Half the battle of getting into shape is finding the motivation to establish new habits like eating healthier and working out regularly at the fitness center. Many people have found that the best way to get that extra push of motivation is a workout partner: someone who is there to sweat, cry, laugh, and groan about DOMS with you, while encouraging you along the way.


Gym partners can be a great benefit to helping you reach your fitness goals, but they can also be a hindrance. How do you know if your gym partner is helping or hurting you? Check out these 3 areas to see how your workout buddy measures up.


What’s their attitude most of the time, and how does it affect you?


When it comes to motivation, attitude is important. Staying positive despite missed goals, bad workouts, or feeling less than energetic makes a big difference in whether you’re able to stick with it for the long haul or end up abandoning your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.


You might have a positive attitude, but does your workout partner? The attitude of those you spend the most time with tends to rub off. If your workout buddy is constantly putting themselves down, always in a bad mood, or has more complaints than positive comments, it can affect your attitude, motivation, and performance.


Recognizing your gym partner has a negative attitude doesn’t necessarily mean you need to “break up” with them. Bring up your observations in a non-confrontational way and maybe it will make a difference – it’s very possible they don’t even realize how negative they’re being. But, if they’re not willing to change, it’s time to find a more positive influence.


Are they consistent and reliable?


Are you the one who always makes the wakeup call, stands outside the gym waiting for your 20-minutes-late partner, or gets “stood up” with lame excuses? If so, your gym partner might not have the reliability and consistency you need to help motivate you. If you’re constantly re-arranging your schedule or waiting around for them to show up, it can affect the quality and quantity of your workouts.


Getting in shape takes consistency, so a lack of this quality draws into question whether a workout partner wants to get fit as badly as they say they do. A workout partner should be someone who’s willing to shows up and do the work with you. If they can’t, it’s time to find someone else who will.


Are their goals and overall fitness level compatible with yours?


One of the great things about finding a workout partner is that you don’t always need to be at the same fitness level to be mutually encouraging and motivating to one another. Working out alongside someone doing a different workout, at a different speed or intensity, shouldn’t hinder you from achieving your own goals. However, compatibility is still something to consider.


If someone’s fitness level and goals are vastly different from yours, it may be difficult to receive the maximum benefit of spurring one another on and having someone who understands where you’re at. For instance, someone who can do your workout without breaking a sweat might not feel as supportive and encouraging as someone who is sweating right along with you!

In the reverse scenario, someone who is struggling to keep with you may hinder you from pushing as hard as you could.


If your current gym partner’s lack of compatibility is affecting your ability to reach your fitness goals, let them down easy. After all, it’s not a failing on their part. Do what you need to do for yourself, and keep an eye out for someone else you can add to your pool of workout partners who’s more in-step with you.