There are two types of people in this world. Those who workout alone, and those who need a buddy to make it to the gym. While you may think a solo gym session is more productive than the latter, there is evidence to the contrary. It’s like that quote, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” You might have a quicker workout when you’re going it alone, but you also could accomplish more when you take on a gym buddy.
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That’s right folks. The new fitness accessory of the year is in fact a friend. Not only can exercise with a partner give you a more dynamic workout, it also has social and mental health benefits to back it up. Let’s start with the notion of simply getting yourself to the gym. It’s easy to bail on a workout when the only person you have to answer to is yourself. In an article on SHAPE, exercise partner expert Thomas Plante, PhD, professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California says, “If you know a friend is waiting for you at the gym or won’t pound the pavement without you, it’s tough to bail.”
Besides getting you to actually show up, a buddy might make the actual workout more enjoyable. A study of 117 adults by the University of Southern California found that those who worked out with a specific partner said they enjoyed the exercise more than those who chose to go solo. Not only can it make you feel like you’re not even working out, but the exercises you can accomplish are more versatile.
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With a bud by your side, you can get into training for two and attempt some classic partner moves like crunches with a medicine ball, partner pushups and leg tosses. Having a trusted friend at the gym can also mean having a spotter for tougher moves. With a partner by your side, adding that extra weight at the bench press becomes that much more attainable.
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If you still think you can do it better solo, perhaps the idea of competition could entice you to take someone along. Finding a partner who you think might be a little fitter, faster or stronger than you are can give you that extra push that you needed. There is nothing like a little friendly competition to challenge yourself in ways that you simply can’t on your own.
If there’s no one in your circle that’s quite up to your speed, try the Bvddy app.This platform for sports aficionados connects you to people in your area who have similar athletic inclinations. If all else fails, try it out with the trainer at your local gym!