Gym Buddy Etiquette: Don’t Do This to Your Partner

Your family and friends already are aware that you are a fitness guru, which is exactly why they would come to you for advice or seeking a gym buddy. I know you are honored to help them on their fitness journey and they choose you to help them. But there is some gym buddy etiquette that you must follow if you want to continue working out together.

Whether you are excited to take on the role of a personal trainer or just do your best to whip them into shape, having a gym buddy can be mutually beneficial. Just keep in mind that they might not be as fit as you are in the beginning so you may need to tone things do to their level. As your gym buddy gets stronger, you can slowly increase the intensity.

So before you hit your first run or workout together, make sure you’re not doing these five things to your new gym buddy.

Keep Them in Mind as You Plan Your Workouts

During your first workout together, you might be surprised at the difference in your fitness levels. It’s easy to slip into the zone and get ahead of your friend or wander over to someone else while they finish their reps. But what you perceive as waiting and passing the time they will see very differently and it might upset your gym buddy.

Your gym buddy may try to challenge your fitness level. Keep in mind that, unless they are already in shape they may try to do too much too soon, or they may feel like you’re not here to help them on this journey. So instead of causing your friend to doubt their choice of gym buddy and their athletic goals, stick around. It may take some time, but soon they’ll be at your level and they’ll be happy to have got there with you.

Never Insult or Make Fun of Their Abilities

Having a gym buddy to depend on can be mutually beneficial because they can encourage you to work out or vice versa when you aren’t feeling up to it. It is bad gym buddy etiquette to insult or make fun of someone’s abilities. Do allow your gym partner to be a great motivator, but remember others won’t want to be around you if you’re negative or unkind. You may have a goofy, sarcastic relationship outside the gym, but it can’t follow you into the gym.

Your gym buddy doesn’t need someone laughing at their form or insulting their abilities. Instead, it is important to remember that your gym partner is needing someone who can encourage and support them. You’ll want to push them to improve, but do it in a loving way. Help them recognize the improvements they’ve made during each session as well.

Don’t Push Them Too Hard

If you’re all set to help your gym partner get the most out of their workouts and push them to their limits, take a step back. As a gym buddy, you’re definitely there to help them stay motivated and get results, but pushing too hard could result in their giving up mentally or getting injured.

So let’s skip the emergent visit to a professional, and tone down your motivational plan–at least until they’re ready for more. It is better to start slowly and let them slowly increase their intensity while working out.

Make Changes the Planned Workout

This one is pretty simple. If you’ve decided that Tuesdays are treadmill days, don’t surprise your gym buddy by saying you want to jump into a CrossFit class instead. There is a time and place for switching up your work out, but calling your gym partner on the way to the gym to inform them of a change of plans is inconsiderate.

When you want to make adjustments to the workout plan it is important to include your gym buddy in the decision making. After all, this is a partnership. No one wants to show up at the gym without the right shoes or equipment, so work out any changes to your workout routine before your next session to avoid any confusion or potentially hurting your partner’s feelings. If you want to change when you’re meeting or what you’re doing, bring it up ahead of time so your gym buddy isn’t caught off guard.


As in most other aspects of life, canceling without a valid reason or emergency is considered rude. Your gym buddy may forgive you the first time, but if it happens again, they’ll probably find someone else who is more accountable to be their gym partner.

Be sure to communicate ahead of time, and if you’re starting to think these sessions aren’t working for you, be honest and help them find another gym buddy.

Do you have a gym buddy? Do you find it beneficial? Do you have any other gym buddy etiquette to add?

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