Not too long ago the University of Aberdeen published scientific proof of something some of us have known for a long time - partnering up with a 'Fitness Friend', 'Gym Bestie' or 'Back-Up Conscience' leads to better results, and more satisfied people. Here, we'll look at a few reasons why.
You really will work harder.
Adulting is hard, right? None of us, no matter how much willpower we may have, is particularly good about really putting in the work at the gym when no one is checking up on us. Sometimes you're too busy, and skip a day. Sometimes you only get half the reps in on your least favourite machine. Sometimes that happens again and again, and you used your expensive one year gym membership a total of three times.
Simply put, we all need someone to hold us accountable if we're really going to hit our fitness goals. Of course it doesn't have to be a gym bestie, but that brings me to the next reason...
Personal Trainers can be expensive
90% of what many trainers do is remind you about your commitment to your fitness goals. If you haven't been doing the work, they'll know, and you'll have to confess. Well, a gym bestie can do that for you - so long as you do it for them too - for free. I'm not factoring in the cost of the occasional cappuccino in the café, of course.
But there is more to a proper gym bestie relationship than accountability. For example...
Your bestie can help you discover new fitness activities which are actually fun
And you can do the same for them. Maybe you've always wanted to try Pilates, but the idea of embarrassing yourself in a room full of strangers has always stopped you - enter the gym bestie. Now you can take a mini support crew with you, and neither of you have to try new things alone. Better still, you'll try things you never would have considered for their benefit, and you'll actually enjoy more of them than you expect.
You can finally try all of those 'partner exercises' and sports
There are two ways to go here. On the one hand there is the squash/tennis/badminton route, where a little friendly competition can make your exercise routine feel more like a hobby. This is great, because you won't actually dread doing it a few times a week.
However, if you just took a sharp intake of breath at the thought of a squash court, there are also a wide range of exercises which really do require two people, from pumping iron with a spotter to passing the medicine ball or doing band jumps. The point is, they all require two people, and let you and your gym bestie work as a team.
Is a gym bestie a magic wand that will make it so you don't even have to try? No. But you probably already have a few friends to be lazy with. Finding one to partner with to achieve both of your fitness goals will make really committing to a fitness regimen a lot less difficult, though.