Going to the gym on regular basis and putting an effort and energy into a body transformation can be a very satisfying and enjoyable time for all of us. However, sometimes after drinking the pre-workout and getting pumped for your gym session with some of your favorite songs, you may encounter the inevitable – the friend you haven’t seen in a while, your buddy from work, or the neighbor you met at your barbecue last month. Sure, having a workout buddy has its advantages but it can also come with a price of being carried away during the workout because of the touchdown of your favorite quarterback from last Sunday’s match. Let’s talk about a few pros and cons of working out with a gym buddy and what it can mean to your fitness progress.
First of all, let me say that everyone has different preferences and what may work for me or someone else, may not necessarily work for you. But now let’s cover some of the reasons why working out with a friend is beneficial!
If accountability is not one of your strong suits, working out with a friend can really help you overcome this annoying obstacle. Sometimes we have this need to adjust our daily agenda to what we feel like in the morning and the human brain has this incredible power of reasoning us out of anything if we have the slightest lack of willingness at the moment. Staying on track with your workout schedule is challenging if other components of your life like family, studies, or work suddenly happen.
A workout buddy, however, can assist you with going to the gym and pushing through the workout, because if you don’t, it can offset your friend’s workout plan if you agreed you will be hitting the gym together. We all have that hard-working friend that we can rely on with calling us to get up off the couch and meet him at the squat rack!
This may be the obvious one, however, do not underestimate the power of a hard working gym bud. Someone who pushes you to get that extra rep or helps you with your form on bench or squat can work miracles for your fitness progress. If working out alone I sometimes justify skipping the extra set or not going for the heavier weight just because I do not feel like it at the moment. The right workout buddy can make the difference between making the hard earned gains each week or sort of lacking the progress and improvement over time!
#3 Strength & Assistance
A crucial part of improving your physique and strength is the concept of a progressive overload and eventually lifting heavier weights than when you started. One way to accomplish it is to keep yourself accountable, track your progress, and continue getting stronger. Nevertheless, having a workout partner that is stronger than you can make a great impact on your strength improvements and your determination of getting stronger every gym session.
Working out with a partner that lifts heavier weights than you may be that little extra motivation you need to keep making gains in the gym and seeing a constant progress. Spotting can also be a very obvious, yet very important role of a good gym partner. We sometimes do not try our personal best on lifts like bench press, military press, or squat simply due to the fact that we do not have someone spotting us and helping with a proper form and execution of these lifts. Having someone to rely on when you’re burned out is a huge benefit of working out with a good spotting partner.
Now that I covered some of the basic benefits of working out with someone else and tackling the weights together, I also need to consider a few possible downfalls of going through the workout with your best gym buddy.
We have all experienced the time at the gym when we spend an hour talking about the latest news from one’s life with a friend, yet there is simply no iron being lifted, moved, or exercised with. Working out with another person can bring a lot of distractions throughout the workout if your gym companions are not determined to leave the interesting conversation topics in the locker room and just focus on the workout. A simple solution is to talk to your lifting partner and set certain rules about staying focused on lifting and avoid unnecessary chit chat that can jeopardize your gym session.
#5 Preferences & Goals
Basically, not all of your friends will prefer the weekly gym schedule and the workload. Some of your gym buddies may want to compete in bodybuilding, some are training for a six-pack while others go to the gym to socialize or relax after a stressful or a busy day. Maybe the gym buddy you agreed to work out with has a completely different set of goals and gym values and it will only create confusion or lack of progress in the gym. A good way to avoid this situation would be to partner up with someone who you know has the same goals at the gym and will be flexible with changing routines, learning new things, and opening to different ideas about working out.
As far as working out with a lifting buddy you can either hit or miss. You either find someone who really fits your goals, preferences, and personality that can lead to a great boost in your fitness progress and personal results. Or, you find yourself spending more energy to get your gym partner to lift some weights than actually exercising. I believe that there is no right or wrong way. Working out with someone else can be a great advantage or a downfall. Try to discover your priorities and goals and keep your mind open to someone who may fit similar criteria and would be willing to work out with you. In the end of the day, your progress will be determined by how much energy and effort you put into exercising in oppose to how much effort you spend in trying to find the right gym buddy! Finding what works best for you and determining your preferences will be a key to your personal success in the gym!