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The Benefits of Having a Workout Buddy

Why Your Friends Are the Secret to Weight-Loss Success

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

You may be trying hard to get regular exercise and make healthy food choices, but if you don't have like-minded friends, this can be pretty tough.
"Working out by yourself can be pretty difficult. I highly recommend finding a workout partner to maximize your program," exercise physiologist Tom Holland says in his new book Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag.
According to Holland, workout buddies can help you get bikini-ready in five key ways:

  1. They provide motivation. The days you don't want to work out, she will get you out the door. The days she feels like skipping, you will get her to the gym. When you want to give up completely, she will talk you into sticking with your plan.
  2. They serve as spotters. The bench press. Squats. Your partner can help spot you, keeping your workouts safer yet more challenging at the same time.
  3. They increase your exercise arsenal. There are numerous strength moves you can do with your partner, like crunches with a medicine ball, partner pushups and leg tosses. These are fun and very effective.
  4. They provide companionship. Working out can be lonely, especially long cardio sessions. Having a friend next to you to talk with while you slave away on the elliptical can make the time fly by.
  5. They provide competition. Let's be honest: We as human beings like to compete with one another. Try finding a workout partner who is just a little fitter, just a little stronger than you are. By trying to keep up with them, you will challenge yourself in ways that you cannot do alone.

Looking for a new workout buddy? Check out a few ways to find one after the break!

  1. Start looking around the gym during your workouts. Chances are there is someone who trains alone at the same time you do, and they may be in the market for a partner as well. Start gradually by striking up casual conversations with them. After you have gotten to know them a little bit, invite them to do a workout with you. Once you feel you know him or her well enough, ask them if they want to meet you at the gym on certain days.
  2. Many gyms have small groups of people that meet regularly and exercise together. Consider creating your own workout group. The more people, the better. A small group takes away the awkwardness that can exist in the one-on-one dynamic. And if one person doesn't show up, no problem. You have several other people to work out with.
  3. Research running/triathlon clubs in your area, or sign up for a local race. You'll probably wind up with more workout buddies than you can handle!
  4. Check out SELF's upcoming Workout in the Park events in San Francisco, New York and Chicago, where thousands of women will gather for a day of fitness, beauty, fashion and gourmet goodies. Tell us on Facebook if you're going and connect with other SELF readers who are in your area. You may find your new workout buddy that day!

Do you have a workout buddy?

More from Self:
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le-romantique le-romantique 5 years
I love working out alone. Maybe because I've been a distance runner my whole life, but I see friends as a distraction, really. I never talk while working out, but if my mom or a friend is with me they keep chatting away and then get angry while I tell them I don't like talking when I'm working out... then they're mad at me. Ha. Or they'll insist we do things together when I always have a set plan of action already. Just annoying. I'm a loner in general though!
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