Why You Need Training Partners (And How To Find Them)
Ultimate Guide On How & Where To Find A Health & Fitness Accountability Partners
Does having a workout/training partner benefit runners, cyclists, swimmer & triathletes? Heck yeah it does!
We took the time to put together this Success Guide on Training & Accountability Partners. With over 50 years of combined training among our team members, we feel certain to say that having any sort of training partner, workout buddy, or diet accountability partner increases your chances for fitness, health & wellness success by a bizgillion!
SwimBikeRun Fun's Comprehensive Guide To Training Partners
Our motto here at SwimBikeRun Fun is simple:
Fitness + Friends = Fun.
Two things that you can do that will immediately and freely improve your health — exercising and spending quality time with friends.
Amazing things happen when you pair up with an accountability partner or exercise buddy to train for an endurance event or meetup regularly for some sweat sessions.
Joining up with a friend for some workouts or even meal planning reverses the doldrums grind at the gym and in some cases saves you from Pinterest inspired meal prep fails.
Finding a workout buddy magically gives you that little extra push to consistently train and stick to your training plan or workout routine.
When you surround yourself with buddies who work out: buddies who like to swim, cycle, run, lift weights, do outdoor boot camps, and enjoy the zen of Yoga — you get injected with inspiration to set more challenging goals & go harder with your workouts.
Don’t believe me? Here is proof:
MIT researchers Sinan Aral and Christos Nicolaides found that exercise is, “socially contagious” — meaning that the more runners you know, the more likely you are to go out for a run. And to add context — this has exploded with the rise of fitness trackers like fitbit, and popular apps mapmyrun or strava.
Still don’t believe us...here is MORE proof from a University of Texas professor right here in Austin, TX, in SBRF's very own backyard.
"Starting exercise is easy — the difficult part is being consistent with it. One of the predictors of success in terms of persistent exercise is the support of other people.” cited Hirofumi Tanaka, PhD, a University of Texas at Austin professor of kinesiology and health education.
7 Health & Wellness Benefits From Getting a Workout Buddy
1. Committed To Your Goals Longer!
According to Dr. Tanaka, greater than 50% of people who start exercising as a part of a New Year’s resolution end up quitting by summer.
But are you really going to skip out on your yoga class if your friend Jenny is saving a mat for you at the studio? Likely not...
Tanaka says that exercise partners provide great motivation to adhere to workout/training goals.
2. Improbable To Get Bored And Quit.
It’s easy to get caught in an exercising rut and lose your zeal. Researchers in Europe propose a couple of following things supporting the concept of having a fitness buddy or workout partner:
Having a friend along in your fitness journey can increase the amount of exercise you do.
Success is nearly guaranteed when you have the emotional support of someone you trust. They will serve as a powerful reinforcement for your fitness goals.
3. Decreased Stress?
When life dishes out a dollop of stressful periods of time — we tend to rely on family and friends to help us get through those rough patches in life. But a training partner may also help alleviate stress in exercise environments.
Ever walk into the gym or see people on the trail working out together and notice they appear more relaxed or appear to be a bit happier or jovial cycling alongside a friend.
So many real life issues get worked out with a friend while on a long endurance training run or sitting in the sauna after some heavy lifting of free weights.
4. You’ll Motivate Yourself to Work Harder!
Don’t worry that your training partner is fitter than you — hope for it! In a Heard this term before: “Iron Sharpens Iron.” That is exactly what occurs when a group performs better together rather than as individuals — we see it all the time in triathlon and run clubs.
5. Increased Weight Loss Success!
Research studies have exemplified that social influence and social support can boost weight loss efforts Yes friends — Yes!
One study in particular, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, made up mostly of female African-American participants, suggested that a successful group effort may help you lose more weight when compared to losing weight by themselves. A 5-7% increase in weight loss was documented by many in the study.
Just more evidence that surrounding yourself with motivated people achieving a goal can help you stick to yours.
Friends, weight watchers support groups 7 Facebook group challenges, and monthly fitness/health goals commitments are highly effective when it comes to weight loss.
6. Decrease In Injuries?
Working out with an exercise partner can motivate you to workout smarter and with controlled progression.
This is especially true for strength training, lifting free weights and knocking out CrossFit WODs. Having a training partner to spot you during bench presses and watch your form during sumo squats makes your workout safer.
Having a cycling or running buddy is a built-in safety radar for road hazards and decreases your chances of getting seriously injured.
7. Live Life Longer & Fitter!
A few years back in 2018, Mayo Clinic Proceedings concluded a study of close to 9,000 people over the course of 25 years. One of the significant findings were individuals who participated in sports like tennis and soccer lived a few years longer than those who participated in solo fitness like body building or walking.
Fitness Partners Benefits : Play tennis. Hitting the court added 9.7 years to the participants’ life spans, compared with only an extra 1.5 years if they slogged it out at the gym on the treadmill.
Looking for an exercise buddy seasoned in life? Seriously hit the courts or pool.
The tennis and pickle ball courts near the University of Texas campus are well attended by retirees and seniors. Truthfully, we’ve been beaten in doubles many times by friends twice our age.
Head to Barton Springs for a cold dip or your local YMCA’s water aerobics class to connect with friends 55+ and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of water.
Big Benefits of Exercise Buddies & Fitness Tribes
Absolutely there are big benefits for gym goers, runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes and hikers in finding exercise buddies & being apart of fitness tribes.
Exercising with a friend, running group or triathlon/cycling club member has long been recommended as a practical way to make sure you do not skip something like your daily walk, weekly swim or long ride.
We know first hand that it’s less likely and almost impossible to say you're skipping your training session when you have someone waiting for you,
Case in point, in our weekly ladies only run/walk meetup out at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, TX. There is always the “one” who encourages us to get out even if the forecasted weather isn't great with a text the day before reminding us to remain steadfast to our fitness goals.
Aside from reliably motivating you to show up to exercise, run. cycle, swim, or hike — partnering up with a buddy increases the amount and intensity of physical activity you do, an overwhelming number of studies have found.
When it comes to endurance workouts or training with virtual partners — Michigan State University claims:
Doing endurance training — think half-marathons, metric centuries, sprint triathlons — with a partner motivated subjects to work harder and longer, compared with those working out alone, thus improving overall fitness results on race day.
The boost even held TRUE when the friend who was motivating someone to hold a plank for 24 percent longer was a virtual partner connected via Instagram
In our online tribe and true also for the Fastchix Tri Club Facebook group- just knowing you have a virtual partner exercising along with you (but in another location) can cause you not to miss a training session and significantly do better on a workout, when compared to going at it solo.
Other studies have shown that people who spend time around fitness-minded pals also tend to be more successful at weight loss. *Boom*
Of course, finding a workout companion can yield benefits far beyond a lower resting heart rate, and slimmer waistline.
Daily exercise partners or teammates who are friends (or who become friends) can provide the kind of regular emotional and social contact that's critical to health, too.
Women flourish with fit buddies, camaraderie and having a training tribe. We see this first hand with our online zwift indoor training sessions. Coast to Coast we have athletes to join up on discord and hop in virtual online cycling worlds to spin away and connect socially while achieving challenging goals on the bike.
“We virtually ride together,” says Pamela, “but with discord we also able to talk about feelings, work, struggles, racing and training strategies, occasional politics, and we're there for each other if it's someone's big race week, or we need to send a care package when life delivers a heavy blog or if a training buddy is sick - all while riding.”
Along with being an online triathlon tribe and overall fitness group, FastChix are a “real support network for women of all abilities and there for each other”, shared Pamela.
Training Partner Bonus Benefits
SwimBikeRun Fun winning at life formula remixed:
Endurance Racing + Training Partners = Epic Fitness Success.
Sweaty training sessions become low-key naturally competitive-when you're with a fit friend, and you find it easier to really push yourself to hit your targets.
Real talk- those 5 am workout sessions are guaranteed to get checked off as done when you have arrangements to meet workout buddies.
The same is true for slacking off during master swim class: Coach Von might call you out for talking long breaks at the wall when you should be doing continuous swimming on a long set — you might hear something like — “get off that wall - there are no walls out at the lake.” Some of us need a friend present to call us out.
You'll meet your goals faster by “quit quitting”, according to our Tribe member Jacequeline. When you're being consistent and pushing yourself harder, your performance will improve faster than when you're only attending the gym sporadically and slacking off on your training plan when you do manage to get out there on the trail for a long run or ride.
Every time one of us is in a rut, hits a fitness or weight loss plateau — a fit friend will have suggestions for switching up your routine that you wouldn't think of alone, and that will keep things interesting and challenging for your muscles and your mind.
6 Ways to Find a Workout Buddy
There are really an infinite amount of options when you combine in the real life physical connections and online virtual partners or groups.
1. Join An Online Or Local Club
There are tons of running, swimming, cycling, triathlon, hiking, kayaking, jump rope, power walking, karate, TAI chi and even roller blade skate clubs out there for you to explore. Some of them even have special classes, clinics, and social events and dedicated Facebook Groups. Great way to meet an in-person or virtual workout buddy that shares the same interest as you off the bat.
Still, very relevant in some areas. You can find anything from a local hiking group filled with workout buddies to meet-ups for exercising with your pets and goat yoga.
3. Groupon Deals
What to find new fitness-related classes for cheap — or try before you buy? Groupon makes it easier than ever to sign up for anything from yoga classes to rock-climbing lessons. The bond and connection you may form with the Sister next to you swinging wildly in the Aerial Dance class on sheer ropes — may birth you the new workout buddy you've been searching for!
Talk to a personal trainer or group fitness instructor at your gym to see if he or she knows of anyone who is interested in finding a workout partner.
5. Friends & Family
Training for a 10K, sprint triathlon or working out is actually a great way to spend time with family & friends you rarely see or have fallen off the wagon.
Some of us make it our business to connect with family/friends by doing a monthly or weekly spin class together to stay fit, stay connected and sometimes even grab a bite afterward for some sisterhood talk therapy.
Fitbit and Garmin watches have made fitness fun and competitive amongst co-workers with step and stair climbing challenges.
You might see a coworker on the board who seems like she's just as interested in vegetarian meals & meal prep just like you are.
Talk to her about it! Surefire easy way to connect with someone at work for healthy living tips, and perhaps even connect outside of work to exercise together as workout buddies.
Lose Weight Faster by Getting a Food Buddy
When it comes to weight loss, we often focus on diet and exercise and forget about the value of social support. It's like the secret sauce.
Experts report and as told by personal experiences of some on the SwimBikeRun Fun team — teaming up with others helps you enjoy the process and lose weight faster.
Having a food buddy can help you shed excess pounds, discover a new healthier way of eating and boost your overall internal health.
4 Benefits of Having a Virtual Food Buddy
1. Share Moral Support.
A weight loss virtual diet buddy gives you extra confidence knowing that you’re not alone. Virtual Food Buddies provide each other with companionship, encouragement, and empathy. — You got this girl!
2. Learn New Recipes/Skills.
You may need a little help to learn to eat a new way, say, for example, the vegan, or keto diets. A weight loss food accountability partner may enjoy sharing & discovering new ingredients and techniques that add variety to your diet for longer term success.
3. Overcome Personal Pitfalls.
Asking your partner for help with emotional eating or sticking to your diet while traveling is a major benefit of having a virtual food buddy to support you through your weight loss journey.
Dionne, one of our online tribe members, has a thing for Nothing Bundt mini-cakes. Whenever she is feeling stressed or finds herself conveniently taking the route home that passes the drive-thru — she jumps on the phone with her accountability partner or drops an intervention post in the Facebook group for support.
4. Increase Your Chances Of Weight Loss Success.
Most of all, collaborating with a food buddy, virtual or in-person, boosts the odds that you'll shed excess pounds, and keep them off. You’ll both emerge as winners with your new adopted way of eating and improved gains realized in your training sets.
How to Choose a Food Buddy/Diet Partner in 5 Steps
1. Make New Connections. You may need to look beyond your family and friends if they're snacking/eating things detrimental to your goals or new ways of eating. So seeking a different partner on your same path may be more effective in choosing a great food accountability partner. 2. Know Where To Search. Believe it or not - online groups, pinterest and Instagram are perfect for making new fitness/diet connections
On the other hand, recommendations from people in your local club or gym are also a great place to start if you want one close to home. Ask if they know anyone who is trying to lose weight or recently adopted a new diet such as paleo or intermittent fasting.
3. Picture Your Ideal Match. If you choose someone physically similar to you, you are more likely to both lose weight at a similar pace. Lifestyle is also a factor. If you're both menopausal or have diabetes, you'll have more in common.
4. Identify Essential Traits. Personality also counts a great deal for this connection to be successful. Pick someone who shares your sense of humor or knows how to be tactful about telling you that you've eaten enough oreos or need to retire a piece of ill fitting clothing.
5. Set Expectations. State your goals in a written format - think post, pic quote, declarative text to make it official.
5 Ways to Work With a Diet Buddy
1. Communication Style. Agree on the best way to stay in touch and frequency of updates/check ins. Technology has made it easy for virtual food buddies to meet face to face via video calls and have instant connections via texts.
2. Confirm Your Availability. Thinking realistically, estimate how much time you can dedicate to the partnership and the best “hours” of availability. The hours when you're reachable are so important. Let your accountability partner know if you're a morning person, work weird hours, or take frequent work trips.
3. Listen Carefully & Share Personal Information. Knowledge helps you support each other. Talk about how you gained weight after being bed-ridden by a back surgery, and whether you love to cook or eat out. Be generous with your attention- give as much as you receive.
4. Set Short & Long Term Goals. Small goals will boost your motivation while you work towards your ultimate weight loss target. When you meet with your food buddy and talk about what you want to accomplish each week or month.
5. Contingency Plan. Luck may have it that your food buddy may turn into a life-long friend if they are someone you recently met. However, even if your dieting partner is a relative or neighbor - you may have to decide to part ways due to conflict or dissolve the relationship when all goals are met.
With these steps it's pretty easy to find a compatible food buddy or diet accountability partner and get started on your healthier eating or weight loss journey.
Soon enough you will realize it’s easier to stick to your diet & achieve your goals when you connect with a partner who is going through the same weight struggles as you. The excitement & satisfaction of reaching your health & weight loss goals while helping someone else reach theirs as will give you the warm & fuzzies.
How to Stay Motivated With Training & Diet Accountability Partners
In a funk? Tired of going at it alone? Bored of doing the same things with very little success?
A workout or training partner may be just what you need to stay motivated, have fun, and reach your goals.
Having a health & fitness buddy can make it easier to stick to your routine and achieve your health & fit goals.
Below are some points to consider for selecting the right training partner or workout buddy so you can work together effectively.
4 Tips For Selecting Your Training Partner:
1. Find A Partner Among Your Family And Friends. Your spouse, sister, cousin, neighbor -- look no further than your own family and friends to find a partner. The advantages are that you're already familiar with each other & comfortable with each other's company - taking the unfamiliar weirdness of new “buddies” out of play.
2. Search For A Partner With Compatible Goals. Teammates of ours suggest that you seek out a partner with similar pace & goals. If losing a significant amount of weight is a goal of yours, you might like sharing the challenge with someone in a similar position. If you're very competitive, you may feel more compatible with someone who shares your intensity and into the same athletic activities as you.
3. Search For A Partner Online. There's nothing wrong with finding your ideal partner online or in your social media groups. Sometimes a simple share/ask for a person interested in training for a half marathon or cycling to raise money for cancer will yield immediate interested fit buddies If you decide to be more than virtual partners, be sure you do a few things to protect your own safety. Meet potential new partners on popular public trails to run or cycle together and safeguard any confidential information. 4. Choose A Partner Who Lives Close By. This should be a no-brainer. When you have big epic goals or training for an endurance event spanning a few months - It's simpler and very rewarding to stick to a regular routine if you don't have far to travel. Be truthful about how much time and expense you're willing to devote to commuting, location of potential training facilities and pick a buddy within that range.
7 Rules For Working Out With Your Fitness Buddy
1. Agree To A Regular Schedule. Connect with your exercise buddy to arrange a schedule that you both can commit to. Our Tribe mentors suggest you start out gradually and add on more sessions together when conducive. Have a standing date, time, location and activity for your agreed upon activity. Example: Every Monday at 6pm 3 mile run on Lady Bird Hike & Bike Trail. 2. Take Turns Coordinating Your Activities. Friends with benefits at it’s finest. Working out with another person that you can share the responsibility for planning your exercise sessions is smart. Take turns proposing new activities, visiting different parks, and checking out yoga studios nearby.
3. Encourage And Reward Each Other. Praise, gifts, and fist bumps are three of the best ways to support each other to stay on track. Members of our FastChix tribe say it makes them feel good and go hard when they are publicly praised by their training buddy or accountability partner for your efforts and accomplishments! You could even surprise your friend with small treats like going out for a smoothie or shipping her a cool new piece of training gear.
4. Monitor Your Progress. It's easier to get into a rut if no one else knows about it. Share your targets with your training buddy and keep your goals in mind while you track your progress using an online fitness journal. When you log your runs, swims, and bike mileage using an app - it will show how quickly your speed and distances improve. 5. Keep Alert When Exercising Outdoors After Dark. Many women are safer having someone along when they run or ride outside when it's dark. Stay vigilant about your surroundings at all times so you can watch each other’s back. Lastly it should go without saying - limit the use of headphones and wear bright clothing when out on the trails when it’s dark. 6. Engage In Other Activities Together. You might want to get together with your fitness partner for other activities. Engaging in other fitness activities keeps your relationship fresh. Cross training and switching up activities also help protect you both from getting bored with the same old routines and staving off injuries. 7. Have a Contingency Plan For When Your Buddy Is Unavailable. No matter how committed you are or organized with all your calendar dates, family obligations and injuries will sometimes intervene. Sometimes the desire to ride 25 miles outside does not have the same appeal when it’s time to roll solo. You can stick to your training plan if you have a contingency plan for those times when you're on your own. Try out an online cycling video by yourself or visit a favorite popular trail near your home to get your cycling session knocked out.
A training buddy is a powerful strategy for keeping you motivated, making your workouts fun and productive. You'll both get to enjoy some awesome results.
Ultimate Guide On How To Find A
Health & Fitness Accountability Partner Wrap-Up
Hope you found our “Fitness Accountability Partner Guide” resourceful in figuring out when and how to find a training workout partner, someone to be a diet buddy and how you can be an awesome accountability fitness partner.
So if you are considering getting a workout partner, health buddy or diet accountability partner or already have one, make sure you follow these guidelines to make sure you’re getting the most out of your training sessions and your partner.
The right workout partner can be a great way to help you get started in endurance racing or take your workouts to the next level.
Ultimately what matters is whether you’re compatible, can link up on a regular basis and continue to make progress towards your health & fitness goals.
Now that social media and phone apps are making it easier than ever to link up with like-minded sporty types for a bit of swimming, biking, running, hiking, hip-hop dancing, and even exploring different types of yoga - now is the perfect time to find the right fit pal with matching skills and mindset.