One of the best ways to reach your fitness goals is by partnering up with a like-minded person with similar fitness goals. Studies have shown that this relationship investment can boost your goals with a higher success rate, get you there faster, and keep you on-track.

Here are three research-backed reasons that you should partner-up to tackle your 2018 fitness goals.

Helps you stay committed

What if you could double your chances for fitness success, AND have more fun while doing it?

Research shows that having a workout buddy can help you stay committed to training goals and boost enjoyment out of any given session. According to one study, 95 percent of those who started with a friend completed the program, compared to a 76 percent completion rate for those who tackled the program alone.

Why does this work? Human beings are inherently social. We crave the interpersonal support, company, and positive reinforcement of others.

Having that time set aside on the calendar, where you know someone else is counting on you, can be a driving factor in whether you choose the workout, or choose the couch on any given day.

Helps you stay in it longer

Opting for a group or partner may help you push yourself past your comfort zone and raise your threshold higher in both time and intensity. This can be beneficial if you are stuck in a plateau. When you are with someone else, you tend to give a little more effort than you normally would if you were working out by yourself.

If you can, choose a partner that is slightly ahead of you in the fitness game. According to a study at Kansas State University, people who exercised with someone who they perceived as a little better than themselves, increased their workout time and intensity by 200 percent.

Helps you broaden your workout (and stay in form)

Having a partner can add a creative mix of exercises to your workout. While there are plenty of exercises you can do by yourself, adding a partner allows you do things like medicine ball tosses, resistance band runs, and partner pushups.

Your partner can also help you spot bad form. It’s easy to develop poor form habits when you work out by yourself if you are not paying attention. Having another set of eyes can save you from injury due to repeated improper alignment. You also gain a spotter in the weight room. Having a spotter can help you to make sure that you are performing an exercise correctly and can safely do those exercises.

Fun Partner Exercises to try:

Medicine Ball Tosses

Resistance Band Runs

Partner Pushups

Back and Forth Tire Flips

Wheel Barrows

Agility Ladder Runs

Photo credit: J. Hatch

Choose carefully

Are you ready to find that workout partner? One more piece of advice – choose carefully.

The key is not only to choose someone who you trust and connect with, but to choose someone who won’t accept lame excuses. In fact, if you choose someone who does not share a similar commitment to fitness, it can turn into a distraction or even a potential deterrent.

Another key factor is simple logistics. Choose someone with a schedule that you can count on. Pick a day and time that works well for both of you, and you will set your fitness partnership up for success.

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