So, how do you start? The first trick is to find the right person. Sure, it’s easy to ask someone you’re already close to (a spouse or partner, a parent, a best friend, a colleague), but before you commit, make certain that this person has enough in common with you that you’re setting yourself up for success.
Ask yourself to following:
What time does this person like to get up? And to work out? If you’re an early riser who likes to knock out a run before the sun comes up, you likely won’t do well with someone who’s a night owl and prefers to work out after the evening meal.
What kind of workouts does this person like? If you crave cardio and hate doing weights, you may not want to partner with someone who feels the opposite. However, there is value in finding someone who can push you to do the things that aren’t as natural for you, and vice versa. Just be sure that that partner is open to trying it and won’t opt out of the types of workouts he or she doesn’t enjoy.
Do the two of you have a similar goal? It will work best if you’re both trying to achieve the same results: better performance (being able to run faster during a race, or lift heavier weights), weight loss, stress relief, and so on.
Is this a person that you can really count on? Just because you like someone or you get along well with that someone in other aspects of your lives does not mean that this person will make an ideal match, so take a good look at how he or she treats other deadlines and commitments before asking to go steady at the gym.
Finally, does this person have his or her own built-in incentive to keep going? Just as your commitment level and enthusiasm will undoubtedly wax and wane, so too will your partner’s. Do you think this person has enough willpower to push past these challenges?
But once you’ve found your partner, it’s important to be a good buddy, too.