Consider having an agreement – informal or formal, depending on whether or not you think you’ll need to refer back to it – that actually lays out the commitment each is agreeing to. How many times a week will you each work out? Will you work out together all the time, or will you sometimes work out on your own?
Remember that having a partner is all about accountability, and that goes for outside of the gym, too. Text or call through the week to ask how your buddy is doing. See if he or she needs some extra support, or just someone to laugh about sore muscles with!
Then, before the start of each workout, ask, “How can I help you today?”. On some days, your partner may need an extra push when they’re feeling a bit down or have low energy, while on others, he or she may need a little less help. It’s good to have an overall plan for the type of support each of you prefers, but don’t be afraid to build in some flexibility.
If it’s helpful, try a system of consequences and rewards! If one of you skips a workout, it’s an extra ten push-ups the next time you’re together. Or, whoever logs the most miles in three months gets a car wash from the other. Just try not to make these rewards food-based, which defeats the purpose of working out.
And whether it’s at the beginning or after you’ve started the program, don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Perhaps the two of you would work best with a third party overseeing your workouts – a personal trainer or a group fitness instructor – and then, the way that you support each other is by showing up and by cheering the other on.
Now you’ve found your partner and you’re both committed, what workouts and moves can you try? The most effective workouts are those that are fun and challenging and target the entire body.