Now that winter has descended upon us, it feels like all of Chicago has gone into hibernation. In the summer, I love to go for a long walk around the city and visit with friends in different neighborhoods. Come winter, weeks can go by where it feels work, the gym and home are the only places I’m willing to venture. Don’t let your friends fall to the wayside just because the weather is frightful! There are some great reasons to book a gym date with your besties!
Multitask your time
We all get busy, but it’s important to keep up your friendships. When I haven’t seen a friend for a long time, they often ask me to meet them for happy hour. Even though I love to see my friends, happy hour tends to fall directly during the hour of the day I usually set aside for working out. If I try to do both, I often end up showing up sweaty to the bar and my friends are dressed to the nines. It isn’t ideal. Since you’ve already set aside an hour of your day for working out, ask your friend to join you instead of heading to the bar. It will lock down friend time while still allowing you to get your daily sweat in. As a bonus, you won’t be able to convince yourself to skip your workout, as your friend will keep you accountable, and you’ll feel much better than drinking before dinner!
Push each other to your best
I don’t know about you, but my girlfriends are incredible athletes. No matter what gym we go to, I know what I can expect if they’re working out alongside me. I like to challenge myself to keep up with them throughout the workout, whether that means upping my treadmill speed, pushing for a lower 500-meter pace on the rower, or lifting a little bit heavier. When you’re halfway through a tough set, seeing your friends pushing through is a great motivator to keep going and not give up! My friends know what I’m capable of and sometimes all it takes a little side glance from a good friend to remind yourself just why you came to the gym and urge you to pick up a heavier weight or push through a tough set.
Reminisce about your painful workouts
We all know that the best memories are those we share. When I get home from a really tough workout, my fiancé is not very interested in hearing about it. In fact, he either tunes me out or changes the subject pretty quickly. If my friends have joined me, I have someone I can talk about my workout with and vent about just how tough it was or about how much I loved a new exercise that I’ve never tried before. We can laugh about how seriously some of the guys in the class took themselves, or how seeing the trainer’s amazing legs encouraged both of us to do a few more squats. I love to grab a smoothie or a cup of coffee together after a tough workout and gab about how hard we just worked. It can be very rewarding to know that you weren’t the only one panting through the last set of burpees!
Get excited about partner workouts
When I’m at a new gym and don’t know anyone, the word “partner” can be a panic trigger. I find myself quickly scrambling around the room for someone who looks like they’re in similar shape as me and who is willing to be my partner. When you work out with friends, you’ll never have this issue. Recently, for a friend’s birthday, four of us met up for a class at Crosstown Fitness in the West Loop. It just so happened that CTF Elite Trainer Kailee had set up a team work out for that day and we had the perfect number of people for a team! It was a blast to work hard with my friends to compete against the rest of the class, and working hard together as a team made pizza afterwards all the more rewarding!
Ready to schedule your workout date with your BFF? Try our monthly #Sweatworking!