Sure, there are times when I want to be a lone wolf at the gym. I enjoy the occasional headphones-on-don't-talk-to-me-I'm-working sweat session, but if there's one thing I've learned in the last year, it's that working out with friends is the best way to do it.
There's no denying that my hardest and strongest workouts are when I'm working out with someone else. Not only does the time fly, but the workouts are much more challenging and engaging!
Of course, we all have that friend who wants to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then get the hell out of there (and stop for ice cream on the way home!), so make no mistake about it: these are not the friends I'm referring to. If you can find yourself a #FitFriend or two with goals as big as your own (they have a Bumble for that now!), you're going to have the best workouts of your life.
Whether you want to run, lift, try a new class or go to town on some HIIT intervals, here are the top 5 reasons you need to do it with friends!
1. You're going to challenge one another.
When you're alone, how many times do you think to yourself
...hmmm, I'll just stick to the 25s today.
well, 5 miles is enough. I'll run more tomorrow.
If you're at least mostly human, it probably happens pretty often.
When you're working out with someone else, you're far less likely to skimp out on your reps, weight or mileage.
I write the workouts that my friends and I do together, and the rule of thumb is that we do what is written, no matter what. Do you think I'd have that kind of discipline alone? Hell no!
2. You're going to have more fun.
Let's face it, humans are creatures that run on reinforcement. If something is fun or makes us happy, we are likely to do it again. If something is not fun or makes us unhappy, you can bet that we will eventually stop doing it.
By working out with your friends, even the challenging workouts are fun, and those feelings make your brain associate exercise with happiness, and that positive reinforcement is going to keep you coming back to the gym.
3. You're going to have appointments scheduled.
I used to throw "work out" somewhere in the depths of my daily to-do list, but it somehow always got lost in the shuffle of my busy days. Sound familiar?
When you're working out with multiple people, or even just one other person, you've got to set a date and time that works for everyone. You're all going to put it into you calendars and treat it like a date you can't miss or reschedule.
That kind of accountability is exactly what fitness requires, and it's so much easier to make it happen when friends are expecting you.
4. You won't be scared to try new things.
Think of all the equipment you've never tried at the gym. There's a ton, right?
Why haven't you tried it yet? Chances are, it's because you don't know how to work it and you're scared to look like an idiot.
When you're at the gym with your friends, you can try the new stuff without feeling embarrassed. One of your friends might even have experience and know how to use it (that's my main #FitFriend benefit!).
There are tons of different types of workouts out there just begging you to try them, and with friends, you can give 'em a shot without the unnecessary self-consciousness.
5. You're going to get closer.
With our busy schedules, how often do we get to actually talk to our friends face to face? It seems like it's getting more and more difficult.
I would never abdicate sitting around talking in the gym, but there is definitely time between sets, while resting, during a non-anaerobic exercise and/or in the locker room that can really give you time to catch up!
There's nothing better than accomplishing a goal, losing weight, or reaching a new PR than having someone to tell who really cares and understands.