Partner Focused Workouts

Relational effectiveness from square one.


By Erica Green


I think we all would agree working out alone is good and can be productive. But, our overall fitness might improve, and we would reach our fitness goals quicker if we had the right workout buddy during crucial times. On the other hand, once we find a fitness buddy, time and productivity may be lost in the initial phases because we're not quite sure how to utilize them efficiently. This article will discuss three kinds of partners: artificial intelligence (AI), platonic assists, and intimate partners. How do we get past the initial relational awkwardness to fitness success?

First things first. We have decided to have a partner, but what do we really need them to do for us? Should they help with things we have difficulty doing ourselves or things we don't wish to do? Do we need to increase our fitness knowledge (i.e. the best workouts to achieve specific goals)? Do we need someone to count repetitions for us, or keep track of our overall fitness plan? Do we need a companion to chat with between sets? Do we need motivation? How much are we willing to spend? Everything else falls into place when we can understand our central need(s).

AI Buddy

There are many apps and other forms of wearable technology that can assist our workouts these days. They are all aids that give us an edge in our routines. The idea of A.I. assists in workouts is not that new. Tae Bo workout tapes, iPods, and the Wii of today are all artificial methods of motivation to keep up on track with our goals.

It was not until recently that devices can assist us 24 hours a day without the questionably fashionable brainet hat or a body full of biotrode spots -all rather inexpensive. The bulky biofeedback machines have been replaced by lightweight devices that can fit in our pocket or on our wrist.

Many smartphones and other wearables can generate basic data for you, such as number of steps, mileage in a day, timers, alarms, and so on. If you seek more from your devices, a little research may need to be done. Apps like Argus offer additional social support. It has a unique feature to potentially meet friends and join virtual fitness groups around the globe for support, encouragement or competition. Other Azumio apps like Fitness Buddy and Instant Heart Rate offer instructional guides on form and other training needs.

Plutonic partners & trainers

With this type of assist, we are working with a live person. Depending on the partner, they can offer a wide range of knowledge, expertise, and insight. However, the key aspect is the relationship. The partner can be an olympic coach, but can be fruitless until we feel comfortable with the individual. A random friend may produce better results in your routine. In either case, some relational aspects to consider are feelings of self-consciousness surrounding body image, personal space, and bodily functions.

The right partner helps create a supportive environment where personal space may diminish, touching may occur, and bodily functions are accepted within workouts (i.e. sweat). To get the most out of these workout relationships and to reduce awkward situations, just talk about it upfront.

For example, just say something like, "Hey, just to want to warn you. I sweat like rainstorm after spinning. Let me know if it bothers you."

Intimate partner

The pro and con of workouts with an intimate partner is that you know them well. Ideally, the workouts would serve a dual purpose, for fitness and to strengthen the relationship. The benefits of this type of partner is greater consistency, availability, and cheaper than a trainer.

However, this type of dynamic can take a turn for the worst when the partners are not at the same fitness level and things get too competitive. The focus turns from supporting each other to more of a one-up type of relationship. Assists in warm-ups, cool-down stretching-type activities, or collaborative workouts may remove some of the competitive stress with intimate relationships.


With the technology today, finding workout assistance is easier than ever. However, for best results, a little reflection is needed to determine the type of help that is being sought and the type resources we have available to us. This initial step can be crucial in the success of our subsequent workout partner relationships.

Be tenacious, everyday!

Erica is a psychotherapist and humanitarian aid coordinator who has a background in health psychology, global health, and addictions. She has over 16 years of counseling, teaching, and coaching experience. Erica has several masters degrees, is a licensed counselor, and has an addiction certification. She has worked with all ages in the US and abroad. Follow Erica on Twitter. Se habla espaƱol.

Main Photo Credit: baranq/; Second Photo Credit: Bojan Milinkov/; Third Photo Credit: Guryanov Andrey/; Fourth Photo Credit: kudla/