It’s no secret that working out with a partner or in a group often leads to improved results, motivation and consistency. Studies show we’re far more likely to work harder when someone else is present; one study even found that the performance level of cyclists doubled through having a training partner. And on a basic human level, it seems only natural that having a similarly inspired fitness buddy would encourage us to be more accountable in reaching our fitness goals.
Keep in mind also that in order to get in and stay in shape over time you need to love your workout. Because when you do, your motivation is intrinsic — meaning it comes from you, simply because you enjoy the process. This type of motivation is needed to sustain a fitness program over time and to inspire a healthy lifestyle change rather than a temporary one. (Whereas when you’re motivated by an external goal, like losing weight, your desire will eventually decrease.) Sweating it up with a training partner or group can help inspire the love you need to make lasting positive change.
Even those prone to working out solo will benefit from a break in routine now and then to switch things up. Whether you’re seeking a motivational boost or improved training results, it’s a win-win. Here’s why:
There is strength in numbers. No matter how motivated you are, there’s no substitute for a built-in support system. When you train with someone else with similar goals and mindset, the result is a powerful combination of increased accountability, support, inspiration and often healthy competition. And whether you’re working out with a friend at a similar fitness level, or you routinely meet at the same time and place with a group of familiar and unfamiliar faces, there is truly strength in numbers greater than one.
Group fitness classes are a hit for this very reason: energy is contagious and successful instructors guide, motivate and challenge the class – which can lead to phenomenal results – physically and emotionally. This is what keeps us coming back.
The challenge for some is to find the right training partner. It could be a friend, a significant other or someone new with whom you meet solely to work out. (If you don’t have a personal trainer and want one, some gyms – like Crunch in New York – offer partner sessions at a reduced rate.) Most importantly, be sure that whoever you choose to be your workout buddy has a positive attitude and is reliable.
* Song For This Moment: “Runnin'” (Naughty Boy, feat. Beyoncé + Arrow Benjamin)
Source & Related Articles:
“Having a Workout Partner Can Double Performance”, article in Breaking Muscle.
“The Advantages of Group Exercise Classes”, article in Livestrong.