Feeling Great

Are Partner Workouts for You?

How to find the perfect fitness buddy

Ever get tired of hitting the trails or the weights alone? Partner workouts – where you buddy up with another person to get fit – might be the perfect way to supercharge your workouts and stay motivated.

“You’re less likely to give up when you see your partner working hard,” says personal trainer Britani Birchmeier, founder of Florida-based Britani Fitness. “Someone else who’s doing the same workout will offer you encouragement if you’re tempted to give up.”

Partner workouts aren’t one-size-fits-all, so you can customize them to fit your style. Whether you recruit your neighbor to be your running mate or hit the beach with a pal for a fun two-person workout, partnering up could be the best way to give yourself a jump start.

Ask yourself these five questions to see if you’re ready to partner up.

QWho’s my perfect partner?

Just like your life mate, you and your workout partner should be compatible. Look for someone who shares your activity level, endurance, size and height to make your drills doable and injury-free. This is especially important if the exercises include weights, ball passes and bodyweight partner exercises. Plus, if you suffer from asthma or an injury like a bad knee, Birchmeier says, talk to your doctor first before buddying up.

QAm I ready to change things up?

If you’re tired of running on the treadmill or doing the same weights routine, hop on YouTube with your partner for hundreds of new ideas. “First choose what muscle group you want to target that day,” Birchmeier says. “For instance, for abs, there are tons of partner workout videos using medicine balls, dumbbells and small kettlebells.”

Q Am I ready to get outside?

With the nice fall weather, you’re probably jonesing to get outdoors. “Hit a local park with your partner,” Birchmeier says. “You can create new, fun ways to challenge your body using obstacles you find, like benches or monkey bars. You can also use resistance bands for bodyweight sets.

QShould I hire an expert?

Group classes are cheaper than one-on-one sessions with a trainer – and when you attend with a partner, you create accountability for yourself.

“Plus, instead of making up your own routine at the gym, class workouts are already planned by the instructor,” Birchmeier says.

You can book a training session with your partner to save a little green. “However, if you really want a hard workout that’s specifically planned for you and your goals, one-on-one personal training may be your best option,” Birchmeier says.

QDo I have a flexible schedule?

When you work with a partner, you’ll schedule times that work for both of you. “If you find yourself consistently not being able to commit because of crazy work hours, hitting the gym on your own might be a better choice” Birchmeier says.