Some things in this life are best enjoyed alone. Doing your laundry at home on a Saturday night with a soppy movie playing in the background and a weird sheet mask on your face, for instance. (What? Who does that?)
But other situations call for backup. For many of us, exercising is one of them — whether it’s because you need someone else to keep you accountable, or to just have a big ol’ whinge to while you’re struggling mid-plank.
Here are some other valid reasons why working out with a friend, partner, PT or a whole class of other people can be great for your fitness.
1. Goodbye, comfort zone
When you exercise with no witnesses, it’s all too easy to slip into comfortable (or, ah, lazy) habits. According to Anthony Richardson, personal trainer and founder of AUSFIT outdoor group fitness and Ausfit Torsion bars, exercising with someone else will keep you motivated and accountable — especially if it’s someone who isn’t afraid to call you on it.
“No one likes being told what to do, especially when you’re training. But would you really do those extra reps if no one suggested it? Would you really dig that extra bit deeper to conquer the hill like a champ, or would you rather walk that last 20m?” he points out. Good point.
2. Healthy competition
Are you a naturally competitive person? Good. Put that to constructive use by exercising with
an adversary someone else who can drive you to work a little harder (though be careful not to go overboard).
"I actually don't like exercising with others that much, because it pushes me and I get proud and don't want to fall behind. Which is actually a good thing," one Glow team member admits.
Watch: The Glow's Lizzie found an unlikely fitness buddy in Sam Wood. Here's how it went down. (Post continues after video.)
3. You'll actually commit
Talking yourself out of exercise is a piece of cake (sometimes, that's even true in a literal sense). Talking someone else out of it? Not so easy
"Commit to training with a like-minded friend, or a small group of friends, and you’re much less likely to cancel on sessions," explains Nadine Veverka, personal trainer and founder of the tailored health and fitness service Her Master Plan.
"If one of you doesn’t feel like it one day, the others will spur that person along and visa versa. Who wants to let the team down, right?"
4. Misery shared is misery halved
OK, so "misery" is a strong word, but the sentiment stands — when you're bright red, dripping in sweat, and struggling to finish those last reps, it can be comforting to have a pal right there with you who knows exactly what you're going through. (Post continues after gallery.)