Buddy up!

by Khushboo on May 11, 2012

When it comes to working out, I’ve always been more of a, for lack of a better term, loner. I like to get in, do my thing, and get out.  In other words, I rather be efficient with my workouts and save the chit chat for another time.  I’m also naturally more of a morning exerciser and if my mom is anyone to go by, I’m not the chirpiest person to be around first thing in the day ;) .

At the risk of unintentionally sounding selfish, solo workouts also make it easier for me to stick to my training schedule.  As there’s no one else’s agenda to cater to, I can solely focus on my own goals and stick to my own pace.

That all being said, I did exercise a few times with my friends in Singapore.  Truth be told, those workouts definitely changed my opinion about workout buddies.  Along with the social aspect, there are so many other benefits of having one:

  • Support: A fitness partner makes it less intimidating to try a new sport, class or gym.  The only reason I decided to try out another yoga class was because my friend raved about the instructor and was planning to go herself.
  • Source of motivation: As much as I love working out, my motivation slowly dwindles as the day progresses.  After spending the whole day on Haji Lane in the heat, nothing sounded better than a nap.  Hearing how pumped my friends were about going for run when the weather cooled down was enough motivation for me to get my trainers on.

  • Accountability: Just as you wouldn’t cancel a lunch out with a friend, the same goes for an exercise date.   Knowing that you’re going to let someone else down if you cancel a pre-planned workout will probably convince you to stick to the plan.
  • Extra push: Whether it’s running a bit faster than you’re used to in order to keep up, trying a new workout which you wouldn’t alone, or ignoring those moments of weakness when the temptation to call it quits hits, workout buddies can be all it takes to push you out of your comfort zones.  Plus a little bit of friendly competition goes a long way!

  • Synergy: This is really cheesy but so true- when 2 people are serious about achieving a common goal together, the energy, passion and experience is automatically amplified.

The runs which I did with my friends were the perfect balance of working out solo and with someone else.  We ran together, yet didn’t say a word: as soon as we were ready to set off, we plugged in our iPods and our only form of communication was in the form of hand gestures to indicate which direction we were continuing on.  The 3 of us had a mutual understanding about our individual fitness levels: whether one wanted to stop and walk or the other one wanted to speed up, there was no obligation to follow suit.

As difficult as finding the ‘perfect’ workout buddy is, I think it’s important to keep one thing in mind: Find someone who shares your goals and ultimately brings out the best in you…and be sure to return the favor right back :) .

Do you prefer working out alone or buddying up?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex @ therunwithin May 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I agree, I love buddying up especially for those harder work out days. Tomorrow morning I have a long run planned with a friend.

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:41 am

Hope your long run went well :) !

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Parita May 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm

We are seriously sistas from different mistas because I feel the same way! I just want to get in, do my thing, and get out. And I don’t like waiting for others/having them wait on me. It’s uncomfortable. But with that being said, group fitness classes are SO much more fun with friends!

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

Uncomfortable…definitely the right word! I don’t work well under pressure!

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Honey What's Cooking May 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I sort of don’t mind a buddy, but unfortunately I don’t have a workout buddy. So I go alone a couple times a week. it’s ok I guess. When I used to workout with my friend, it was annoying to wait for her during the weights section, and taking turns, I felt i lost like 20 minutes there. Happy Friday K… hope you have a fabulous weekend!

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

And if you’re a morning exerciser, those 20 minutes could be better spent in bed :) ! HOpe you had a wonderful weekend too!

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forgottenbeast May 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I’m a solo work-outer too–I go at 5am, and I definitely don’t want to have at conversation at that time of the day! That said, I used to go with a roommate occasionally, and it does give that extra push–plus there’s easy access to a spotter! So I’d say I want to work out on my own about 95% of the time, but there’s definitely room there to fit in a workout with friends from time to time.

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

For weight training, I would love to have a workout buddy…I definitely think having a spotter could help me both mentally and physically!

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Alexandra May 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I usually like to work out alone– I kinda get in a zone haha But every so often I love going with friends to classes and stuff like that! :)

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:44 am

Agreed -it’s nice to shake it up once in a while!

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Brittany May 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Every point here is something I agree with. I love my solo workout, but when it comes to running I enjoy having a partner at times. Even with spin classes. I don’t feel obligated to chat, but it is nice to have that support!

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

Snap – I actually don’t think I have gone to a spinning class on my own! I am much more motivated when I’m with a friend!

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JoJo (@jojos_house) May 12, 2012 at 1:21 am

It’s definitely nice to buddy up for some workouts.. I used to run with my sister all the time, and it motivated me to run further and faster. The other day, I ran with my husband, he made me push myself which was great! I think that was the fastest 6 miles I’ve ran in a long time…. I enjoy running on my own pace too though.. :P

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

Well done on the speedy 6 miles :) !

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Tessa at Amazing Assett May 12, 2012 at 2:33 am

I train alone most of the time, but you are right, it really is nice to have a buddy sometimes! It of course helps with motivation and then makes the time go faster depending on the activity. Plus I like having someone while at a new fitness class, I feel less like a goon hehe

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

Haha one thing is for sure- if I ever try zumba, I will definitely be needing a workout buddy!

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Irene May 13, 2012 at 3:57 am

I just came across your blog – I love it! I enjoy working out with others but it definitely depends on who the person have..as long as you’re compatible with your work out styles, it can be great!

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

Thanks so much, Irene- I’m really glad you’re enjoying my blog :) !

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Sara K May 13, 2012 at 4:01 am

I agree with the buddying up!!! My friend, Anne is a complete yogi/cross-fit addict (and she just got her yoga teacher training) so she is (or will be rather) a great influence in upping my fitness game especially now that I will not feel intimidated to have HER as an official yoga teacher!

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Khushboo Thadani May 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

Oh man I need an Anne in my life…I’m sure my sentiments to yoga would be much different if the yoga instructor was a buddy! I’ve been dying to try out cross-fit…have you attended a class with her yet?

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Ameena May 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I cannot work out with others…I need to be on my own schedule! And that’s not hard to do at 5am. :) Nobody really wants to hang out so early.

Hope you are having a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Khushboo Thadani May 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

Wow a 5am wake-up call to workout…that’s dedication! Happy Mother’s Day to you too- hope you were spoiled :)

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Christina Does It All May 13, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Love this! And that “drink it all away this weekend” pic made me giggle out loud (gol? :P )

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Khushboo Thadani May 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’m sure a small part of us can all agree on about the sentiments in that photo ;) !

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ritika May 14, 2012 at 11:35 am

so, so true! i don’t understand the fuss over workout mate, i don’t get it. i tried once, and it failed horribly – right from having to wait 22 mins outside her door to she chatting up between sessions. :(

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Khushboo Thadani May 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

As long as you get the workout in, who cares how so right :) !

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Sig May 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm

It’s such a good idea to buddy up! I find I am more motivated and accountable for working out if I have a partner because I am a) slightly competitive lol and b) I don’t want to let them down!

however, I do tend to workout myself because I don’t have to rely on anyone else and I can do my own thing, ESP since I barely get enough alone time as it is!! :P

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Khushboo Thadani May 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

YES about the alone time…one of the reasons why I love working out :)

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Nada May 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Although I generally prefer to work out alone nowadays, I’m always up for buddying up. I lived with 4 girls last year and we all joined the gym together, I have to say I don’t think I would’ve gotten up for 7 AM spin class twice a week if I didn’t know other people were waiting on me!

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Khushboo Thadani May 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

Making someone wait on you that early in the morning is just cruel- I’m not surprised it was motivation to make sure you were up in time for the class!

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Sonali Ramani May 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for keeping me company, made that additional vodkaS all the more worthwhile ;) .

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Khushboo Thadani May 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

Haha yes vodka plural, buddy! :)

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