The Pros & Cons of Exercising with a Friend

The Pros & Cons of Exercising with a Friend

Working out with friends can be very rewarding and fun, but it’s not without its challenges. We’ve highlighted some pros and cons of exercising with a friend.

Pros:

  1. Fewer skipped workouts – You’ll find with the accountability factor, you will miss less workouts. Your friend is waiting for you and you’ve planned a workout program together. Or maybe you’re meeting with a friend and a trainer, in which case, you are monetarily committed (even more reason to show up!). This gentle peer pressure is a sure way to make you more regular, and consistency is the key to reaching your goals.
  2. Push yourself further – The added pressure of having a friend can add a bit of a competitive edge to your workouts. You may find you work harder because your friend is a bit stronger and you want to keep up. Or you may be the stronger friend, and it can be very motivating to help your friend reach his or her goals, and will push you to work harder as well.
  3. Try new exercises or classes – On your own, you may have felt reticent to go to new classes or try new exercises. But with a buddy, the confidence gets a boost, and so do you, from having a friend to buffer the discomfort of trying something new.
  4. Work out longer – It’s easy to stop early, skip a set, or otherwise cheat your workout when you are alone. But when you and a friend are together, you will find time seems to fly by (you’re having fun!), and you push each other to finish.
  5. Recover together – A friend who is working out with you regularly is more likely on the same page with regard to healthy choices, in lifestyle in general, and in food. When you’re done with your workout, you can have a healthy snack or lunch together.

Cons:

  1. Differing fitness levels can make for a tougher workout for the weaker party, but if you’re the stronger one, it can act to slow you down and hold you back. Try to pick a friend that’s close to your fitness level, or be sure to hire a trainer that can adapt and keep you both working at your level.
  2. Scheduling conflicts – This is tough. If you have a friend that’s willing to work out with you, but your times don’t mesh, that’s a problem. Try to hash out the issues before you get deeper to be sure it’s a workable partnership.
  3. A partner that doesn’t show – As a trainer, I typically rush from client to client, but I’ve also been known to wait…and wait…and wait… Sometimes people forget, sometimes they just don’t show, and sometimes they back out at the last second. Start your workout on time, so you don’t sit around wasting time. But if your friend makes a habit of no-showing, it’s time to find a different workout buddy.

Obviously, you’ll know what’s best for you so if exercising with a friend gets you motivated to come to the gym or increases the effectiveness of your workouts, then give your workout bestie a call!

You know who also can serve as a workout buddy? A personal trainer like me! Let’s meet for a free fitness consultation where we can chat about your goals and come up with a plan to get there.

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Written by Melissa Abramovich, ACE CPT, NASM CGT, AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist at Elite Sports Club-River Glen

Melissa Abramovich went into Personal Training and Group Exercise instruction after successfully losing 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Her desire to help others drove her forward into a career helping others to make healthier choices. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and now also a Medical Exercise Specialist (AAHFRP), helping clients with a myriad of health issues at Elite Sports Clubs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and many group exercise related certifications as well.

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