I workout alone a lot, partly because I like to do it in the early morning, the time that not too many people find best for exercising. I don't have a problem with it – many times I go out for a run or walk to think my own thoughts, without even bringing any music with me. I also love to go cross country skiing on a beautiful winter morning and enjoy my time and the beautiful nature or doing some yoga in a complete silence.
But whenever I have a chance to workout with my husband or friends, I'll do it! Working out with a partner has many benefits.
By making a workout “date”, you make a commitment to go. If you are struggling with motivation, that's what you should try. You won't let your friend down by just canceling the date, right? You both have taken time for it, so you better show up!
Working out together makes time (or miles) pass by faster. You go on a run with a friend, and two of you are chatting and catching up. Suddenly you look at you Garmin and realize that you have covered already five miles. Sound familiar? It sure does to me. When you run alone, there may be days when five miles seem like forever, but the time (and the miles!) flies when you are having fun!
You cheer and motivate each other. Sometimes you may feel tired or just can't find enough motivation to finish your exercise, so you do 15 push ups instead of those 25 that you had planned, or run three miles instead of five. You are less likely to give up if you have someone pushing you. CrossFit community is a great example of this. Those people keep pushing and cheering each other until everybody has completed the workout, making you work so much harder than you probably would have alone.
You take your friendship or a relationship to another level. Working out together is a social event. I made a lot of friends when I attended the running meetup in the Bay area and we still keep in touch now when I'm living far away from them. It also came naturally that I started to hang out with people from my CrossFit box. Working out helps to meet people that share the same values with you. Your relationship with your friends or spouse definitely gets even better when you have poured some sweat together.
My husband and I workout two to three times a week and I really enjoy those times. Here's an example of how we do out partner workouts:
1. One person does 50 sit ups.
2. At the same time, the second person does single unders with a jump rope. S/he keeps jumping all the time until the first one has completed her sit ups.
3. Switch up – now the first person does the jump rope exercise until the second one finishes 50 sit ups.
3. Move on to the next exercise.
So, one partner's performance affects also the other's – you don't want to make your friend jump forever, so you will push yourself to get through your sit ups faster!
Just recently we did a following partner workout.
A Quick and Sweaty Jump Rope Partner Workout
Box or Bench
(SU=Single Unders, DU=Double Unders)
It was definitely a sweaty one. Especially the burpees in the end were hard, but I still tried to do them as fast as I could and not take any breaks. It left me totally spent! The workout took us about 15 minutes to complete it and was a great start for the day.
Do you prefer to workout alone or with a friend / husband / wife?
Are you having hard times motivating yourself when you workout alone?