A gym buddy may or may not be a great idea
If you find that your motivation to workout could be better or is fading then finding a gym buddy to workout with can be an excellent way to gain that motivation back and increase your workout momentum!
So, I thought I would share the pros and cons of having a gym buddy and yes, there are cons!. I see it all the time in gyms I have been to, especially the more commercial gyms where people train with friends or in small groups and you actually think they'd be better off without a gym buddy!
Pros of having a gym buddy:
Having someone to workout with is a great psychological motivator for both you and your partner. We all feel times where we are tired and can make an excuse for not going to the gym or to skip a workout. However, one of the things our minds don't like to do is to fall out of favour with people so the drive to workout may not be strong in you but usually, the drive to not let someone down is not as strong so you'd rather workout than let someone down and as a result, there's more chance of you getting into the gym!
A workout buddy can also help motivate you when you're flagging or going for that last few reps of an exercise or getting tired on the treadmill. When you feel like your partner is on the verge of giving up, you can voice simple encouragement to keep them going and they'll definitely thank you for that later!
Another awesome benefit of having a workout buddy is that you can now do partner exercises such as PNF stretching and other workouts that require a partner.
Partners also add accountability. It's a great idea to share your goals with your workout partner and they can share theres with you and you can both help each other keep track and make sure you're focused!
Lots of great benefits but what about the cons?
One of the major problems I see when I see people working out with a partner or in small groups is that they use it as a social gathering and rather than working out, just talk and discuss crap. Now, by all means be social and have a bit of banter, but save the chit chat for the coffee bar. You're there with a purpose and you'll definitely piss off people who are there to train if you're hogging equipment and not really using it.
Another down side of a training partner is that they should be chosen carefully for their personality traits. Unless you're already very motivated, choosing someone who is not a motivated individual who is serious about their fitness goals can have a negative effect on you. After all, you are who you hang out with so choose a partner you know is motivated and it helps if they know what they're doing if you don't which leads me onto my third point here in the cons list.
The third con here is that if you don't know what you're doing, it's very easy to just go through the motions in the gym thinking you've had a great workout when really, you haven't done much. I see it all the time where you get a group of gym newbies who flutter between machines or stations doing a few half arsed reps on each one then quickly probably get on their phones to tell the world they've killed the workout at the gym via social media (okay I'm being harsh now !) – Remember, it's easy to fall into the trap that time spent in the gym = success and the more people you train with, the more time you're inevitably going to spend in the gym so make sure when you train in groups to be focused and have a game plan of what you're all doing. If you're not sure then I would strongly suggest working with a personal trainer to help you. We love helping groups too!