For a lot of people, the biggest challenge of going to the gym is, well, going to the gym. It can be tough to stay motivated for a long term fitness programme, especially at times when your gains plateau and you don’t see much improvement. If getting motivation to get fit because you’re not seeing big gains is a problem for you, then you should probably look at finding a gym partner who can go along with you for support – and possibly a little competition.
So, what’s a gym buddy?
The role of a gym buddy really depends on both of you. For some people it’s just someone who they meet up with at the gym and have an agreement that they’ll both go at the same time. It’s a casual relationship that’s simply built around the shared need to get fitter, and the realisation that if someone else is going to be there, you’d better be at the gym too.
At the other end of the spectrum, the gym buddy a training partner. Rather than just encouraging you to get your trainers on and head to the gym for a work out, a training partner has similar fitness goals to you, and will be there alongside you training at the same intensity and providing you with a benchmark for your own improvements. This type of relationship is both supportive and competitive, and will really help you to get better gains more quickly.
Where to Find a Gym Partner
Probably the most obvious place to look for a gym partner is in your immediate circle of friends. If there’s someone there who is using the same gym, talk to them about fitting a schedule in so that you both go at the same time. The chances are that you are struggling with motivation from time to time, your friend is too and they’ll welcome the support. Don’t push too hard for a training partner relationship – some people do prefer to work out alone, and while they’ll welcome the additional motivation, don’t necessarily want the competition – particularly if they’re at a different stage in their fitness journey to you.
If there isn’t a colleague or friend you have already, most gyms have a message board where you can post a request for a training partner – there may even be people looking already. If your gym has a Facebook page, you could also post to that to find someone to work out with.
Or just say hello
If there’s someone who works out at the same time as you on a regular basis you could just go up and introduce yourself and ask whether they’d be interested in working out with you on a regular basis. Provided you don’t do it in the middle of them lifting something heavy, they’ll probably welcome the conversation and be open to the idea.
A training relationship can become quite intense, and the gym is a popular place to meet new people romantically. Be careful about just approaching people who you’re attracted to at the gym, because it might make them feel uncomfortable if you don’t know them well enough.