Have you ever had a gym buddy? That’s not a friend at the gym or a friend that goes to the gym but your very own in-house coach, confident and all-round fitness coaxer? Having a great gym buddy can make all the difference, not only to how enjoyable your workout time is, but also how effective it is too. After all, how many athletes praise their support network when they break records, claim trophies and challenge their own personal bests?
When you imagine giving it your all and challenging yourself to reach your fitness goals, what comes to mind? Do you conjure up the image of a lone fitness warrior doggedly working out with steely grit and determination at the gym? Do you see a solo crusade full of single-minded focus? While the success of your own personal exercise plan may be down to you, a quality gym buddy can make the ride less bumpy along the way.
A fitness buddy is someone who will be there for you in the gym and proactively add to your workout.
But what qualities should you look for in a prize gym buddy?
Motivated: Like laughing, motivation can be infectious. Spending 10 minutes with someone on a downer can be enough to zap some of your positivity. You want a gym buddy who is going to motivate you. You don’t want to waste energy on trying to motivate your gym buddy to motivate you!
Similar goals: It’s really not essential that you are totally on the same page as your gym buddy. In fact, having goals that differ can help create an interesting pool of ideas and information to share. However, if you are at total opposite ends of the spectrum then you might find that you’re speaking two different languages and your fitness progress is lost in translation.
Spotter skills: If you regularly weightlift then you might need a gym buddy with good spotter skills. This means that they are looking out for you and making sure that you are lifting correctly and safely. In this instance it is all about all eyes on you and ensuring that you are not going to injure yourself and that you get the most out of each lift.
Honest, forthright and no-nonsense: Cheering on from the sidelines is great motivation, and might be all you’re really looking for in a gym buddy. However, if you’re serious about forging ahead that you need someone you can trust to be straightforward and on a level with you. You need someone who will tell you when you’re slacking and push you if needs be. You don’t want a gym buddy who is going to buy into your excuses, if you’re making them that is.
Reliable and committed: You want to get into a rhythm with someone if you’re going to train alongside them. Someone who is flaky when it comes to turning up and being on time is going to hold you back and frustrate you. Knowing that you have a steady gym buddy who has made a visible commitment to going to the gym is ideal.
Make sure you’re in the right fitness environment too. Being part of a gym that feels right and is professional and welcoming is the best setting in which to reach your fitness goals, alongside your gym buddy too. Find out what else makes a great gym buddy in Part 2.