Get yourself a work(out) buddy

Work on your fitness and stay in shape with a friend who trains with you and motivates you every inch of the way.

Anumeha Chaturvedi | Print Edition: April 6, 2008

Work on your fitness and stay in shape with a friend who trains with you and motivates you every inch of the way.  

A workout partner is great encouragement
A workout partner is great motivator
Need to shed a few kilos?Feel an urgency to tone those muscles or feel fit enough to wear that figure hugging T-shirt this summer? Get yourself a workout buddy who’s going to be your friend, philosopher and motivator in the gym and out of it. If that someone is a member of the opposite sex, the motivation is, shall we say, even stronger?

Who Is a workout buddy?
“As the name suggests, a workout buddy is your workout partner who sweats it out with you, all the while encouraging you to meet your daily exercise targets,” says Leena Mogre, Director, Leena Mogre’s Fitness, Mumbai, one of India’s top fitness trainers. He could be a friend, or just someone you hit it off with in the gym. But there should be a good sense of compatibility and companionship between the two.

Buddy Talk
Sumanto Chattopadhyay

Executive Creative Director, South Asia, O&M
My workout buddy is also my colleague. Working together makes it easier to synchronise our workout timings. On mornings, when I just can’t drag myself out of bed, I do so just to avoid the lecture she would give me otherwise. The fact that she is young and pretty also means that I push myself harder with the weights, just to impress her. We also catch up on office gossip while exercising, making the huffing and puffing a lot more fun.

The Buddy Benefits

“It’s not for nothing that they say that alone you’re powerful, and together you’re a force. It’s all about supporting and motivating each other, while working out. You can be companions and yet compete with each other and keep daily exercise targets,” says holistic health guru Mickey Mehta. A workout buddy comes in handy while doing freehand cardio workouts. When working out alone, there are bound to be days when you’re lethargic and want to skip your daily session. But your workout buddy will ensure that you stick to your deadlines and meet your daily targets. “Motivation is the key factor here. When you are experiencing a low, it’s on your partner who’ll help you recover,” says Mehta. Once you start working out together, you could even discuss your dietary plans and compare notes.

Warning Signs

There are no clear “dos and don’ts” as such but experts warn about trying to keep personal objectives aside. “It’s advisable to have these workout sessions before heading out for work. You are calm and composed in the mornings and less likely to deviate from your daily workout sessions,” says Mehta. It sometimes makes more sense to have a buddy who’s almost the same build as you. “It’s easier to set targets if your workout buddy is more or less the same size,” says Mogre.

Buddy Talk
Nirvik Singh, President, Grey Worldwide, South-East Asia
Nirvik Singh
President, Grey Worldwide, South-East Asia
I am an ardent health buff and don’t miss my daily workout for the world. Unfortunately, owing to the fact I travel 20 days a month, my timings are erratic and that means I don’t have a regular workout buddy. But I do believe that having a workout buddy every time you hit the gym helps immensely. It’s a fantastic support system to get you out of the house on those lazy days and to have someone else egging you on. Also, it adds that healthy competitive element to working out.

Buddy Characters
The Spotter

He’s the one who’ll come to your rescue if you start to falter during a lift. Having him around helps psychologically, and you might end up lifting much more than desired as there’s a sense of reassurance that you’re backed by someone from behind.

The Mentor
He is the one who (like it or not) knows more than you. If you’re relatively new to the world of fitness, then he is just the one for you as he can recommend what may or may not work for you.

The Socialiser
He’s the one you hang around with most of the time. He knows you inside out and thinks more or less like you. If you’d like the friendly banter to go on in the gym, then a socialiser should do the trick for you.

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