Recent research into the results gained by those who train with ‘gym buddies’, including ‘virtual partners’, show a big improvement over going solo when you train.
There have been a number of research papers focusing on the results gained by gym-goers who workout alone versus those who workout in groups or with a partner.
One such paper showed that 59% of us head to the gym on our own and exercise without a partner or group. But what if we told you that the results of working alongside peers were so much better than being on your own? Would you change your routine and buddy up with a friend?
Various research papers show significant improvements in results when people work together. By partnering with someone of slightly higher ability than you, research has shown that you can, in fact, double your effort. Yes – double!
In fact, some studies have gone further and proposed that virtual partners could produce similar results.
At Michigan State University a study tested women with a cycling exercise. Those who trained with a virtual partner that was programmed to be slightly better than their current ability increased their effort by up to 100%.
Headed up by Brandon Irwin, he goes on to say “Being able to more than double one’s performance is a substantial gain for those trying to increase their physical activity. These results are encouraging and suggest the gains we observed over six hour-long sessions could be sustained on a longer-term program of exercise.”
The virtual partners were also more motivated to exercise. Those who had to work alone saw a marked decline in their motivation, whereas the virtually partnered participants saw no such decline.
Whether you buddy up with a friend or join a team, or try the ‘virtual partner’ route through motivation ‘fitness music programmes’ or apps (here are some great choices for Android and iOS), the results seem to suggest your results will be better than if you work alone. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below…