Working out with a friend doesn’t only add a little more fun to your fitness regime, but research shows that hitting the gym with a buddy can improve your performance, endurance and weight loss results.
A study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, found that men are influenced by both their male and female friends, while only women influence other women when it comes to getting fit. So, if you’re hitting a plateau, lacking in motivation or simply want to combine your social time with your sweat time, a few ways working out with a friend can have a big impact on your fitness results…
No Skipping Sessions
We’ve all been guilty of skipping a gym session in favour of a spot of sofa time. Hey, we all like to catch up on the latest Netflix boxset! Though make the commitment with a friends, and you’ll be less likely to duck out for fear of letting them down.
Having a gym buddy makes you accountable to someone else, so your achievements on the gym floor are no longer just for you… they’re for your buddy too. And that includes showing up in the first place!
Double Your Output
According to a study by Kansas State University, working out with a friend can increase the intensity of your workout by up to 200%. This is because we feel pushed to keep up with each other.
Pounding the treadmill alone can be tedious, and quickly lead us to jump off a little earlier than we would in the presence of a friend. Likewise, we’re more likely to perform a few extra reps when we have our bestie beside us.
“We found that when you’re performing with someone who you perceive as a little better than you, you tend to give more effort than you normally would alone,” (Brandon Irwin, Kansas State University)
Up The Burn
Studies have shown that exercising with a friend can increase calories burned by up to 25%.
Add a little friendly competition into your workout and you’re less likely to call time on it early, or put in a below par session. The motivation that comes from having a fitness friend pushes us to go that bit further, with the average workout with friends lasting for 44 minutes, compared to a solo session at 38 minutes.
The Ideal Influencer
According to personal trainer and Men’s Health contributor Scott Baptie, having someone to train with can offer a 176% greater chance of transforming your body.
A social support network increases your chance of reaching your goal, as we look up to those with the physique, stamina or strength we want to achieve for yourselves, and work harder to get there. This added motivation leads to more commitment, and better results in the transformation stakes.
A Fresh Outlook
Exercise is ‘socially contagious’.
We’re constantly tempted with the latest fitness trends and techniques, which lead the adventurous amongst us to give them a try. Trying a new fitness trend alone can be a little daunting, so having a buddy to hand will allow you both to dip a toe in and try that new fitness class or workout routine with confidence.
Trying new exercise methods is a great way to escape that comfort zone, which will push you harder towards your goals.
A Bonding Experience
Those that gym together, stay together. Exercise builds bonds. In fact, in a study by Oxford University, it was found that ‘social motion’ (moving together) improved feelings of teamwork.
The study found that athletes who warmed up in sync with others were nearly seven seconds faster, suggesting teams with a good bond have a high chance of performing at their best.
Our pick of the best workouts to do with a friend…