Have you ever gotten dressed, hit the gym, spent an hour on the treadmill only to go home sweaty but not feeling like you REALLY did a great workout? There might be a logical reason for it. Research shows that working out solo might be inhibiting the amount of effort you put into a sweat session.
1. Motivation and Encouragement
When you work out alone, you tend to go through the motions or stick to the routine you know. If you get together with like-minded people, you can motivate each other to stick to it, show up and even try new types of workouts. Not only will a friend keep you motivated, but encouragement goes a long way. You can talk to each other about life’s stresses and encourage each other to keep moving or try a better machine or exercise. Speaking of trying new things, some people get stuck in a rut of one machine or one type of exercise. Working with someone else can broaden your experiences and possibly guide you to new things, like HOT workout sessions like the ones at hotworx.com. Your friend might know about working out in sauna-like conditions, but you have never tried it. Now you can!
2. Competition and Commitment
No doubt about it. People push themselves harder when they are 1) being watched and coached, 2) working out near people they see as stronger or more in shape than themselves, or 3) someone straight-up challenges them. A little completion is healthy and very beneficial, so having a friend workout with you will push each other to do one more rep, one more mile. Working out alone makes it easy to skip a day or stop at two sets instead of 3 or 4, but even seeing others in a team or small group setting can positively impact your commitment to pushing harder. In a world of virtual get-togethers, there are apps available to check in with each other if you can’t get into a gym. Scheduling with each other is a great way to stay committed.
3. Safer and More Affordable
Safety in any workout session is a big deal. You don’t want to drop weights, not be able to recover, or even walk alone in a dark parking lot after a sweat session that left you drained and worn out. Working out with a friend provides both of you a spotter when you want to challenge each other to go harder and a second set of eyes when walking to and from your vehicle. It’s typically more affordable too. Many fitness centers will give you a discount for referring friends! Some even allow multiple names under one household so you can split the membership fees.
So instead of jumping on the treadmill alone, call up a fellow sweat-geared fitness friend and make a plan to lace up your sneakers together! There are many advantages to setting up a time to work out with a buddy.