A workout buddy is great as a motivator to actually getting to the gym (or wherever else), but Wired suggests that if you find someone stronger than you, you'll see an additional gain.
Photo by Wonderlane.
The idea that working out with someone a little stronger than you makes sense if you're competitive because they'll always push you, but even if you're not, it's still a good idea. Wired explains:
A study out of Kansas State University says we work harder when working out with a partner we perceive — rightly or wrongly, it doesn't matter — to be just a bit better than we are. The study builds on what's known as the Kohler motivation gain effect — the idea that less-capable individuals perform better in a group setting — and found hitting the gym with someone thought to be better than ourselves boosts endurance and intensity by as much as 200 per cent.
The interesting thing is that at least in this study, the workout partner didn't need to be there physically. A virtual partner works just as well. That means sites like Fleetly, Fitocracy, or WeighTraining — and their player versus player motivators might be enough to push you along if you can't find an actual workout buddy.