Should You Work Out with a Buddy?

Does one person have more of a drive than the other? Sure, it can be great to have someone who is more dedicated at first, as an accountability buddy. But you want the same level of respect for the work. If you’re both there to have fun and goof around, OK. If one person is really anxious, the other might pick up on that energy.

women comparing yoga mats
Photo by Elly Fairytale on

Fill out this buddy checklist to see if you’re on the same page:

  1. How much of the session is spent chatting/goofing around versus working out?

  2. Will you both be on time and able to commit to a schedule or will you need to frequently adjust last minute?

  3. What happens when someone has to cancel?

    • Here, I like the little-used bet “no show pays…unless they make up the workout on their own.” Careful though, once someone gets in the hole too far it’s just another excuse to give up.

  4. Do you have similar goals?

    • Do you understand the differences between working to increase general fitness?

  5. Do you have the patience to work with other people?

    • If someone is going at a slower pace, are you going to get all huffy? Will you get frustrated if someone is doing a “more cool” move than you?

  6. Are you at similar pain levels?

    • Honestly, it’s almost more fun working with a newbie and someone who is more fit. But if there’s pain involved, that takes a lot of attention at first. The group might want the newbies to have a few private sessions or more of an intro class at first. 

  7. Are you going to be comfortable sweating, struggling, and sometimes failing in a group, as well as succeeding?

If any of these questions made you re-think your buddy system plan, let me make some recommendations:

Get a gym membership and sign up with a buddy. Don’t rely on them to teach you anything to feel comfortable. Pick a place where you think you can use with only mild discomfort. Maybe the staff is nice and shows you things (NOT THE SALES PEOPLE). Maybe it is clean. Whatever gets you in the door without overwhelming anxiety. Lots of places have semi-private or community-owned gyms. Maybe you start with a yoga studio and ask for a recommendation about a weight place later. But start moving comfortably in a space. Yes, even your home. Invite friends to try a workout routine (Zoom anyone?), but don’t be bothered if no one shows up. Same thing with attending a class or trying the free weights. Learn how to do some basics (from a professional or good class atmosphere) and try them on your own. No one is paying attention to you. If it’s weird attention, they can suck it. DO NOT RELY ON OTHER PEOPLE TO TAKE YOUR GOALS AS SERIOUSLY AS YOU.

Progress is progress. Let me know how it’s going!

Hugs and High Fives,




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