As it’s the International Day of Friendship on 30th July we are focusing on the importance of having a training buddy. It is great to push yourself to achieve your personal goals, but having someone there counting on you to show up really helps.
The first thing you might ask is, really do I need a training partner? From my own personal training experience I would say, definitely! We’ve all been there, you’ve planned to hit the gym after work, but when home time strikes after a long day it doesn’t seem so appealing – the couch is calling! But you’ve planned to meet your training buddy so you can’t let them down.
There is plenty of research to back this up. In 2016 The University of Aberdeen carried out a study to find out if there were any benefits to training with others. Their findings indicated that an exercise companion increased the amount of exercise that people took. This was increased even more when the new partner was emotionally supportive.
What can we take away from this? Well, you are more likely to train when you have a training buddy and if they are encouraging you are also more likely to train even more often.
The benefits of a training partner include:
- You can be more confident in the gym environment when you have your wingman!
- If you have made a commitment to meet a training buddy then you are much more likely to turn up for your workout – meaning no excuses for not turning up and training more frequently
- You are more likely to have a more structured workout and complete your full session
- You are more likely to work at a higher intensity; would you work as hard if they weren’t there?
- They can help ensure you are using correct technique, making it a safer environment
- You will share ideas and routines so are likely to have more variety in your training routines
How do you find the perfect training buddy?
The perfect training partner would be training for similar goals as you are, can train at similar times and have the same sense of humour. Ideally, they would be slightly better i.e. (faster or stronger, etc.) so that they push your boundaries a little. In reality, people gravitate to others similar to themselves. You will find that friends can be training buddies for life and training buddies can become friends for life.
Group exercise is a great way to workout with other people. You will find a range of abilities, which depending upon your training goals for the day can fit in with your training regime. Stats show those that attend group exercise classes tend to stick to fitness routine for a lot longer than someone who trains alone.
There are lots of benefits to having a training buddy with very few disadvantages. They can offer a huge boost to your training programme and fitness goals. They can be there to pick you up when you fall (both literally and figuratively). If you are developing at different rates feel free to train with other buddies, especially if you are training different aspects. The bonds that you create may the difference between success and failure of your fitness goals, so if you haven’t yet found a fitness/training buddy maybe it’s time to!