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Choosing a Workout Buddy

Posted Nov 16 2009 10:02pm

by Brett Blumenthal

Whether you are new to exercise or have been exercising for awhile, there are great benefits to having a Workout ‘Buddy’ (WB).   A WB can be someone who works out with you, side by side, or someone who just gets you to physically go with them to classes or the gym.  A buddy can often help you stay motivated, challenge you and make exercising fun.  That said, there are certain qualities to a WB that are crucial to making the ‘buddyship’ work.  If those qualities aren’t there, the buddy system might fail.  Further, if YOU are considering being a WB to someone else, you too should possess some of the qualities below:

  1. Commitment: A lot of people have good intentions about exercise and about ‘Buddying Up’.  At the same time, a lot of people, can be a lot of talk with very little action.  As a result, you want to make sure that you choose a WB who is committed to your buddyship.  If an individual tends to give a lot of lip service, stay clear.
  2. Likes a Challenge: The worst thing you can do, is buddy up with someone who really likes the status quo.  If a potential WB isn’t interested in challenging themselves, there is a good chance they aren’t going to challenge you either.  You want someone who is not afraid to raise their heart rate or to push one more rep during a weight set.
  3. Likes to Try New Things: A little creativity goes a long way.  If your WB doesn’t like to try new things, they might drag you to the same class every day of every week.  Finding new activities to enjoy with one another is a great way to keep your workouts interesting and fun.    Further, keeping your workouts fresh and diverse helps you to continually see results.
  4. Dependable: If your WB flakes out a lot and can’t keep his or her schedule well managed, you might find yourself going to the gym alone more than you’d like.  Further, you don’t want someone who loves to make excuses for why they can’t get in a workout.  Make sure your WB is as dependable as the earth’s rotation.
  5. Shares Responsibility: If your WB relies on you 80% of the time while you rely on them only 20% of the time, you are going to be carrying the ball in this buddyship.  Make sure you find a WB who takes responsibility and takes their buddy responsibilities seriously.
  6. Is Selfless: A buddyship is NOT all about your WB.  It is about both of you.  It is about BOTH of your goals, BOTH of your challenges and BOTH of your workouts.  Find a WB who cares just as much about your success as they do their own.
  7. Works Hard: Like any good relationship, the buddyship takes work.  Both parties need to be invested in working hard together.  Further, you want someone who is more interested in getting something out of the workout than about the latest gossip in US Weekly.
  8. Is Detail Oriented: If you are interested in strength training, having a WB who cares about the details is important.  Being detailed and meticulous about your form is important to ensure you stay injury free and maximize your exercises.

These are just some good basic qualities to look for in a WB. Do you have a Workout Buddy?  What qualities do you look for in yours?

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