8 Qualities To Look For In A Gym Buddy (So You Can Achieve Your Summer Body Even Faster)

iStockPhoto.com / Anne Baek

For some, the idea of going to the gym alone is an extremely daunting task. The sheer thought of having to work out solo can cause even the most confident of fitness connoisseurs to cave and succumb to stage fright. That’s why grabbing yourself a gym buddy could be the solution to your loneliness and could add all the protein powder you need into your fitness routine. Naturally though, you have to be compatible with your partner to ensure you actually benefit from the experience, so your process has to be very selective. Here are some things you should definitely look for in your lifelong gym buddy.

1. Motivation & Support.

When you’ve had a bad day at work, it can be incredibly easy to lose grip of your motivation and think “I’ll just go home instead,” causing you to neglect your routine and fall off track towards achieving your goals. But having someone by your side can help you power through even the hardest of workout schedules. Therefore, it is important to select a friend who will always fight in your corner and have confidence that you’ll meet your aspirations. You do not want someone who will undermine you and be discouraging, as it’ll affect your commitment.

2. Reliability.

There’s no point in picking somebody who never shows up. Make sure the person you select won’t cancel last minute before a session unless it’s absolutely necessary, for this simply won’t solve your issue. Ensuring that you have similar daily schedules will help in preventing this from happening; it’d be pointless to have a friend who attends the gym in the evening when you go first thing. Additionally, having a punctual partner will also prevent you from canceling sessions yourself on days where you don’t feel like it, as you won’t want to tar yourself with the same brush. 

3. The Huge Benefit Of ‘The Köhler Effect.’

 Nobody likes being second best. The Köhler Effect was a psychological experiment designed by German psychologist Otto Köhler, which involved asking members of a Berlin rowing club to perform the challenging task of doing standing curls with a heavy weight (97 kg) until they were so exhausted they couldn’t continue. In order to prove his theory, Köhler made them work both individually and in groups of two or three. He identified that that weaker individuals persisted longer within a group in contrast to working alone. This highlights how a little competition can make you work twice as hard, so choose someone with a slightly competitive nature, for it will encourage you to exercise for longer periods.

4. Similar Goals.

If you’re working on losing 14% body fat and your buddy wants to focus on building lean muscle, then there’s a problem. Having different goals will mean your workout routines will be completely incompatible; whereas if you share similar objectives, you’ll both be more likely to reach them. It’d also be ideal to select a partner who is more committed than you to meeting their targets, as it’ll encourage you to push yourself even further. 

5. No Excessive Egotism.

It’s great to have confidence, but high levels of narcissism isn’t the way forward. If your friend is constantly bragging, it’ll just lead to tension and a negative atmosphere. Therefore, it is vital that your partner isn’t self-absorbed, as this could cause you to fall off track from your own schedule if they’re only focused on themselves 24/7.

6. Similar Skill Levels.

If there’s no similarity in your current fitness levels, you’ll both just end up working at different paces. Obviously you don’t need to be completely identical, but it does help if you’re doing similar training programs so that working out together doesn’t become a challenge. If you’re a novice, then don’t pick someone who’s a complete power house and vice versa. Aside from physical fitness, it is also important for your partner to have strong equipment knowledge, otherwise your sessions could be more focused on teaching them how to use equipment instead of actually training.

7. Fitness Inspiration.

Nearly everyone has a role model, and your gym buddy can certainly be yours. Aim to get a person who has a fitness level that seems achievable for you, for having a partner who looks like the next Mike Tyson could lead to discouragement if you don’t start seeing improvements to their extent straight away. For a guy, it is actually recommended to select a female workout buddy who is fitter than you in order to receive the biggest motivational boost.

8. No Bad Attitudes.

Nobody likes negativity or rudeness, and this is a big flaw to avoid when choosing your fitness pal. It is pointless having a workout buddy who is unfriendly and undependable, as it’ll lead to arguments during sessions. Therefore, it becomes an absolute must to have someone who has a positive, solution-focused and respectful personality to ensure they’ve got your back and will actually help you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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