We all know that there are many benefits, physically and mentally, of being active, but how can we break down the barriers that prevent us from exercising more? Busy schedules and hectic lives often scupper our training plans. Most people would much rather hang out with their friends than head off to the gym after work, and let’s face it, some days your training routine is going to seem like more of a chore than a heart-pumping workout. It’s all too easy to break plans with yourself, so why not find someone else to share in your pain?!
10 Reasons to train with a friend
· Perhaps the best fact about training with a friend or partner is that they provide instant accountability.
· It’s one thing bailing on your own workout, but it’s much, much harder to ditch a training session when you know you’ll get some serious (well-intended) stick for not turning up!
· Making plans to meet your friend at 6pm is much more concrete than a vague plan to exercise on your own ‘sometime after work’.
· And after three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about cancelling on your training partner!
2. Exercise becomes more fun
· You can get a serious workout, without being serious! Working out alone can be lonely, being able to laugh, encourage and motivate one another will make your workouts much more enjoyable.
· And if your training is more fun, the more you’re going to look forward to it and be committed over the long-term!
3. Healthy competition
· Training with a partner can unlock your competitive streak no matter how chilled out you usually are.
· Healthy competition is a good thing because it can make you perform better; pairing up with a partner who is just slightly fitter than you produces an effect know as the Kohler Effect, or simply put, not wanting to be the weakest link!
4. Social activity
· Exercising alone can be a great way to relieve stress, but exercising with others is a great way to distract yourself, and the time will fly by!
· Plus, you start to associate positive feelings from being with friends with exercise; making you feel more upbeat about your fitness in general.
5. Try new things
· People often feel shy about trying out new equipment in the gym, or doing hill sprints in the middle of a busy park.
· With another person, the sense of embarrassment disappears, and if something does go wrong at least you can laugh it off together!
6. Celebrate success together
· It’s great to be able to share goals with a partner or friend to help motivate your training each week.
· But it’s even better to be able to celebrate your well-earned successes together!
· You can even plan rewards after event days or particularly nasty training sessions.
7. Varied workouts
· Your workout partner may well have different skills and knowledge to you – so both of you can benefit by introducing each other to new training exercises – ensuring your workouts remain exciting and fun.
· Variety in training is also crucial to developing greater fitness or strength – killing two birds with one stone!
8. Less likely to quit
· Studies showed that an average alone lasts 36 minutes, whereas with a friend, sessions averaged 42 minutes.
· Simply having your workout buddy makes all the difference!
· This mainly applies to strength training, but having a partner who can act as a spotter, means you can push further than you could training alone, as well as having a safer workout.
10. Outside perspective
· It’s not uncommon for us to be overly harsh/critical of ourselves when it comes to our bodies or fitness.
· It’s always good to have a training partner that see you through fresh eyes and give a healthy second opinion.
So go and find yourself a good training partner to go harder and stay motivated. You’ll be shocked at the progress you can both make in a short amount of time.
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