So you like Chick-fil-a and partying a little too much, and now realize you actually need to hit the gym in order to stay healthy and fit. Unfortunately, working out isn’t always fun and games. And with everything else you have going on in your life, it may not always seem like a priority. So, how can you make exercising a better experience while still keeping off those extra pounds? Find a workout buddy–someone to share your suffering. Making a gym buddy will save you from gaining the freshman 15 (or 20 or 30), and could mean the difference between a healthy college experience and young adult obesity.
You’ve had a long day of classes and you’re feeling lazy and tired. You know it’s supposed to be leg day at the gym, but your bed and Netflix are just calling your name. That’s what your workout buddy is for—to call and make sure you don’t give into the temptation to opt out. Skipping leg day is not a choice, and your workout buddy will be there to get you going. If it weren’t for her, you’d probably already be on season five of Breaking Bad by now.
2. Personal Training
You’ll always want to one-up your workout buddy. “It creates competition and causes you and your teammates to work harder to try and beat one another,” said University of Maryland freshman rower Jack Vigneron. Let’s go for an extra minute; let’s do a couple more reps; let’s see who can hold this plank the longest. You’ll push each other to work harder than you would’ve if you were on your own.
Working out alone gets really boring really fast. You can only listen to the same gym playlist so many times before you get sick of rocking out by yourself. Having a buddy around isn’t only good for motivation, but it’s also nice just to keep yourself engaged and entertained while working out.
4. Junk Food Prevention
After your workout, you should feel exhausted and hungry. Your stomach will want that Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich with waffle fries and a large Pepsi, but your workout buddy will keep you from giving into those cravings and wasting your workout. You can encourage each other to steer towards more nutritious meals that your bodies will thank you for later.
Friends who squat together stay together. Depending on how committed you are to keeping off those extra pounds, you and your workout buddy will likely be spending a lot of time together, both in and out of the gym. You’ll see each other at your highest highs and lowest lows, and that alone will put you two on a higher level of friendship. “It gives off a sense of unity. Through working out together, you bond and build comradery,” said University of Maryland freshman rower Sachin Swami. Regardless of how much you have in common, you both motivate each other to be better, and at the end of the day, you know your workout buddy will always spot you when you lift.