Why are workout partners, group fitness classes, or social support for your fitness goals so important? Cody was built around the goal of creating a social network for the casual exerciser- the people who sometimes have trouble finding the motivation to exercise, and would benefit from social support. The truth of the matter is, unless you are one of those superhumans who spring out of bed every morning at 5am, ready to run 5 miles and then tackle the day, having a workout partner is pretty much guaranteed to benefit you.
We all know that working out with a partner keeps us motivated, but do you know how big of a difference working out with a buddy will really make on your fitness routine?
The very real effects of workout partners:
A workout partner will get you moving:
First and foremost, having social support is a strong motivator for you to lace up your sneakers. Stronger even than money- think about all the people that pay for memberships but do not use them. Stronger even than personal health & wellbeing- as evidenced by the obesity crisis in America.
How much does social support help motivate people? Stanford University found that simply receiving a check-in phone call that asked about your progress every two weeks increased the amount of exercise participants did by 78% on average.
A workout partner will keep you moving:
In the Stanford University study, participants who had received those bi-weekly check-in phone calls were still exercising at the increased level even after 18 months.
Meanwhile, the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University found that couples who worked out separately had a 43% dropout rate, while those who went to the gym together had only a 6.3% dropout rate.
A workout partner will make you work harder:
The Köhler Effect is, in a nutshell, not wanting to be the “weakest link” in a group or partnership. Specifically, working out with someone more fit than you will, in turn, make you more fit.
In one study, people were told to hold the plank position as long as possible. When told they were working as a team (one person had to stop if & when the other stopped), participants exercised 160% longer than those simply working with a partner (were free to stop planking without affecting the other) and 200% longer than those working alone.
A different, female-only study found that women who exercise with friends burn around 236 calories, compared to the 195 calories burned during a solo session. Some other statistics from this study: The average workout for friends lasts for 42 minutes, while the average run with a partner was around 31 minutes. Compare this to the lonely gym-goers, whose sessions only lasted for 36 minutes (6 minutes less), and whose runs only lasted 29 minutes (2 minutes less).
Good workout partner exercises:
Partner ball slams: Stand a few feet apart with one heavy medicine ball. The first person slams it down in the middle, while your partner catches it on the rebound. Repeat slamming the ball back & fourth.
Sit up pass: Both of you lay in a sit-up position with your feet together (so when you both sit up you are facing each other), with one of you holding a medicine ball to start. As you both do your sit ups, pass the medicine ball back and forth at the top of each sit up.
Partner plank push ups: One partner holds a plank while the other does push ups. When one person cannot continue any longer, switch exercises and repeat.
Race: For your cardio session, turn it in to a friendly race. Keyword friendly.
Wall sits -sans wall: Stand back-to-back and bend the knees to a 90 degree angle. Use each other’s backs as the “wall” to support each other during your wall sits.
Spotting: Been itching to work on some heavy lifts or skilled work? Now is the time- use your partner to spot you on the heavy stuff, and make sure you’re staying in good form.