Strength in numbers, two heads are better than one, iron sharpens iron- things are just better in pairs. Especially workouts. I first began working out with a girlfriend in highschool- quite honestly we spent most of our time cooing over the cute boys in the free weight section. This was the reality at the time, climb upon the painted silver steed of an elliptical and power it out :flipping page after page of gossip glittered magazines and then shovel buckets of frozen yogurt down to – ya’ know- carb load for our next rough workout.
This was until my health changing trip to New York City in 2012- written about in my last post. This trip encouraged me to take my workouts more seriously and spend my time more intentionally when at the gym. The first program I signed up for was online and is called Live Fit by Jamie Eason – I’m still such a big fan because of how detailed and approachable her plan is along with the simple and correct nutrition information she provides for fans!
I was at the gritty and oh so grimy 24 hour fitness in my hometown when I first my game-changer of a new workout buddy. She saw me doing what I considered some pretty B.A. deadlifts and asked if I was a “rower”- “A rower!?”, I questioned. I had no idea what she was referring to at the time as I have absolutely no interest in college sports of any sort. She laughed and explained that her workouts for her rowing team looked shockingly reminiscent of the workout I was attempting at the gym that day. She became a quick friend and we connected on our passion for horses, health and fitness modeling. I was so excited to have a friend to share my interests with and we spent the next 4 years encouraging each other to become our healthiest selves- always trying new eating plans, diets, supplements and workouts. On occasion we’d meet at the gym at ungodly hours before our real life actually began- she was committed so I was too.
This was my first experience with how beneficial a workout buddy can be on your motivation levels. Even if there was a day I wasn’t feeling motivated I had to show up because I had a close friend waiting for me that needed my encouragement too. As the years have passed I’ve picked up a few go-to workout buddies along the way. One of them I love to do serene yoga overlooking the beach or a powerhouse Body pump class at our 24 hour fitness, another that I love to run 10ks with because of his encouraging mantras that he chants along the way and another that I enjoy crack of dawn morning runs with because he’s always there to join a spontaneous adventure- even if it is 6 am.
A research paper from the Journal of Social Sciences on thePsychology Today website explained one of the theories as to why working out with a partner can be so beneficial in motivation, “Social comparison theory may offer a helpful framework for understanding the effects of exercising with others. The theory states that “humans have a drive to assess how they are doing and in order to assess how they are doing, they seek standards against which to compare themselves. When objective standards are not available, people look to their social environments and engage in comparison with available others” (Corning et al., 2006).”
My favorite workouts are those that challenge me and ones that feel worth while- increasing my fitness level and helping me grow in my abilities while simultaneously helping my workout buddy achieve the same.
So, how should you get started on your workout buddy journey? Look around your social circles, are there acquantences or friends that you admire for their health or physical fitness? Is this person also someone you’d like to deepen your friendship with or get to know better? GREAT!
My method of attack is generally to ask this potential workout buddy on a “friend date” at the gym. Tell them about how you admire their physical fitness and would love to learn how ,you too, could get in such mindblowing shape( they’ll blush and surely agree to the invitation)! Another tactic is to find a gym or class that offers “free trials” and invite the could-be-buddy to join you for a hit or miss first try at a new class.
Another , fairly new, way of making some new workout saavy friends is through the website www.Meetup.com – think a dating service for solely platonic relationships with people that have the very same interests as you! I’ve joined just about every fitness related meetup in my neighborhood- although I’ll admit I haven’t gotten around to attending most of them. The groups range from saturday morning beach running, yoga in the park and even humanitarian groups that raise money for organizations and also hike together!
Below is a list of some of my favorite gyms and workouts that I’ve had the pleasure of embarking on in the past! I can’t wait to hear how your fitness journey goes! Use #lovelieats in your next gym selfie to keep us all posted on your workout feats!
Comment below with an idea or workout you love and would like to share- I’d be so happy to hear about it!
- Kayla Itstines – Bikini Body Guide ( a 6 month journey to an even more b-e-a-utiful body!)
- Jamie Eason– Live Fit 12 week workout ( a more intense workout plan that includes free weights and organized calendars of workouts for each day- so great if you’re a planner like me!
- Less Mills- Body Pump ( offered at most gyms and such an awesome workout that incorprates free weights and fun cardio paired with some energizing beats!)
- Meetups- ( as mentioned above, their are an absolute endless amount of workout and fitness groups to join- lots of potential bffs!)
- Pinterest -( There are so many fun short and unique workouts to try! This has been my “go to” lately because of my jam packed schedule and lack of time to get to the actual gym, I recently bought resistance bands and a balance ball for more variety and challenges!)