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So you have this friend, and you go to the gym together, or to that class together, or for a walk together. You set your goals, Google says you would do better with someone to exercise with you, but it’s not quite panning out the way you thought it would.

What could be the problem? How can you fix it?

The friend with the excuses

The idea of an exercise buddy is that you are forced to be accountable, you will disappoint them if you don’t turn up or cancel, and so you are almost forced to be regular and consistent with your exercise program.

What happens if you are on the receiving end of this? You are the one being cancelled on, there is always some reason, some excuse, and you are working out alone or finding that if they cancel you don’t really feel like going either?

In this case there are a few options- find another workout buddy that is more reliable, find an extra workout buddy (so if one cancels it doesn’t matter), or make your workouts a group situation- like a yoga class at your gym so there are lots of people to be around.

If none of these work, you might need to get comfortable with setting your own schedule and sticking to it no matter what anyone else does or doesn’t do.

The fit friend

You wanted to get fit, and who better to show you how than that friend who is already fit! Except that you find you can’t keep up, you start to feel self conscious about your body when theirs is so toned and perfect, and you start to feel like you are getting in the way of them having a good workout themselves.

The solution? You can structure your workouts to involve self paced circuits- e.g. having a time target where you do as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds or a minute, then moving on to the next exercise. You might only do ten reps, and they might do 40, but you are both getting what you want out of the session at working at the pace right for you.

Next- stop comparing yourself, and start paying attention to them. There are probably habits, attitudes, and routines that they have in their everyday lives that can account for their physical state. Let go of your self consciousness, and instead get curious about how they operate. You might just learn some tips you can apply yourself!

The pessimist friend

They turn up on time, they have a similar fitness level to you, but they have such a negative attitude that it can’t help but rub off on you, leaving you feeling a little low, a little less optimistic about meeting your goals, and a little less motivated to be proactive for the rest of the day.

The solution? Well, if you wanted to take a very adult approach you could politely steer the conversation back to positives, and explain that you would like to take an optimistic approach if things start to slip back.

If you want to be less mature, try exercising to music- loud music, that makes it hard to converse. It’s difficult to feel or vocalise being miserable when “Roar” by Katy Perry is blasting in your ears. Alternatively, you could agree to a chat free workout, or up the intensity.

Just FYI-  it’s pretty hard to complain about your mother in law if you are huffing and puffing and trying not to pass out.

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