7 Benefits of a Workout Buddy

four people working out on Planet Fitness cardio machines
Most activities are more fun with a friend. The gym is no exception.

by Steven Auger

So you've decided to put your health first and start working out. You joined a gym, bought new workout clothes and compiled a bunch of playlists to pass the time on the treadmill. Well done! But something — or perhaps someone — is missing. Most activities are more fun with a friend, so why not reap the benefits of a workout buddy? Fitness MagazineShape and Men's Fitnessoffer plenty of positives you can gain from having a rep-counting partner. Here are seven of them.

1. Accountability

Even the most ardent of fitness enthusiasts have days when they just don't want to go to the gym. Maybe you had a lousy day at work and your couch beckons. Or, you'd just rather stay under the warm blankets than brave the 5 a.m. winter winds. Excuses go out the window when you have a workout buddy. Someone is relying on you to be there, so you'd best show up.

2. Motivation

Despite your best intentions, sometimes you might lag a little in the motivation department. This could be because of numerous reasons, be it boredom with your current routine or feeling like your progress has plateaued. Having a workout partner can motivate you to push through.

3. Maintaining Technique

Lifting weights with proper form is critically important to avoid injuries. A workout buddy can prevent you from suffering an injury by watching your form. You might think your form is fine, but it's easy to ignore or forget when your focus is on completing consecutive repetitions. And, with exercises such as bench pressing, partners serve as spotters. Correct form can't be emphasized enough when working out.

4. Friendly Competition

When working out alone, your intensity level is all on you. That's not so with a partner. There's no way you're going to let your buddy lift more than you or do a few more sets than you, right? Running on side-by-side treadmills? That's called a race! The key is to pick a partner with your same physical abilities, more or less.

5. Learning New Routines

Far too many people stick to the same workout routines. After time, you will become bored. Your interest will wane, and gym sessions will become less and less frequent until lifting the TV remote is more appealing than lifting a dumbbell. Workout partners can show each other new routines that keep gym trips fresh and exciting.

6. Free Therapy Sessions

One advantage to working out with a friend comes during rest periods between sets. Take that time to bend your buddy's ear about your latest work issues, home life or dating drama. You get a free therapy session accompanied by a good workout, and you and your friend grow even closer as a result. Just remember to listen to his or her problems, too!

7. Having Fun

Despite the time investment, the never-ending sweat dispenser that is your forehead and the sore muscles for days, working out is supposed to be fun. And it's guaranteed to be more fun with a partner because you both can appreciate the effort. Plus, you have a built-in person to grab smoothies with after your sweat sesh!

There's nothing wrong with working out alone. But now that you know the benefits of a workout buddy, finding your perfect swolemate might be worth a shot.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.