friend. You could go for a walk to catch up and just get moving, or you could bring them along to your usual workout routine and get them to cheer you on.
Often, when we work out with others, our competitive streaks will shine, so you might find that you’ll be dripping in motivation.
2. A buddy can keep you accountable
It’s common for people to have workout goals. Maybe it’s to beat a certain time for a 5km run, perhaps it’s to lift a certain weight – whatever the goal is, having someone to keep you accountable can do wonders in helping you achieve it.
You see, when we share our goals with someone else, it can be a motivating factor to help you achieve it. Plus, they will get to witness your progress, and even if you don’t reach your goal, they are there to help you continue on or perhaps reassess it.
3. A buddy can share knowledge, tips and tricks
Whether we like to admit it or not, sometimes we don’t know everything – I know, it’s surprising even to us. But this is where a gym buddy can do wonders.
They might know how to do certain moves better than you – which means they might be able to give you advice and check your form.
Having this knowledge at your disposal can be super motivating and make you more comfortable to try things you would otherwise be worried about doing alone.
4. A buddy can make working out safer
Training with someone else can help keep you safe in a few different ways.
- If you exercise outdoors or at night, having someone else with you can be comforting and ensure you’re not vulnerable to others.
- If you’re chasing a particular goal and perhaps pushing yourself a bit, they can help to spot you, and perhaps prevent an injury from occurring.
- And if you do end up hurting yourself, you’ve got someone where there to help you.
5. A buddy can give you lots of different workout options
When you work out with someone else, you can do everything you were doing by yourself plus a whole lot of other activities. You can also turn certain mundane activities, like running on the treadmill, a lot more fun by having a race or just someone there to joke around with.
Working out with someone else also opens up a whole host of activities and sports that you need multiple people for.
So, you see, when you train with someone else, the world is your oyster. But how do you find your pearl – sorry, we mean your workout buddy? Keep reading to find out.
What to look for in a workout buddy
When it comes to finding your workout buddy there are definitely some things to take into consideration.
So, before we tell you about where you might find your training partner, first let us tell you about some of the things you should think about when you’re searching for them.
You might think the obvious choice is your best friend – but that’s not always the case. You need someone who has a similar mindset as you when it comes to exercising.
We tend to have friends that suit certain areas of our lives, whether it’s for socialising and parties, for sports and exercise, and of course, our work friends. Sometimes these friendships might extend into multiple areas, but not all of them – so unfortunately, while we’re sure you love your best friend, they may not be your swole mate.
Some of the things we suggest keeping an eye out for include:
- Your workout preferences should align: To really ensure a partnership lasts, you’ve got to have similar work out interests. If one of you only likes dancing and the other one loves weightlifting, chances are you’re not going to have similar workout styles that you’re interested in. Someone who has a different exercise preference to you is great for when you want to try something new, so they might still be a great workout buddy, just not the workout buddy.
- You need to have similar schedules: Trying to workout with someone who has a totally different schedule to yours just isn’t going to work. If one of you works nights and the other one days, or one of you only has weekends off but the other one works on the weekend, you’re really going to find it difficult to find a time to work out.
- You need to have similar fitness levels: Training with someone who is significantly more or less fit than you will pose a challenge. You may not be able to train to yours or their full capacity. And it might also be difficult for you to partake in certain exercises. Different fitness levels can work when you’re able to do certain exercises at your own pace, like in group training sessions, so it’s not a total deal breaker.
- You need someone who can motivate you: We find motivation in lots of different forms, and like we said earlier, one of the greatest benefits of having a friend to workout with is that they can help to motivate you. You want someone who has the same energy as you; who can push you to get up on those cold, early mornings; and who you can do the same for.
- You need someone you enjoy spending time with: If you want to be able to train regularly and enjoy it, you need to be around someone you like being around. Someone who can make you laugh and keep it fun. Fun is an unbeatable motivator.
So, now that you know the kind of person to look out for, how do you go about finding them? Well, that’s up next.
Where to find your workout buddy
Finding the perfect pal to exercise with can be a lot easier than you think. Some of the places you might find them include:
Friends or Family
This is a place many of us start when it comes to looking for someone to exercise with. It makes sense, we already know them and spend time with them. You could start off by taking a weekly walk with one of them who lives nearby to see if you’re compatible in the exercise realm.
We know, we know, not everyone wants to spend their out of work time with someone from work, but often, our workmates become great friends too. You might be able to organise a lunchtime boot camp or after work sport. You might just come across your perfect pal for working out at work.
Walking and running groups
You might be surprised to find out that there are lots of walking groups with people of all ages in them. You can check out local neighbourhood noticeboards, Facebook groups, and searching online to find where they may meet and what their schedule is. In these groups you’ll likely come across people with similar interests to you.
Local boot camps
A boot camp is a fun and very affordable way to enjoy a fitness group. You’ll find that a lot of local trainers also run these boot camps in their spare time. Often, you’ll get to enjoy being outside and the fun of working out with others at them!
If you’re interested in a particular sport, why not head down to your local sports club to check it out. Often, they allow people from the public to take a tour and see if it is up their alley. You don’t have to join if you don’t want to, but it can be a fun way to meet other people who have similar interests to you.
Take part in a charity event
You can help a great cause and help yourself at the same time through charity events. There are charity and sports related events happening all the time, from cycling to running, walking to swimming, there’s all sorts of activities. You could organise a group from your workplace to participate, or perhaps your friends and family, or even put it out there on social media. It also gives you a chance to see whether anyone you know may be interested in these activities, which is especially handy if you were too shy to ask them. Or you can meet new people there!
What sports and exercises are better with a buddy?
The list is honestly, almost endless when it comes to what you can do with your workout buddy. Even the exercises you might have been doing alone can be done with them. To help get the ball rolling, here are some of our favourite buddy workouts and sports:
- Aqua aerobics
- Shooting hoops
- A gym class
- Just going to the gym
These are just some of the things we love doing with our work out pals.
If you want to try out a workout routine with new workout buddy, keep reading for some exercises that are better with someone else.
A gym workout for buddies
The next time you’re in the gym, why not give these exercises a go with your workout buddy.
For some of these moves you will need either a resistance band or a medicine ball.
Let’s get into it!
Exercise One: Triceps Kickback
With this one you’re going to need a resistance band.
You and your partner stand and face each other. To get into position, you need to have slightly bent knees, your hips back a little and your core engaged.
Each person holds one end of the resistance band with their arm bent at 90 degrees. The band should have some light tension but not properly stretched yet. The band also needs to be straight between you, so if you’re holding it on the right side of your body, your partner needs to be holding it on the left side of theirs.
You want to lean forward slightly from the waist, and with your bent arm close against your body, you both need to extend your arms back, so that they are straight. You both should then slowly return your arm to the 90-degree bent position.
The move itself isn’t overly difficult, but the increased resistance of the band as you both extend your arm at the same time means that you’re working hard on this one.
After about 10 reps of this one, swap arms and do the other side. Just make sure no one lets go too fast!
Exercise Two: Sit up Pass
For this one you’re going to need a medicine ball.
Both of you need to get into a sit up position – lay face up on an exercise mat for a little comfort, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
You need to be positioned so that your ankles are overlapping each other, and your heads are at opposite ends of the mat. Their feet will be slightly under your bent knees and yours will be under theirs. This is so that it’s comfortable for you both to be able to make the pass when you’re sitting up.
So, you start in the laying down position, the person who has the medicine ball should hold it with arms extended overhead.
Both of you then contract your abs and sit up, in the middle the person holding the ball passes it to the other person, and then you lay back into starting position.
This one definitely makes sit ups a lot more motivating than doing it alone.
Exercise Three: Partner push up and squats
This one will get you both working hard and might even remind you of your childhood (wheelbarrow races, anyone?).
You don’t need any equipment for this one.
To get started, one person needs to get into a high plank position – so straight arms, shoulders should be above wrists, core nice and tight, legs straight, so that the toes are the only other part of the body touching the ground besides the hands.
The other person will stand between the first persons legs, at their feet, and will carefully lift the first persons legs at the ankles. This puts the first person in a wheelbarrow position.
From here, the first person lowers into a push up position, while the second person lowers into a squat position at the same time – ensuring they push their hips back and keep their back straight as they do so.
Both people then complete the move to return to the starting position. Repeat this move up to 10 times, if you can make it, before swapping roles.
Exercise Four: Resistance bands sprints
This one is definitely a bit of fun, and all you need to a resistance band.
For this one, you both need to be facing the same direction. The person in front should have the resistance band looped over their waist, while the person behind will need to hold both ends of the band.
To make sure this one works well, the person holding the resistance band will need to brace their core, been knees slightly and keep their hips ack slightly – as if they were about to go into a squat.
The person with the band around their waist will then sprint forward until the band is taut, then with the band still taut, for 30 seconds they should run on the spot, keeping the resistance up but not pushing it any further.
Once those 30 seconds are up, then they can jog backwards to the starting position, where you can swap spots.
Exercise Five: Plank high fives
Who doesn’t love a plank right? And who doesn’t love a high-five? Let’s bring them together then!
Well, why not make them more bearable with your mate.
Get into a high plank position (remember the steps from above). You want to be facing each other, around 30-40 cm apart when you’re in that position.
Once in your plank positions, you both lift your right hands and high five. You then lower that hand and do the same thing with your left hand.
Repeat this action for as long as you can, for 30 seconds at a time.
Just try not to high five too hard, you don’t want to topple over.
Get your gym buddy and head on down to Rec Xpress
As you can see, buddy workouts can give you that extra motivation and make working out even more fun than it already is. So, why not grab your gym buddy and head on down to see us here at Rec Xpress.
You can workout with us for the low price of $13.95 a week. One of the benefits of you choosing Rec Xpress as your gym is that we don’t lock you in with a contract – and you get 24/7 access to all 6 of our locations in Melbourne’s Southeast.
So, if you’re looking for a supportive environment that welcomes people of all fitness levels, why not check us out – you might even find your new gym buddy there.