How many times have you had that feeling? You’re sitting at your office or in your car, you know you should work out and you kind of want to, but you just can’t seem to get it in gear and make it to the gym. As a result, instead of exercising, you head home for another evening of binge watching. Think about it this way, every workout you do brings you 1 percent closer to your goal, while every workout you skip can take you that much further away.

So what can you do? Is there some kind of magic pill or supplement that can boost motivation? Is there something that can push the thoughts of sitting on the couch out of your head so that you can make it to the gym for your workout? Yes! There is indeed something that is almost guaranteed to help you make it to the gym: a workout buddy.

It may seem like working out with a friend could be a distraction, but nothing is further from the truth! Maintaining a consistent schedule with a friend or training partner is a time-proven method that can help make missed workouts a thing of the past. Besides just making it to the gym in the first place, which is the ultra-important first step on a fitness journey, here are seven benefits of having a workout partner.

  1. A training partner can push you to work at a higher intensity. Yes, you may be super motivated and never skip a workout, so you have that covered. However, exercising with a friend or training partner can help push you to work at a harder intensity than you may have otherwise done. Think about it, having a friend to cheer you on can add that extra effort, and working out with a friend can give you someone to compete against, both of which could provide that extra motivation to help you crush your goal instead of merely reaching it.
  1. Along with the lines of training at a higher intensity, working out with a partner means that you have someone who can spot you for those really heavy weights. Intensity, the actual amount of weight used, is one of the most important factors for how exercise changes the body. Yes, you may be strong, but having someone to spot you can give you that confidence to add an extra 5 or 10 pounds to a lift. And that extra little effort could be what helps you move closer to your fitness goal in a shorter period of time.
  1. Yes, you may like to exercise, but you’re never quite sure what to do when you make it to the gym, so you kind of bounce around from one piece of equipment to the next with no real plan. Having a training partner gives you someone to bounce ideas off of or discuss fitness goals with so you two can plan your workouts accordingly, especially if your friend knows a lot more about exercise than you do and is willing to help you design an exercise program that can help you with your goals.
  1. Working out with a friend or training partner can help you stay focused and avoid being distracted by other people in the gym. One of the fun things about going to a health club is the social environment. It can be a great place to see friends or make new ones, but it’s also easy to get distracted by conversation, so having someone to train with can help you focus on what’s important, especially when you have goals that you want to make sure you achieve. The right training partner will remind you that you’re there for gains, not gossip.
  1. On the other hand, maybe you’re the type of person who really enjoys conversation and being with your friends. We’re all fighting our schedules trying to make time for the things that are important to us, which can include self-care like exercise as well as making time for the friends and family who really matter to us. Whether it’s going for a walk around the neighborhood or taking a really hard indoor cycling class, making plans to exercise with a friend or family member is a great way to kill two birds with one stone—you both get the benefits of exercise along with the pleasure of doing something that could be considered fun with someone you care about.
  1. In the modern era of status updates and instant notifications, it seems like we are always connected … digitally, but what about a real-life social network? The fact that so much of life in the 21st century takes place on a screen, loneliness and isolation are becoming major problems. Scheduling workouts with a friend or multiple friends can help you enhance your real-life social network so that you are completely connected and in touch with others on a regular basis.
  1. Finally, who else is going to take that killer Instagram video of your high-intensity sweat session? Yes, unfortunately, it’s true that in the modern era, a huge component of going to the gym is documenting the visit with video posted to a social media platform. Yes, you could set your phone on the floor to record, but having a friend with you ensures dynamic camera angles that can really help your content stand out.

We all know that a training partner or workout buddy can help hold you accountable. Hopefully, these benefits give you some extra insights into why and how so that you can start scheduling workouts with friends. Keep in mind that you don’t always need to work out with the same person. Some workout friends can be great for going to a group fitness class together, while other friends might be more focused and be a better partner for an intense weightlifting session or high-intensity interval training workout (you know the difference). The end result is that if you’re looking for the little extra something that can really help you to elevate your results, text or call and schedule that workout!

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