workout partner

How to Be a Good Workout Partner

Want a great fitness companion? Then be sure to return the favor.

By Kellee Katagi

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In a recent article we discussed how to find your ideal workout partner. But as with any relationship, finding the right person is only half the equation. It’s just as important to be the right person. Follow these three simple tips to make yourself indispensable in your partner’s fitness endeavors.

1. Show up.

As the saying sort of goes, showing up is one-third of the battle. Nothing will kill a partnership faster than a flaky person who forgets appointments, consistently arrives late or is continually texting you with explanations of why they have to cancel…again. Don’t be that person. Sure, things come up—you’re hacking up a lung, your boss rescheduled a meeting—but if things are “coming up” every week, your workout partner would be justified in finding someone new.

See also Improve Your Exercise Habits. 

2. Shut up.

A little conversation is expected—and probably welcome. But if your primary focus is catching up on your workout partner’s life, schedule a coffee date. Too much chatter lowers the workout intensity and distracts from the reason you’re getting together—which is probably not so your friend can hear about your kids’ band concert or latest Pinterest finds, as interesting as those may be.

3. Shape up.

The two main purposes of having a workout partner are usually accountability and motivation. We covered accountability in suggestion 1, while this tip addresses motivation. One of the best ways you can motivate your partner is to work out hard enough to make fitness gains. When your partner sees you achieving the goals you set for yourself, she’ll be spurred to push toward her own goals. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right?

Kellee Katagi is one of those strange souls who actually enjoys working out for the sake of working out. She’s spent most of her 20-plus-year writing and editing career covering fitness, nutrition and travel, as well as outdoor sports ranging from skiing to spelunking to street luge (yes, that’s a thing).

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