No one loves fitness like you do, which is exactly why your friend has asked you to be their gym buddy. You’re flattered that, on their journey to make and meet new health goals, they want you along for the ride.
Maybe you’re excited to take on a personal trainer role and whip them into shape, or maybe you’re looking forward to a few low-key workouts instead of your usual intensity. But don’t get carried away. After all, this is meant to be an equal partnership.
So before you hit your first run together, make sure you’re not doing these five things as a fitness buddy.
Don’t Leave Them Behind
During your first workout together, you might be surprised at how much difference there is between their athleticism and yours. It’s easy to slip into the zone and get ahead of your friend or wander over to someone else while they finish their reps, but what you perceive as waiting and passing the time they will see very differently.
They may take it as a challenge and try to do too much too soon, or they may feel like you’re not here to help them on this journey. So instead of causing your friend to doubt their choice of gym buddy and their athletic goals, stick around. It may take some time, but soon they’ll be at your level and they’ll be happy to have got there with you.
Don’t Insult or Make Fun of Them
Having a friend to depend on when it’s time to get a workout in can be a great motivator, but no one will want to workout with you if you’re negative and unkind. You may have a goofy, sarcastic relationship outside the gym, but it can’t follow you into the gym.
Your friend doesn’t need someone laughing at their form or insulting their abilities; they need someone who can encourage and support them. You’ll want to push them to improve, but do it in a loving way. Help them recognize the improvements they’ve made during each session as well.
Don’t Push Them Too Hard
If you’re all set to help your friend get the most out of their workouts and push them to their limits, take a step back. As a gym buddy, you’re definitely there to help them stay motivated and get results, but pushing too hard could result in their giving up mentally or getting injured.
So let’s skip the emergent visit to a rfp.healthcare professional, and tone down your motivational plan–at least until they’re ready for more.
Change the Workout
This one is pretty simple. If you’ve decided that Tuesdays are treadmill days, don’t surprise your friend by saying you want to jump into a CrossFit class instead.
There is room to make adjustments to your workout plan, but you need to do it as a partnership. No one wants to show up without the right shoes or equipment, so work out any changes to your workout routine before your next session to avoid any confusion. If you want to change when you’re meeting or what you’re doing, bring it up ahead of time so your friend isn’t caught off guard.
As in most other aspects of life, canceling without a valid reason is not a classy way to go. Your friend may forgive you the first time, but if it happens again, they’ll probably find someone else who is more accountable to be their gym buddy.
Be sure to communicate ahead of time, and if you’re starting to think these sessions aren’t working for you, be honest and help them find another gym buddy.