“Wanted: healthy friend who loves working out and is looking for a like-minded workout buddy. Not afraid to get sweaty. Must love dumbbells.”
Okay. So maybe you shouldn’t put out an ad on Craigslist. But if you always workout solo and find yourself struggling to stay consistent or keep up the intensity, then consider finding a gym buddy.
Not sure where to start? We don’t really blame you—as far as we know there isn’t a match.com for would-be gym buddies. Fortunately, your match-made-in-gym-heaven could be hidden in plain sight, and once you know what you’re looking for, it’ll probably be much easier to make the connection.
Find Your Gym Buddy With These 5 Tips
Take a quick inventory of your friends, co-workers, family members, or anyone else in your life who may be a potential match for the perfect gym buddy. Figure out who among them shares similar values, has a similar schedule, and/or has similar goals as your own.
Another perfect place to find a workout partner? Your gym itself. Approach that friendly face you saw in class the other day, or try chatting up someone by the water fountain. No, don’t be that creepy gym stalker (you know who we’re talking about). But do feel free to open with a big smile and friendly conversation.
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Remember, too, that in certain cases you can have a “remote” gym buddy, too. There are tons of easily accessible online support groups and communities (try Facebook and Instagram to start). Consider joining one of these groups, posting questions and interesting content, engaging with the community, and so on. Over time, this may help you find someone who can be your “online” gym buddy with whom you can touch base with on a remote basis. Even if you don’t see them face-to-face, you can still reap some of the benefits of having someone to share in your “misery” with.
Of course, once you’ve narrowed down your top picks, how do you know which choice is right for you? Consider the following 5 qualities—whether you lift weights, spin, run, or do something else altogether, your to-be workout buddy ideally will have most or all of these traits:
1. Your buddy is dependable
One of the best parts about having a workout partner is that it helps keep both of you accountable. You want a gym buddy who will be there ready to work at the agreed upon times. No show? No go.
2. Your buddy is fun
The most effective workouts are usually hard—but they may suck, too. You want a workout buddy who takes their training seriously, but maybe not themselves too seriously. This way, you’ll be able to laugh through the sweat, blood, and tears.
3. Your buddy’s fitness level complements yours
Working out with someone who is either a little more advanced or a little less advanced both offer unique benefits—too large of a discrepancy may leave one person bored, and the other person overwhelmed or at risk for injury. Be sure to be clear with your workout partner about what you want out of your workouts and what your current skill level is.
4. Your buddy is competitive
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition! Find someone who’s willing to push themselves and isn’t afraid of some good-natured trash-talking in between sets. This could be the inspiration you need to get the most out of your workouts and your potential.
5. Your buddy is supportive
Above all other qualities, this may be the most important. You definitely don’t want a workout buddy (or life partner for that matter) who’s going to needlessly tease you, attempt to sabotage your efforts to be healthier or inject their own doubts into your head. Find someone who treats you the way you want to be treated—and is sure to offer them the same in return.
Do you workout with a friend? Let us know how your perfect match came to be by sharing in the comments below!