You know the saying: “Two heads are better than one”? Well, when it comes to burning fat, the same might be said for two bodies. When you buddy up with another person to exercise, you immediately have someone to help hold you accountable to showing up to the workout (and let’s face it, sometimes that’s the toughest part), while also having someone by your side to support you when the sweat session gets rough.
But the buddy benefits don’t end with motivation and support. A workout partner can teach you fitness tricks, call out cues when your form starts to falter, be by your side to try a type of exercise completely new to you, and make you laugh when burning muscles want to make you cry.
Find Your Buddy
Not sure who to pair up with when looking for a workout mate? There are plenty of people to consider:
- Spouse: Skip date night and instead spend quality time together getting healthy as a couple.
- BFF: Your best friend has probably seen you ugly cry, talked you down from a few stressful life moments, and been by your side when you just need a boost. There might be nobody better to sweat by your side.
- Family member: There’s likely at least one sibling, parent, child, or extended member who has similar fat-burning goals. Extend an invitation and your bloodline might lead to your next gym buddy.
- Co-worker: If your workouts are timed around your office hours, find a co-worker to help you fill breaks, lunch hours, and before and after the work day with fitness.
- Other gym goer: If you and another gym goer tend to workout around the same time, stop going it solo and pair up together.
The Buddy System
Working out by your lonesome can be a lot different than working out with another person, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, if you like to bike, having another person to ride by your side may only require switching up the time duration, distance, or speed at which you pedal.
That said, one reason to buddy up for a fat-burning workout is to try new things up in order to boost the results and experience from when you exercise on your own. So while it’s always great to do the workouts you enjoy most, don’t forget to challenge one another as well. Here are a few ideas:
- Sign up for a fitness class neither of you have done, or try a fitness skill you’ve always wanted to learn.
- Assign different days, where one fitness buddy is completely responsible for choosing the workout, including the activities, locations, reps, and duration.
- Set up workouts like a game of Follow the Leader. Pick one buddy to lead, and the other partner to follow. Whatever the leader does, the partner has to follow. So if the leader does 10 sit ups, the follower has to repeat. You each get a rest while the other person is exercising.
- Be childlike and head to a park or playground to add recess-style exercises to your workouts and play like you did with your friends as kids.
- Add a touch of competition. See who can go faster, hold longer, do the most reps, and so on. Second place treats first place to a smoothie.
- Share the mat, and try partner-based yoga poses to do together.
- Split the cost on a personal trainer that you maybe each couldn’t afford on your own.
- Do two-person exercises, such as:
- Back-to-back medicine ball twists where you hand the ball off to your partner on one side, and take it back on the other.
- Wall sits where you skip the wall and go back-to-back in the squat position.
- High-knees with partner squats, where one person sits in a mid-squat position with arms held forward, the other person does a high-knee run in place so that each knee touches the partner’s palm.
- Low-five push ups, where you face each other and at the top of each rep, slap hands together, switching sides as you go.
- Wheelbarrows, where one person holds the legs of the person who “walks” a distance on their hands.
There are tons of way to incorporate a buddy into your fat-burning workout. Brainstorm ideas together, then share them with others in the comments.