Does a Great Workout Partner Make a Perfect Partner?

Getting sweaty is always more fun when you do it together!
icon 4 min
Ein Paar bereitet sich auf das Training vor ©PeopleImages

Teaming up with the right workout partner makes your sweat session twice as fun. But if the chemistry doesn’t work out, the time can drag even worse. How can you tell who’ll be right for you? These 7 criteria for the perfect workout partner will help you find the best gym buddy for you. And if you’re looking for a gorgeous, protein-packed delight after a hard workout? Try our Protein Balls. They’re delicious – and perfect for sharing!

Whether it’s a partner, bestie, or a fitness-focused friend, your workout partner is a key person in your life. Pairing off with the right person turns your workout into a social occasion: you can motivate and support each other, achieve goals and celebrate gains, and help each other through the tougher stuff, too.

But finding the right workout partner isn’t that easy. Is your partner passionate about lifting weights, but your heart beats for a great run? Even if you’re the dream team in life, it might make sense to keep your joint workouts to stretching sessions or a hiking vacation. It’s not only similar athletic preferences that make the perfect workout partner, it’s also mindset.

Before you read on, remember: the qualities that make the perfect workout buddy apply not only to the other person, but to you as well. The most important thing to find the right workout buddy is to be someone others want to work out with.

#1 Dream Workout Partners Have Similar Goals

In addition to being into the same kind of exercise, it helps if your workout partner and you have the same, or at least related, goals. Sprinters train differently than marathon runners, and maximum strength training requires a different approach than strength endurance workouts.

Only with a similar goal can you two approach your workouts with the same methodology and a comparable or, maybe, even identical plan. This way, your partner’s training sessions and schedules make sense for you and vice versa.

Also worth reading: The best way to achieve your goals is with a workout plan. Find out how to create one here.

#2 The Perfect Workout Partner Is Dependable

You can rely on them. Your ideal workout partner shows up on time. Even if they had a late night yesterday, the weather’s lending itself more to the couch than a run in the rain or gym session, or the motivation meter’s barely budging from zero – they’ll show up for you because they don’t want to leave you hanging.

#3 Your Ideal Workout Partner Has a Similar Mindset

The exact mindset you have is secondary. What you want to look out for is that you both want the same thing from your workout. Looking for a buddy who will do the basics? Hit your minimum reps, sets, distances, or sessions, and feel great about it? Don’t be embarrassed –  find a partner who’s after the same thing! Someone who wants to push their limits would probably be demotivated by that attitude. The same’s true the other way around: If you’re always asking to go the extra mile while your workout partner is already putting half their energy into dreaming about their post-workout drink, that’s no fun either.

A white man and a woman of color meditate in a living room as they have found the perfect workout partner

#4 The Perfect Workout Partner Is at the Same Level

Ideally, your workout partner will have a similar fitness level. This is especially true for endurance sports, to make sure both of you get a good workout from your time.

Being at similar levels is also helpful for strength training. Someone who has pushed their limits on the bench press knows exactly what’s involved in spotting and will know from experience how it looks when they need to jump in and help.

The longer you exercise together with your workout partner, the better you get to know each other. Having similar experiences will help each of you notice when the other is hitting a wall (physical or mental!) and know how to support each other through it.

It also means you’ll be able to talk shop about exercise plans, give each other feedback on how to make your reps or moves cleaner, and feel comfortable sharing that a sweat session wasn’t as successful as you’d hoped.

#5 The Perfect Workout Partner Can Speed You Up – and Slow You Down

Motivation works differently for each of us. While one person thrives on positive reinforcement, someone else only shoots for the stars when they’re challenged. The right workout partner knows you and knows what form of motivation will help you push your limits – and vice versa.

At least as important: The perfect workout partner also sees when enough is enough, and you can trust them enough to let them slow you down.

#6 The Perfect Workout Partner is Honest

Sure, it’s comfortable when someone tells you what you want to hear. Each of us likes to hear that their form looks great, they’re making real strides, and that we deserve that rest day.

But whatever the reason, a good workout partner will be honest with you and tell you if your squat form still leaves something to be desired even after months of practice, if you might want to make some adjustments to your nutrition plan, or if your goals are just too ambitious judging by your workout schedule.

#7 The Perfect Workout Partner Isn’t Perfect

Last but not least: The perfect training partner is not perfect. Neither are you or anyone else. Everyone gets off-topic, gives a wrong assessment, really doesn’t feel like exercising, gets in some weird mood, or gets frustrated and takes it out on you. It happens. You don’t hold that against a real gym buddy. Instead, you know it can happen to you, too, and you support them unconditionally, in sports and in life – because you are partners.

More healthy living facts from foodspring

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.