If you’ve been following me this month you know that I’m a big proponent of having a workout partner. I’ve talked about some of the benefits of having a partner and have even gone so far as to suggest that you look to your spouse, partner, or family as a potential workout partner. So now that I’ve planted the seed, it’s time to talk about what to look for when choosing a partner, or, what type of partner you should be if a friend or family member asks you.
I know…this sounds kinda silly, right? Why would I choose someone I don’t like? Well, you’d be surprised how many people go for the “aspirational” workout partner without really knowing them as a person. You and your workout partner should know each other well enough to know when you need that boost or that laugh to get through a workout. There are going to be days where working out is a chore and getting through these days are arguably the most important of the workouts you will do. Coming out on the other side with a feeling of accomplishment will motivate you to do it again the next time you don’t feel like working out. And having a friend by your side makes it that much easier.
It goes without saying that your schedules need to align – especially if you have a “non-standard” time for working out. Most people can make a 6am workout (whether you want to is an entirely different story), but what if the only time you can work out is the middle of the afternoon? You need to find someone who’s also free at that time. And please…be on time. Being late leads to missing workouts and that isn’t fair to you or your partner.
What I mean here is that you and your workout buddy should have goals that mesh well. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, maybe you find a workout buddy who’s training for a 5K. Why? Because workouts are going to be more cardio than strength-based. So while your goals may be different, you’re doing the same type of workout to get there.
This does not mean you should go out and find the fittest person you know and try to buddy up with them. Ideally you want to find someone who’s a fitness role model but at the same time, their level of fitness is achievable to you if you work at it. Now this doesn’t sound fair, if you’re the fitter of the two – does it? But there are two ways to look at it. First, you could take a more altruistic approach and be willing to help someone meet their fitness goals. Or you, too, can use the motivation of your partner to keep your level of fitness just a lit bit ahead of your partner. When you push each other you benefit from something called the “Kohler effect,” which states that a person works harder as a member of a group than when working alone.
Fitness on the Run is Fitness for Life. Combining a focus on strong bodies and strong minds with a robust wellness education program and unparalleled personalized attention, we provide fitness for health, longevity and functionality.
Fitness on the Run
210 N Lee St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314