W hether you’re training for sport or just to stay in great shape, having a workout buddy can hugely contribute to your success.

After competing 4 times in my first year as a figure athlete, without doubt the best thing I did for myself this past go around was reach out and connect with a dependable training buddy(s). It’s been said before, but is so worth highlighting again.

1. Accountability.

I can’t count the number of times I thought to myself, “I’m a little low energy this morning, I’ll just get a little desk work done before heading to the gym”; which as we know, often leads to not getting there at all. My evening cardio (my second visit to the gym in a day) has always been the toughest. To leave my family at this busy time of a day, when I’m already wearing down from the day, seemed impossible sometimes.

So I made a plan each Sunday evening for my upcoming week. I scheduled in as many workouts, my weights and my cardio, with others. I created a network of about 3-4 others who I regularly met up with for workouts. It didn’t matter if said person was at the same fitness level as me, we could always be spinning on the bikes at our own rpms. Knowing that someone was at the gym waiting made me go when I otherwise would’ve made excuses. It’s so much easier to let yourself down than it is to let someone else down.

2. More Intense Workouts.

It’s human nature. When you’re around others, you work harder. We all have a little competitiveness in us (some of us have lots!) So whether it’s to impress, to outdo, or just to keep up, I always work harder when training alongside someone else. Also, with a workout partner you always have someone to spot you, an opportunity to push yourself beyond limits. I know where I train, trying to find available floor staff to help spot you isn’t always easy.

3. Motivation to Set New Goals

Often during a workout, I’ll think to myself “I wanna be lifting the 45s by next month” or something of the sort. When someone is there with me, I say that thought out loud and suddenly it becomes real, it becomes a goal that now someone else is going to keep reminding me of and help me get there.

4. New Friendships.

Some of my best friends have been made in the gym. You spend a lot of time together and you clearly share similar goals and values. A workout buddy sees you at your strongest, your weakest, most vulnerable, sometimes deflated, and your proudest moments. My training buddy and I have sometimes laughed our way thru entire workouts. Other times we barely speak a word during our workouts, but it’s not needed. We are there for each other to push and support each other, to lift each other up when we’re down and to celebrate together our victories.