If your workout routine isn’t yielding results, you might be tempted to try adding more reps and sets, take a look at your diet, or maybe even seek some variety with a new class or activity. It turns out there’s a much simpler solution: the gym buddy system. Research shows that people who exercise with a friend (or two!) are more likely to stick to their workout routines in the long run, making them healthier as a result.
Here’s why you should swap solo workouts for social ones:
You’re more likely to stick to plans you’ve made with a friend, than promises you’ve made to yourself. Think about how guilty you feel after skipping a workout, then multiply that by two, to account for the guilt of bailing on your gym buddy.
It can be awkward to ask a total stranger to spot you. When you hit the gym with a friend, you’ve got a built-in safety net. With someone there who you know and trust, you’ll feel comfortable adding that little bit more weight, or reaching for that extra rep you aren’t entirely sure you can actually complete. Of course, you still need to be careful and work out within your limits, but having a spotter will let you try new things while staying safe.
Solo workouts can start to feel repetitive after a while. Bring a friend along, and a whole new set of options becomes available to you. As a pair, you can play squash, shoot hoops, or start a table tennis match. Check out all of the possibilities by viewing our schedule.
Working through the same routine as a team will inspire both of you to push yourselves just a little bit harder. You’ll probably both want to give up at around the same point, but neither of you will actually quit while the other is still pushing through.
5. Learning Opportunities
Even fitness experts don’t know every single exercise out there. You and your gym buddy can take turns teaching each other new moves that will keep your gym dates exciting. And, because your body adapts fairly quickly to those favourites you’ve done for years, changing up your workout ensures you’re constantly challenging your muscles in new, strength-promoting ways.
Have the perfect friend in mind? Even if neither of you have a Y membership, you can still give all our amenities and classes a try — for free! Just sign up to Try the Y, and you can explore everything we have to offer for two full weeks.