As a personal trainer I train clients both one-on-one and in small groups. I am always fascinated by the dynamic in my small groups. Nine times out of ten they will push themselves harder than my solo clients do. There’s a camaraderie and friendly competition that just seems to take their workout to a different level. Working out with a partner can be the catalyst that catapults your workouts from mundane to interesting and interactive.
When I look back at my own fitness journey, I never would have tried my first BODYPUMP class had a friend not encouraged me to take it with her. I was terrified of group exercise and always felt self-conscious and uncoordinated. I ended up getting hooked on BODYPUMP, certified to teach and later traded in my corporate marketing career for life as a personal trainer, yoga teacher and writer.
These days, I commonly schedule running and gym dates with friends. It’s a great opportunity to catch up and I almost always end up running a few more miles or getting in a few more reps than I would have done on my own. In addition to recruiting a friend to work out with me, I also make sure to properly fuel myself for the challenge I’m taking on. I often turn to vitaminwater zero to help keep me hydrated because it’s packed with vitamins and has zero calories.
I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite ideas for sweating with a partner along with the perfect vitaminwater zero to accompany it!
1. Set up a small group session with a personal trainer
Interested in personal training but find it to be a little cost-prohibitive? Grab a friend or two to share the sessions with you and create a small group. You’ll not only cut down the cost but you’ll most likely get more out of it too!
2. Register for a race and train together
Have you had your eye set on finally running that half marathon? Or maybe you want to do a triathlon but swimming makes you feel a little like a fish out of water? Make the commitment with a friend and you’re much more likely to complete your training and find yourself at the starting line on race day.
3. Create a “tour of classes” challenge
Sit down with a friend and make a list of all of the gyms, classes and studios you’ve wanted to check out but have either been too intimidated to do so on your own or haven’t made the time for. Make a promise to check one off your list every week together. Make the list creative and wide-ranging. Don’t just stick with what you’re comfortable with. It seems like a new workout concept is popping up every day, so get out of your comfort zone. Who knows? You might find your new favorite workout in the process.
5. Hit the trails
Switch up your surroundings and research hikes or trail runs within driving distance of your city. You’ll feel more comfortable having a friend by your side on the trails while you change your scenery and get a breath of fresh air.
6. Try stand-up paddle boarding
I discovered stand-up paddle boarding a couple of years ago and it’s now my favorite way to workout on the water. Whether I’m doing yoga on my board or just out for a long paddle, it’s a totally different upper body and balance challenge.
7. Join an adult club sports league together
Sometimes, we forget that just because we aren’t in school anymore doesn’t mean we can’t participate in team sports. There are so many options for adults, from flag football to soccer to kickball. I joined an adult kickball team one year and got a lot of running (and laughing) in during the games and also met a ton of new people through the league.
8. Run some stairs
Did you know that stair climbing races are now a thing? I have a friend who travels around the country participating in climbing races to the top of well-known skyscrapers. Seek out some places locally where you can hit the stairs. While your goal may not be to race to the top of the Willis Tower, one thing is for sure — stair climbing is no joke!
What are you waiting for? Find a workout partner and push your workouts to new places!