Gain a friend, lose some pounds! Grab a pal, improve your pace! Maybe you’ve heard the buzz; working out with a partner improves the odds you’ll achieve your fitness goals. But, the thought of finding a special someone who is willing to workout with you and see your vulnerabilities can make you feel awkward. How do you attract that workout partner who will push you to grow?
Collaborate and Find a Workout Partner Using These Guidelines
Look inward before you look outward to determine your type. Are you a planner who likes a clear finish line or are you impassioned by a spur of the moment extra mile? Are you looking for someone to calmly lunge by your side or someone to lunge at you barking “LET’S DO MORE!”? Do you appreciate it when someone smacks a donut out of your hand? Or do you prefer a pal with sharp elbows to nudge you toward the carrot sticks?
Communication styles that mesh can fuel successful workout partnerships. However, your expectations in a fitness setting might differ from what you’d want in other social settings. Be open to different styles. Realize that a shared passion for a certain type of fitness activity can be a good foundation when it comes to finding your partner in Pilates or your weight room wonder twin.
In addition to understanding what personally encourages you and what makes you shrink, the American Council on Exercise suggests looking for someone who shares your general fitness level, goals, a similar schedule and some general values.
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The most important value to share is dependability. Both you and your partner need to show-up!
Yet, while “being there” is important, it’s equally vital to realize that one partner might not be enough. It’s o.k., especially when regarding athletic endeavors and fitness goals to have more than one mate.
Play the Field!
No single person can be everything to you when it comes to fitness. You might want a running partner focused on pace, a Yoga friend and another person who is trying to lose weight. Maybe they are one-in-the-same person, maybe not. That’s ok.
Growing your support network is wise. Partners get injured, go on vacation, set new goals and more. In short, a workout partner is just as human as you. Consider building several partnerships to better your chances of success.
Try these (non-creepy) ways to find new workout partners:
- Pay attention to others. Don’t be intimidated to ask people about their workouts.
- Go to group exercise classes.
- Sign-up for a league or team.
- Join a fitness challenge.
- Compete in a race/event (and socialize afterward!).
The bottom line is, you can reap big rewards from working out with a partner. Partners will hold you accountable (and be able to catch a med ball when you throw it at them, which opens up a treasure chest full of exercises that you can’t do alone). As you do the same for them, you’ll realize your strengths. You, friend, will become the prized partner!