4 Mental Health Benefits of Training With a Friend


Why You Need a Workout Buddy

We’ve all heard that training with a friend is more motivating than training on your own, but how? What’s so good about training with someone?

A number of studies have shown that exercise is greatly enhanced when you’re training with a buddy or in a group setting, and the Köhler effect explains it perfectly!

The Köhler effect occurs when individuals work better when placed in a team environment than they would on their own.

One study by the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University found that:

In another study, participants were asked to hold a plank position for as long as they could. When told they were working as a team and one person had to stop when the other stopped, participants exercised 200% longer than those who were working alone.

With the Köhler effect in mind, let’s look at the 4 mental benefits of training with a partner and tips on how to make it work for you.

1. Training with a friend keeps you more accountable

As humans we don’t like to let other people down, so you are far more likely to turn up for a training session rather than make an excuse if you have someone counting on you.

Tip: Make sure you set a day and time in your calendar to meet a training buddy so it’s locked in

2. Recruiting a workout buddy will make you work out harder

Training with a partner can bring out a competitive edge – even if you didn’t think you had one! Use that mental instinct to push yourself a little bit harder to keep up with and spur on your exercise buddy. You’re more likely to complete another round or train a little harder or faster when you’re being encouraged.

Tip: Try to pick an exercise partner of similar ability so you don’t feel defeated by them every time you train because they are fitter than you.

3. Exercising with a mate is an excuse to try new things

You will find yourself shying away from making excuses to a training partner – as opposed to the excuses you can very easily make with yourself. If you’ve been sticking to the same old routine at the gym, then now is the time to keep the motivation levels high and change it up a bit with your exercise buddy.

Tip: Use this as an opportunity to try new things – go along to a cycle class or a group training class

4. Make the gym fun with friends!

We all have an innate social need to have fun and it’s always more enjoyable to share an experience or activity with a friend, so think of exercise in the same way – training with a buddy can be social as well as fun.

Tip: ‘fun’ can be a key element in forming a good, long term habit so embrace the social and fun element of exercising with a buddy so your healthy actions become a regular occurrence moving forward. 

Written by Emily Boylin owner of Alive Fitness and accomplished personal trainer, Emily believes that anyone, anywhere, can change their life through exercise. With a passion for educating her clients on how their bodies work and how they can feel energised and alive simply from moving, Emily has worked with athletes, rehab clients and everyone in between to accomplish their health and fitness goals.

Emily Doughty Posted by: Emily Doughty

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