Many prefer to exercise independently, but few complete their fitness journey without help from friends and family. We all need a strong support system to guide us through rough times and help us reach our goals, and working out with a partner can positively affect gains.
Here are five ways training with a partner can accelerate your progress.
1. Ease Anxiety
A sense of relief is the most immediate benefit. It’s a simple fact that most people experience gym anxiety when starting their fitness journeys or training in a different gym for the first time. Rather than dealing with your anxiety alone, you can bring a friend to help you navigate the new environment.
The same principle applies to any unfamiliar workout setting. If you’re cycling or jogging through the neighborhood for the first time, having a partner will ease your concerns about exercising in public. If you signed up for a group fitness class, bringing a friend will relieve your feelings of isolation.
Evidence shows that people feel more comfortable and confident exercising when a trusted companion is beside them. A 2017 study on the effectiveness of group fitness classes found that participants had a 26.2% reduction in perceived stress levels compared to those who exercised alone.
Working out with a partner is an excellent way to hold yourself accountable. In the short term, they will motivate you during each training session and push you through challenging exercises. In the long term, they will ensure you stick with your program and don’t fall back on bad diet and exercise habits.
Studies have found that individuals who started a weight loss program with at least three friends or family members completed the program, and 66% maintained their weight loss after it concluded.
Nobody feels like working out daily, not even the most passionate fitness enthusiasts. You will be thankful for having a workout partner when you’re not mentally or physically feeling 100%.
3. Fresh Perspective
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to training style and exercise selection. While there’s nothing wrong with having personal taste, your own biases can sometimes hinder your progress.
A workout partner can provide unbiased, detached observations about your training methods. They can help you adjust your technique or make new exercise recommendations based on their experiences. Everyone should have some flexibility in their workout plans as their priorities change and they gather further information.
4. Prevent Boredom
Motivation ebbs and flows on everyone’s fitness journey, and boredom is one of the main reasons. Sometimes, your daily routine starts to feel monotonous, and you lose interest in working out, causing millions of people to quit. If you fall into a rut, a workout partner can pull you out and keep you from getting bored.
Everything is more exciting with a friend, whether going to work or the gym. The right training partner will make you laugh, brighten your day, and make a boring workout feel exciting again.
5. Safety First
Finally, working out with a partner creates a much safer training environment. You always have someone to monitor your technique and ensure you perform each exercise correctly. If you like to use free weights, a partner can give you a “spot” when you’re lifting heavy on movements like the bench press.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine has confirmed that lifting weights with a partner decreases the risk of injury and maximizes training safety. There is also safety in numbers regarding outdoor activities, such as running and cycling. Traveling with a group is usually the wiser choice if you’re trying to navigate public roads.
Put your trust in a workout partner and experience these benefits for yourself!
Oscar Collins is the fitness editor on Modded, and he’s written at What’s New in Fitness, Amplified Soccer Athlete, and similar publications. Follow him on Twitter @TModded f or frequent updates.
By Oscar Collins