Relationships are work. Read this post to learn how to make the most of the one with your gym buddy.
I'm pretty introverted, so my favorite gym buddies are my headphones. Still, I cannot deny that having a partner who shares your same interests adds a certain richness to the journey.
Much like developing relationships in other areas of your life the same obstacles present themselves with fitness buddy-ships. For starters, where do you find a gym buddy? Can you pick one up at the gym, bar or Tinder? What happens if your fit lifestyles grow in different directions? Do you both possess the capabilities to support each other? If necessary, how do you make a clean breakup while preserving the friendship? The stress is overwhelming. Oy vey! No, but seriously...it's not that serious.
Where To Meet Gym Buddies
1. At the gym
The most obvious resource is at the gym, and as women, we have the luxury of approaching other women in the gym without seeming creepy. That being said, try turning on your charm on and giving it a shot. I decided to step outside of my introverted comfort zone to find a gym buddy and it worked out great.
There was a woman named Amelia that worked out in the same gym I filmed my YouTube videos in. One day she was doing squats and I noticed how impeccable her form was. I believe in building relationships with people you can learn from, so I decided to make my move. I sauntered over to her and complimented her form, but I got cold feet when it came time to ask if she was on the market for a gym buddy.
One month later, I was working my upperbody and she came over to compliment me on my progress. We chatted for a second, then I got those digits, and from then on our gym buddy-ship was formed.
2. Meetup Groups
If you're not in the market for a gym buddy per se and live in a decently populated area, Meetup groups are another great option. There are groups for runners, yogis, hiking etc. Really, if there's an activity you enjoy there's likely a group for it on meetup.com. Also, since they're usually small to medium sized groups it's relatively low pressure. If the type of group you're looking for isn't available in your area, create one of your own. If you build it, they will come.
3. Ask Yo Friends
You might be thinking "uh, duh Ri. If I had friends on the same page as me I wouldn't be here." Still, though I have to mention it. If you have friends that are maybe dipping their toe into the fitness pond, invite them to workout with you. They may not have your level of enthusiasm or experience but you can still enjoy the socialization and accountability of it. Just remember to be patient with them, and maybe one day the student will become the teacher.
What To Look For In A Fitness Buddy
The main three points you want to consider when vetting potential fitness buddies are compatible schedules, their level of enthusiasm, and level of experience. If you work a 9-5 and they work the late shift, obviously that's not a match made in heaven. Likewise, if they're hardcore serious but you're more casual, they can make you feel overwhelmed.
How To Break Up With Your Gym Buddies
This question actually comes up a lot because once you make this relationship you have no choice but to see them even if it ends up not working out. You might have a gym contract, or and maybe your gym is only open at certain hours. Your goals and enthusiasm can grow apart. Or what if you like the person a lot, just not as a fitness buddy. How do you break up without making things weird or impacting your new friendship?
1. It's Not You, It's Me
Explain that you're wanting to take your routine in a different direction and thus dedicate more sessions to it. Or if you're looking for someone more experienced, tell them you're looking to take your routines to the next level. If they're not interested they'll likely bow out gracefully.
2. I Have A Friend For You
Introduce them to a more compatible fitness buddy if you know someone.
3. You're Kind Of Intense
If they're a bit too hardcore for your tastes, tell them so. They'll probably take it as a compliment. However, under no circumstance should you push yourself too hard too soon. You can end up burning yourself out, or worse injuring yourself.