It's really hard for me to get motivated to go to the gym. Not working out in general. Working out, I am ok with. Pilates at home, dance class, running out in the fresh air. I can do that. But when it comes to hitting the gym and putting in a solid hour, or lifting weights, ugh, I need a motivator. A partner in crime if you will.
I have ventured to the gym with many different types of people. Friends, family, Mr. Charming... and I noticed that if you decide to make a commitment to go to the gym with someone who is the complete opposite of yourself, you will find it harder to stay committed. So, I have compiled a list of 5 qualities of what to look for in the optimal gym partner. PS. Photo cred to the above photo goes to Mr. Charming and that adorable girl with me is my niece and back-up singer. She also just happens to gravitate towards my workout style, hence the chosen photo.
Tip Number 1 - Find someone that compliments your workout style
I've noticed that when someones workout regiment or overall goals are way off from mine, we tend to not be compatible for regular workouts. I notice this most with my husband, or with male roommates I had in San Diego. When their ultimate goal is weight training, and I need motivation to run or stay on an elliptical when I just want to make a smoothie and blog, I don't stick to staying in the gym as long as I should. When you workout out regularly with someone who likes a similar workout, it not only allows you to keep each other accountable, you also have someone to talk to.
Tip Number 2 - A little healthy competition is good
One thing that I always loved about working out with my sister, we used to be huge gym rats together before I started touring and still lived at home. It was fun to compete with the timing and intensity of our workouts. We wouldn't so much compete with one another, it was more competing with our past time or past workout level. It always made it fun too, that after we put in a solid hour or two, to be able to talk over smoothies.
Tip Number 3 - Find someone with a compatible schedule
This is a big one. You want someone who will push you to go workout when you want to catch up with DVR on the couch, and vice versa. It's fun to motivate someone to get healthy and workout with you, but this won't work if you have opposite work schedules or social conflicts. If there isn't consistency you won't make it a habit, which means you'd be better off working out on your own, thus losing your cheerleader in the process.
Tip Number 4 - Don't forget about your internal clock
This is another reason why Mr. Charming and I fall out of our healthy habits when we try to buddy up at the gym. Personally, my energy is higher in the morning and early afternoon. I also love a good jog before dinner. It's my peak times where I feel like my body performs the best. Mr. Charming on the other hand is a very early riser and will hit our home gym around 6:30am or will hit the fitness center at night. He prefers later workouts, after dinner. With me, once I've had dinner I want to meditate, write and get ready for bed. Remember to inquire about favored workout times when choosing your workout buddy.
Tip Number 5 - Positivity and motivation are key
I believe its toxic to keep negative people too close in many areas of your life, however, when it comes to your workout bff you definitely don't want a "glass half empty" personality beside you. Getting into a new workout habit can be challenging, even for the most optimistic person, so you'll want to find someone who can help encourage you and find the good on a day when you're both tired, sore, and just want chocolate.