Training Buddies: Why Everyone Should Work Out with a Friend

Two women walking beachfront. Training buddies.

Way back in January (the 1st to be precise), I set myself some health and wellbeing goals.  One of them was to strengthen my core. It’s not because I want six-pack abs (although I wouldn’t say ‘No’) but because I need a strong core to support my back.  And hopefully, if I nail my core, my back won’t be as injury-prone.  My progress has been mixed, with lots of back problems and pain along the way. 

Each time my back locks, I need to see the physio, rehabilitate my back and start again.  It’s frustrating and demotivating.  But I have to keep going.  If I stopped exercising and staying active, it would be worse.

The biggest challenge for me, during this seemingly never ending cycle of rehabilitation, is staying motivated.  Varying my workout routine helps.  Being self-motivated is also important.  But working out with friends has been the game changer for me.  It’s kept me going when I wanted to stay at home.  And now I am making progress (although it’s too slow for my liking … a story for another day!).

But working out with friends is not only about motivation; I get a lot more out of it than just sticking to a routine:

More variety

Working out with friends has helped me move on from doing the same thing week-in-week-out.  In the last 5 months alone, it’s taken me to obstacle courses, boxing, ballet barre, stair climbing and hiking.

New friends

I started my workout routines solo.  Along the way I convinced a friend or two to join me in an activity, and I have invited myself to others!  All in all I have met a lovely and diverse group of people.  Each of them has a different background, professional life, level of fitness and motivation.   It definitely makes for a more interesting workout than a solo session.

Better organised

Working out with friends has made me much more organised.  In fact I have mastered strict diary management!  We all lead busy lives and it’s almost impossible to work out on a whim.  Before I know it, my week is fully planned.  I like this because it speaks to my OCD side and it means my activities don’t get lost in the general chaos of family life.

Great therapy

We all need to vent once in a while.   And who better to vent to than a friend!?  Sharing problems or issues during a workout helps to manage the stress and best of all, it might lead to a solution!  And if the work out is not long enough, the post work out coffee (or wine) is the perfect time to set the world to rights.

Time flies

…. when you’re having fun! Sounds obvious but it’s true.  Training alone can be boring and if I’m not in the mood, time can drag.  This rarely happens when I’m with a friend.  For me the little chats, giggles or shared looks of fear, breaks up the session.  And before I know it, the work out is finished.

Thank You! … to all my training buddies. xx

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