It’s 6am and your trainer is demanding ten more reps. You look across at your buddy, no words are needed, “my legs are screaming!” Their silent reply, “I know, mine too. Come on we can do it!”… And you do, both of you.
You are proud and elated, you achieved your goal – and you also shared in each other’s moment. Of course you would still have patted yourself on the back, but if they weren’t there maybe it would feel like standing on a medal podium in an empty stadium?
Whilst motivating forces vary, most people will exercise more frequently, longer term, put in more effort and enjoy the session more if there is a social factor. Some sports require hours of solitary training like long distance running or ocean swimming and it takes a certain personality to handle this.
For the ‘keep fit for life’ and ‘events for fun’ crew, which is most of Bondi Beauty’s followers, we like to belong. If other participants know our name, are pleased when we show up and they notice when we miss a session… It’s nice. We feel more committed to go, to see them and not let them down. We are part of an unspoken team and we certainly don’t want to be known as a piker.
If other participants know our name, are pleased when we show up and they notice when we miss a session… It’s nice. We feel more committed to go, to see them and not let them down. We are part of an unspoken team and we certainly don’t want to be known as a piker.
It doesn’t matter if we are a fitness newby, acting on a new year’s resolution, or die hard exerciser. If we have committed to something, it is easier to be around people with the same or similar values.
It strengthens our resolve, provides support and maybe even a little bit of friendly competition. We are less likely to be distracted or tempted from our chosen path and have more reason to find our way back if we do slip off track.
Working out with friends – or becoming friendly with the people you work out with, also creates a ‘safe’ place for exercise. We are far less likely to miss a session because we feel a bit tired, fat, sad, stressed or something upsetting is happening in our life.
We may not even talk to our workout buddies about what is going on. Just being in a place where we feel a sense of camaraderie can do us the world of good – and then the endorphins kick in too.
Some people don’t like exercise per se and only do it for their health, like taking a multi vitamin. Enjoying the company of the people they train with or the atmosphere of the session, can anchor a positive feeling that will overrule their dislike of exercise and keep them coming back.
With many people admitting they joined a gym, activity or sports team firstly to meet new people, make new friends and even find a life partner, and secondly to get fitter, it is impossible to ignore the power of social training.
Here are five other reasons why working out with friends may work you harder when working out:
Story written bu Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub.
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