Should You Workout with a Partner?

Posted: February 6, 2015 at 9:43 am, Last Updated: February 6, 2015 at 9:49 am

tBdKk9G - Imgur

We hear it all the time, whether it is from our super fit friend or one of the trainers at the gym, “workout with a partner!” Is it worth it? Does it actually help you maximize your workout potential? Or is iShouSht just another way for your best friend, Amanda, the marathon addict, to keep pestering you about going on a run with her? Mason Rec dug into some research to answer these questions for you and we found a resounding “yes!” Here is some of the most compelling research we came across:

The Maryland Athletic Club (MAC) has five huge reasons why you should workout with a partner:

  1. A workout buddy provides motivation. The days you don’t want to work out, he or she will get you out the door. The days he/she feels like skipping, you will get her to the gym. When you want to give up completely, he/she will talk you into sticking with your plan.
  2. They serve as spotters. Your partner can help spot you, keeping your workouts safer yet more challenging at the same time.
  3. They increase your exercise arsenal. There are numerous strength moves you can do with your partner, like crunches with a medicine ball, partner pushups and leg tosses. These are fun and very effective.
  4. They provide companionship. Working out can be lonely, especially long cardio sessions. Having a friend next to you to talk with while you slave away on the elliptical can make the time fly by.
  5. They provide competition. Let’s be honest: We as human beings like to compete with one another. Try finding a workout partner who is just a little more fit than you are. By trying to keep up with them, you will challenge yourself in ways that you cannot do alone.

If these five reasons don’t get you to the gym with your newfound workout partner, maybe this will:

In 2012 The Society of Behavioral Medicine conducted the following study and found some pretty strong evidence that we should be partnering up before we hit the gym more often. Their study consisted of three groups of people that rode bikes in three different conditions. The first group rode their bikes independently. The second group rode their bikes with a virtual workout partner—a screen that looped video of someone also riding a bike (therefore the virtual partner could never rest before the live partner). The third group rode their bikes with a partner and was also informed that their performance would directly affect their partner’s. What were their results? The first group lasted an average of 10.6 minutes before having to rest, the second group lasted 19.8 minutes, and the third group lasted 21.9 minutes. That’s an 87% difference between riding independently and with a virtual partner, while riding with an actual partner doubled the amount of time spent riding. Quite literally, then, exercising with a partner can double your results.

k3pN8bk - Imgur

By now, you’re searching for your ultimate workout partner! Once you’ve found them, be sure to head to the RAC’s Cage Gym on February 10th at 8pm to take part in Be My Fit Valentine. If you find yourself still searching by Tuesday morning, come anyway! Partner planks are an awesome first date! Mason Recreation encourages all couples to attend, whether you want to workout with your boyfriend, your sister, your teammate, or your best friend, we will see you there!