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What to Look for When Finding the Perfect Workout Buddy

There are a ton of benefits to having a great workout partner. You’re more likely to show up for your exercises when you have someone holding you accountable, and when you do exercise with someone, there’s an element of competition that pushes you to exceed your goals. But, it can initially be a little difficult finding the right person to work out with. Here are some tips for finding that perfect workout buddy to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Your Best Friend Might Not Be Your Best Partner
It can be very tempting to just call up a good friend and see if he or she is willing to partner up. After all, you enjoy each other’s company, so who’s to say that you won’t have fun while working out? While you may be compatible outside the gym, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll make great workout partners. One of the best reasons to have a workout partner is that there can be a level of competition and rivalry, which pushes both of you to work harder. Would you be comfortable adding this element to your friendship? Would you be able to hold your friend accountable when he or she doesn’t want to hit the gym? These situations could push your friendship into some awkward places that end up hurting your relationship.

Find Someone With Similar Goals
When choosing your workout partner, you need to find someone who’s on the same page as you. And that means figuring out what exactly you mean to achieve from your exercises. So, if you find that your main goal is to lose weight, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on the ellipticals doing cardio work. Your potential workout partner, on the other hand, might want to build his strength instead, meaning that he’ll be spending his time lifting weights. While there’s not much harm in having some crossover–any exercise is better than none–differing goals means you’ll have to compromise. Do you have time to do exercises that don’t help you accomplish your goals?

Pick a Partner Who’s Fitter Than You
Common sense tells us that we should work out with someone who’s at a similar place in hitting the same goals. But, that isn’t guaranteed to be the best matchup. In fact, you might do better to partner up with someone who’s better than you. While you might think that’s unfair to the other person, it’s actually a win-win for both of you. For you, working out with someone who’s faster or stronger could add a level of competition that causes you to step up and push your limits. For your partner, they’ll have someone who’s motivated to work hard in order to keep up, which is great for them, too. It’s even better if you can find someone who’s looking to fill a mentor-like role.

Get on the Same Schedule
All of this is for moot if you can’t even find the time to meet up for each other. You could have the perfect compatibility with someone, but if you’re never able to work out together, there’s no point. That’s why it’s important to take scheduling into account right from the start. Do both of you work 9-to-5s? Even so, are both of you will to meet before work or after? You might find that your workout buddy is a morning person, while you can’t be bothered to roll out of bed until you absolutely need to. So, when looking for your buddy, make sure a similar timetable is near the top of your priority list.

Now, these are all the qualities you’ll want to consider when picking a workout buddy, but where do you actually find your partner? If you’re a member of a gym, it’s worth seeing if you can find any like-minded people who attend at similar times. Or, have a look online for communities centered around fitness. You might be surprised to find that there are plenty of others out there who are looking for their own perfect workout buddies – and that person could be you!

[Image via Getty]

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