Finding a good exercise partner that has all of the below quality traits is difficult. Though if you have found one, hold on to that person like a life raft in a storm. They will be so important in keeping you afloat in the storms of exercise adversity. Follow the tips below on finding a good exercise partner and you will be well on your way to making dramatic gains in your fitness goals.
7 Quality Traits of a Good Exercise Partner
Trait 1: Internal Motivation
You need to rely on your exercise partner at times just like they will need to rely on you. Find someone that is internally motivated. Internal motivation means that they have the fire within themselves to want to succeed. Ask your potential exercise partner why they exercise as a starting question. If their answer goes something like, “Because my doctor told me I need to lose weight” or “Because my husband thinks I look fat,” than they probably don’t have internal motivation. If they answer something like, “Because I am making a lifestyle change and am ready to do something for me,” than this could be a great indicator of internal motivation.
Trait 2: Goal Setter
Your potential exercise partner should have some goals written down. They should know what they want and how to get them. They don’t need to have everything figured out but they should have a basic plan in place. If they are wishy-washy in what they want, this indecisiveness will eventually rub off on you.
Trait 3: Encouraging
You want your exercise partner to be encouraging and uplifting. He should be able to lift you up when you feel down and give you positive affirmation. When I went to Western Michigan University I had a workout buddy that was so uplifting that I couldn’t wait to exercise with him. He always had a smile on his face and made you feel good to be around him. This is what you are looking for in a good exercise partner.
Trait 4: Healthy Habits
There is an expression that we are the product of the 5 people we keep closest to us. If your exercise partner has unhealthy habits they can very quickly rub off on you. Your workout buddy should not be a smoker or drinker. They should have the desire to incorporate habits that improve their quality of life, like good nutritional practices.
Trait 5: Not Being a Show-off
Your exercise partner should not be a show-off. At different times in your exercise lifestyle, either person may be making strides more quickly than the other. Say for example you are running. You have a knee that hasn’t been feeling the greatest but your workout buddy is in top shape. If he tries to show off and tell you how you’re being a baby and then runs on ahead, you may feel the need to catch up. This could quickly lead to an injury. If your exercise partner has a tendency to make you feel like this, drop him like a bad habit.
Trait 6: Open Minded
There is nothing worse than when you find a new exercise you really like and suggest it to your exercise partner and he is totally closed off to it. He should have an open mind to trying new things and cross training. This will help both of you stay out of an exercise plateau.
Trait 7: Relational
The key to having a good exercise partner is team work. You need to be able to rely on each other and enjoy each other’s company. If your workout buddy is a lone wolf, than you will not be able to rely on him in times of need. Drop him fast and find a new one.
Resources on Finding a Good Exercise Partner:
Database of exercise partners