Training with buddies leads to better performance – if you’re alone when working out, you may be losing out, according to research.
Studies have shown that working out with a partner can boost results significantly. Research commissioned by a UK fitness provider in 2013 found that 64 per cent of women who run, attend the gym or take part in group exercise classes with friends will push harder than if they trained solo.
It further found that those who work out together train for longer, burn more calories and exercise more often. The study revealed that 31 per cent of the 1,000 women who participated considered friends to be their motivation to keep in shape.
Another recent study by the Society of Behavioural Medicine in the US found that enjoying aerobic workouts with a partner more than doubled the performance of those tested.
No doubt the research will continue but many of the benefits of training with a partner are pretty obvious.
Here’s six of the best reasons to train with a buddy.
Motivation though peer pressure
Peer pressure is a great motivator. Well that and a desire to not want to let your buddies down. Planned sessions with partners are much less likely to be binned because you get an attack of the lazy bug. Pre-agreed plans with your training partners will get you off your backside and into the session unless you have a valid reason to cry-off. Even during the workout if you don’t feel the drive to push on, then your friend will ensure that you dig in and don’t give in to the temptation to cheat.
It can be much easier to boost the intensity of a workout when someone else is by your side. When training with a partner you’ll work harder and in turn achieve better results. The competitive spirit is stirred in us all when we line up for a buddy workout. Also a buddy can point out if you’re overdoing it or performing exercises with incorrect form thus limiting your risk of injury. It’s important to note that when choosing a training buddy you ensure his/her ability levels are similar to yours in order to reap mutual maximum benefits.
Friends are fun
Apart from the banter and encouragement from buddies, training partners can help make workouts more fun by mixing it up with sessions you can’t enjoy alone such as tennis, badminton, squash etc. You can even introduce new exercises to your buddy or learn from their experience. In a group class environment it can be comforting to have a buddy enjoy it with you and make it a real social occasion. For many, experiencing group classes with friends and breaking a sweat with buddies is a highlight of the day.
PT costs shared
A PT for two can be much cheaper than a one on one session. When you buddy up you can share the cost with your training partner and get the same benefit as you would from one on one guidance, support and motivation from an expert.
Safety in numbers
Not only is there strength in numbers, there is also safety in numbers. Never again get caught under the bar during the last rep of a bench press set – you know who you are. No longer will you have to approach a random stranger – now you’re friend can sweat on you instead as you struggle with e final push. A ready-made spotter is always available when you buddy up. This will lead to better results as you no longer have to give up due to the fear that you may not be able to make the 14th and 15th reps – those important last pushes where the best results are forged.
Thinner friends, healthier you
Apparently a study in Harvard University found that obesity as well as smoking habits and happiness can be contagious, like an infectious disease. Researchers found that the risk of becoming obese is boosted by two per cent for every five obese social contacts made by a person. Who’d have thought that? With this fact in mind it stands to reason that thinner friends are good for you. What better reason to grab them as your training buddies. Sort of like curing two buddies with one stone, eh?