Don’t forget cardio, either! A great way to work out together, but at different levels, is to run or walk on side-by-side treadmills. Partners who run at a similar pace can see who can get to a certain distance the fastest, while those who may need different speeds can set a time goal instead.
Here are some other ideas for making a success out of working with a buddy:
Pick a weekly group fitness class and agree to meet before class for stretches and conversation. Knowing that the other person is counting on you, and vice versa, can really help establish some good fitness habits.
Together, choose a goal that you can both work toward, such as a road race (the 5K is a great starting distance and really fun to do with a partner), a sprint triathlon or some other time-sensitive event. Make sure you give yourself enough time to put in the training, but then use that as your motivation!
Here’s one tip that works really well: make sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based.
Don’t love the idea of training for a physical event? Look ahead to some big moment in your life: maybe an upcoming wedding, a class reunion, a family photo session, or some other occasion where you want to look and feel your best. Then, reach out to someone else who’s counting down to the same thing! Your training partner doesn’t have to be someone who lives close to you. If you think you’ll be more motivated to check in with someone virtually, you can change those in-gym meetups for daily text or email threads to stay accountable!
And make the most out of your limited time. If you work with your buddy, why not try meeting him or her before heading into the office, or carving out some time during your lunch break to fit in a bodyweight workout? A small lawn or even the parking lot with some towels laid down can make for a great informal studio.
If your workout partner is only available once or twice a week to meet in person, consider doing some of your workouts through live video chats, or include a line in your agreement about how much the other person commits to doing outside of the partner times (and check in those days as well).
Finally, if you’re not sure how to approach a potential partner or you don’t have one in mind, don’t be afraid to go public. Make a Facebook post or send out a group email saying something like, “I’m thinking of signing up for my first 5K race this spring and I’d love to have some friends to join me in training. Are you interested? Email me!” You may even find that there’s so much interest, you can trade your workout buddy for buddies, or set up a small group of people who are motivated to improve their lives together.