5 Tips For Successful Partner Fitness Training
Regardless of whether you participate in a team sport or are training for a solitary event, having a workout buddy can do wonders to improve motivation, accountability and exercise adherence. There’s nothing like knowing that somebody’s waiting for you at the gym to get you off the couch and into your workout gear.
But not all fitness partnerships are successful. When fitness partnerships dissolve, it’s typically due to differences between partners in commitment, ability and temperament.
5 tips to a successful partner fitness training experience:
- Ensure that both partners are equally committed. It sounds simple, but all too often, workout buddies differ in their inherent level of commitment. It’s no fun being stood up at the gym. If your partner is late for workouts, finds exercise a chore, or frequently cancels at the last minute, it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship. Sometimes the people that you love (and love to socialize with) aren’t the best people to exercise with.
- Common fitness goals work best. If your primary fitness goal is weight loss and your fitness partner is hoping to shave minutes off their triathlon time, the workouts that each of you need to do to achieve your respective goals are strikingly different. While it’s possible to alternate the focus of your workouts from one day to the next, chances are you won’t be as motivated to exercise on the day when you’re addressing your partner’s goals (and vice versa).
- Aim for similar fitness levels and abilities. When workout partners have very different fitness levels, the fitter individual almost always feels under-challenged, and sometimes, becomes resentful of being held back. Being the one who’s always behind isn’t any fun either. These dynamics can spill over into your outside-the-gym relationship. While you don’t need to be able to match rep for rep, having a similar level of strength, speed and endurance will create a better partner workout experience for you both.
- Save the socializing until after the workout. While the social aspect of having a workout buddy can make exercise more enjoyable, don’t undermine the effects of your workout by talking the entire time. Warmup and stretching times are great for chit-chat; the rest of the time you should be working.
- Take turns being the trainer. If you and your fitness parter are equally committed to training, share common fitness goal sand have similar fitness levels and abilities, chances are you’re also equally knowledgable about exercise. Take turns planning your workout sessions, ensuring that you both remain equally engaged in the training relationship and avoiding the teacher-student mentality.
Interested in finding a fitness partner of your own? Keep your eyes open the next time you’re in the gym. Look for somebody who trains the way you do and strike up a conversation. Often, offering a spot is the easiest way to make new friends on the weight room floor!