Finding a gym buddy

Our Pilot-grilled dinner was a success, as usual. He’s kind of a ninja like that.


He enjoyed a steak with bleu cheese, and my “meat” was a portobello mushroom, topped with mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, and lots of goat cheese.


We shared a Super Spinach salad from TJs and perfectly grilled asparagus with sea salt, garlic, olive oil and pepper.

After dinner, I emailed and read while he chilled before calling it a night.

I blame Jenna for my new Kindle download:

image Source

Already sucked in.

Quick breakfast before getting started with the day:


an open-faced eggwich with 2 eggs, mustard, nutritional yeast, greens and hot sauce.

and I’m off to get a pedicure, which is a treat from the madre. I’m looking forward to it 🙂

Since many of you are starting to figure out your fitness and workout goals for the new year (Winter Shape Up begins January 16th!), I thought it would be fun to talk about gym buddies. I’ve never really had to actively find a new gym buddy, since I’ve either worked out with friends, the Pilot, or family members, taught or taken classes, or worked out alone. But, for many people, having a gym buddy can be a huge source of help and motivation while working to accomplish fitness goals.


So the question is: how do you find a new gym buddy?

Here are some of my tips:

-Take classes and actually talk to people. This used to be a challenging one for me because I used to be even more introverted than I am now. When we were in Pope AFB in North Carolina, I loved taking the step and spin classes, but hardly talked to anyone there. I guess I was nervous? After taking classes for a couple of weeks, I decided to go in and actually talk to people. I asked a couple of girls where they were stationed previously and if they’d ever taken the step class before, and before you know it, we were having smoothies after classes together at the gym smoothie bar. Now, whenever I take a class, I make an effort to talk to at least a couple of people in between breaks or before/after. I’ll ask them if they’ve taken the class before, or if I have nothing to say, a compliment always works 🙂

-Ask around. See if one of your close friends or family members wants to try a new class or weight training with you. You may be surprised when they’re excited to join in- they may just be needing a buddy to go with them. Quite a few of the wives from our squadron are running the Rock N Roll half marathon in January and have all been training together. I hate long runs, but something about having a long run buddy (or 5!) actually makes them kinda fun.


-Make others aware of your goals. By this, I don’t necessarily mean saying “I’m going to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in less than 55 minutes and do negative splits the whole time,” but rather, when people ask you what you’re up to, mention your current fitness love.

“I’m training for the Princess Half Marathon right now”

“I’ve been taking this amazing hot yoga class”

etc. etc

Who knows? They may ask to tag along.

-If you’re unable to find a physical workout buddy, remember that you always have online friends (especially here!) to cheer you on. For the Winter Shape Up, I’ll be making it more interactive so that it’s easier for you to track your goals and see how your friends are doing, which can definitely up the motivation (and fun) factor 🙂

How did you find your current workout buddy? Or, do you prefer to workout alone?

Hope you have a wonderful day <3



Something to read:

Top 10 vegetarian recipes

10 things you’ll do once you start yoga

Best beginner fitness tips

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  1. Ali @ Peaches and Football on December 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Having a workout buddy really helps – but you need someone as motivated as you are. I tried using my boyfriend but more often than not he was tired or didn’t want to go to the gym, and then I would not go alone. You need someone with similar goals and if it isn’t working out, don’t use their excuses to stop you from going!

    I have a hard enough time motivating myself to go. I told the boyfriend “three times and you’re out” so if he doesn’t go with me on a planned workout day 3 times, then I’m done asking him and will plan to go alone!

  2. Sam @ Mom At The Barre on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I used to zone out during my workouts, preferring to exercise alone. Then I started talking to people in the group classes and now these workout buddies have become some of my closest friends! I definitely try to coordinate exercise with friends. Makes it so much more fun!

  3. Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe on December 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I need to find a workout buddy. I don’t have a gym membership *and don’t really want one!* but would love some company running in the afternoons. Maybe my husband will join me once in a while. But he hates running.

  4. Laura J. on December 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I’m drooling over your dinner! Looks so yummy & healthy 🙂

  5. Megan Infantino on December 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I’m like the lone ranger when it comes to workouts. I don’t know why. I always have been the type to actually enjoy working out by myself.

    • JennP on December 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      Me too 🙂 I like listening to music, zoning out and not having to worry about making small talk or keeping up/slowing down for somebody else. I’m a busy mom and I get very little “me time”, so I have to make it count where I can!

  6. Brittany @Little b's healthy habits on December 29, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I work out with my boyfriend and I love it! We both enjoy getting up early to make it to the gym before work and we don’t hesitate to push each others limits!

  7. Alycia on December 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I can’t afford a gym membership right now, so I work out at home, alone. A buddy would be a nice motivating factor though.

    Can’t wait for the Winter Shape Up! I could definitely use a kick in the butt to get me going again. The holiday season has definitely derailed me this year!

  8. Michaela on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I love your blog and your posts, Gina!!
    You are a constant inspiration to me (like today, when I tried Tabata for the very first time and absolutely loved it!). Thanks for that 🙂
    I don´t always like having a gym-buddy, especially not when I am running or taking a spin-class, but a friend of mine and I would always do ab-training together and we had such a blast!
    The best advice to get to know people, is, as you said, to actually talk to them.
    At my former gym I made so many friends, that I always stayed at least an hour longer than I planned, just so that I could talk to everyone 😀
    So looking forward to the Winter Shape Up 🙂

  9. Amber L on December 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I like to take fitness classes with a friend, but I don’t mind going alone either. I think it’s much more fun with a friend though! However, I like to work out alone when it comes to weight lifting and cardio sessions.

  10. Hillary on December 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Usually I prefer to workout alone—so I can get in and out, but while training for a race, I kind of crave a buddy to talk to on my long runs. Still on the lookout, though!

  11. Ashley on December 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I normally work out alone. I just joined a gym though with my friend, but its only for a month to try out. Besides, it kinda far from where i live. :/ I prefer to workout with a buddy. It gives me much more motivation. But with school and everything, i tend to workout alone.

  12. Brooke on December 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I prefer to work out alone. I used to go to the gym w/ my husband, but his workouts are always shorter than mine…I’m now almost 12 weeks pregnant, and I have all day morning sickness. I haven’t worked out in about 5 weeks. I’m wondering how you got through first trimester with working out?

  13. Laura on December 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Honestly, my best workout buddy lately has been my blog. I’ve been posting mini goals on Mondays, and some of them include things like “two swimming sessions.” I will get my rear into that pool and swim because I really don’t want to tell the world that I only got one session because crappy cable tv got the best of me.

    Race training buddies make all the difference. I trained for my first marathon with a coworker (another Marine wife! We bonded because we were both geo-bachelorettes) and it was awesome. Then she moved… and training for my second SUCKED. I need my epic running buddy back!

  14. Linzay @ brokerunner on December 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I love that you are encouraging people to talk to the other people in their gym classes. I love it when people are friendly and chatty in my classes! And you’re right, a compliment is always nice 🙂

  15. Julie M on December 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    My current work out buddies are my mom and boyfriend, the three of us are training for the princess half marathon together. We don’t actually run together, but we are doing the same sort of running/training which keeps us all accountable.
    I also have been running with a friend from grade school. I’ve known her forever and she is great inspiration for me!

  16. Anna @ The Guiltless Life on December 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I think workout buddies are great for motivation, but I tend to find I really have to find someone who is the same workout level as me – as close as possible anyway – because I HATE feeling like I’m holding someone back and while I don’t mind waiting for someone else occasionally it would hinder my progress if I always felt I had to wait on someone. I’m talking mainly about running, of course, but running is when I most need a buddy, as I can run so much further with someone there to motivate me than on my own!

    In terms of just having someone to go to the gym with so that we both get there, but then do our own thing, that would be great but in my life it’s just so hectic that planning when to go to the gym every time is just too much. I do have a friend with the same yoga studio pass as me, so we occasionally meet up for classes there but again with differing schedules, we just can’t do every class together.

  17. David on December 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    The next time you have Tom stand by the grill pretending to cook, you should have him put on his dress whites instead of the flight jumpsuit. It would make your staged photos look even more over-the-top!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      Haha he was actually cooking- he wore his flight suit until he went to bed last night

  18. Heather on December 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I’ve always wanted a work out buddy or even someone to just walk with in the afternoon/evenings but I’ve never been good at meeting people and I don’t know anyone in the area. I go to classes but I’m too self conscience to talk much and when I try it seems like everyone else keeps to themselves. I hate working out because I don’t self motivate and I like to talk to pass the time but it’s hard finding a buddy! I’m not sure what to do.

  19. Danielle on December 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I honestly don’t know what I’d do without a gym buddy. I’m NOT a morning person but 6:30 am is the best time for me to work out (plus the least-busy time in the gym). My gym buddy is a morning person and knowing that she’ll be there waiting for me promptly at 6:30 is great motivation to get out of bed and get my butt moving in the morning. Plus, it’s just nice having a supporter, spotter & motivator with you while you work out!

    I actually found my gym buddy through Twitter! I tweeted last summer that I needed a new gym buddy and she was just like “I’ll meet you on the university track at 10.” The rest is history! When I met her I found out that our parents went to high school together and she was from my parent’s home town, small world! Now we’re best friends and I couldn’t imagine having a better gym buddy! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      that is a great story! 🙂

  20. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I prefer to work out alone because there is no way I could ever commit to another person’s schedule long term, or them to mine. Long gone are the days where every other day or 2-3x a week, I could say, well we can meet at 9am or 5pm at the gym or whatever it is….every day is in flux and nothing is set with childcare, work, school, life, etc so that’s why I work out alone and do everything I possibly can with at-home workouts or just running/yoga at home.

  21. Ali on December 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I feel like I ALWAYS work out alone! That is why I love going to dance and yoga class, it is an awesome way to connect with some like minded people, or even people that you would not have other wise come into contact with!

  22. Lena @Fit on the Rocks on December 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I love having a workout buddy when I’m first trying something. I don’t think I would have made it through my first long runs (or even attempted them) or brand new classes without a friend. Once I get going, I don’t mind doing it alone, but love when I motivate other people to come with me 🙂

  23. Kris | on December 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I totally love working out alone….I find if I go with Ryan or someone I talk a lot and I push myself better solo!

    Great tips, doll!

  24. Lea on December 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I dont mind working out alone but it would be nice to have a work out buddy. This is why I enjoy group classes. It’s fun and I feel like I get pushed harder to work because I feel I have competition 😉

  25. Jenny@HealthyMOChick on December 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    How does your food always looks so delicious!!! I guess you could say I pay for my workout buddy 🙂 lol My trainer is a very good friend but I know I need someone to keep me accountable. Trainers are a good idea for people that would be couch potatoes otherwise (like me). If Lauren didn’t tell me what to do I’d still be in the same boat as 3 years ago.

  26. Sonia (the Mexigarian) on December 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I am horribly introverted. I have a speech impediment and my nervousness makes me speak insanely fast so when I meet new people, my words come out messy. Family and friends call my speech, Soniaese since only they can really understand it :\ Soooooo that really keeps me from speaking to anyone and my shyness kills me. I focus on my workout, even in group settings and ignore everything else except instructor. lol. I sound like a b*tch, Though I do enjoy working out with friends. I used to with a girlfriend and other times with my older sister. It felt good to be able to workout with them and encourage each other. My only running workout buddy so far has been my puppy Lando. He’s great 🙂

  27. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on December 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    A workout buddy definitely helps! A friend and I set up dates and then name them… “I’ll see you for Melt It Monday!” It’s less easy to blow off when the date is set.

  28. laura on December 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    hey gina!

    ive been meaning to ask this for awhile now, but how do you like the kindle? i read a ton of books, but am weary of making the switch to the kindle because i hate paying for books (i use the library all the time) and i just love physically holding a book. what are your thoughts on the kindle?

  29. Laura @ She Eats Well on December 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Great post! I prefer to work out alone when it comes to cardio, like running. But I enjoy going to try new gym classes or weight lifting classes with friends. And, long walks outside with girlfriends are absolutely the best…especially when you have the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge as your scenery :).

  30. colleen on December 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I definitely prefer to workout alone most of the time, I feel like I get more accomplished and am more focused by myself.
    I like having a running buddy, but it’s hard to find someone with the same pace who is also fun to talk to. I had a great run over vacation with my sister and my dad for the first time in years though; my pregnancy has definitely been an equalizer when it comes to speed and distance!

  31. RachelG on December 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Ever since I moved (closer to a bunch of college friends), I’ve gotten my friend Sam into yoga and now she’s all the way into it. She even mentioned wanting to go to Kripalu for her bachelorette weekend (I had to fight back tears). 🙂

    I do sometimes find it hard to make buddies with the ladies in the group classes at my gym since I’m 26 and they’re…more than that.

  32. Brittany on December 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Great tips. I found a gym buddy in my area through twitter. We realized we went to the same gym, met up for a workout “date” once and then it become a regular thing and we met every MWF for months. Then she moved to San Diego on me. Now I’m on the look out for a new workout buddy. 🙂

    Thanks for link love Gina!

  33. Katie on December 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I love a mix of working out alone and with someone. Right now I take two Zumba classes a week (one with a coworker friend and the other with my momma), and my momma and I walk every morning at the gym. 🙂 I’m the motivation for her and she for me as I find formal working out super boring these days. 🙂

  34. Sara C. on December 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    My best friend and I work out together at a gym bootcamp class. Then spend time cooking dinner and catching up on “Real Housewives” and other trash tv. Its a great Monday ritual that beats happy hour calories and spendy TJMaxx trips. (OK… we still have spendy TJMaxx trips sometimes).

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      that sounds amazing 🙂

  35. chelsea on December 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve had workout buddies before but I honestly just prefer working out alone 🙂 Unless it comes to short distance runs than I like having a buddy! My boy-friend is usually my buddy for that as he rides a bike next to me haha!

  36. Jes Suazo on December 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I found my running/workout buddy at work. We have a fitness center there, but if someone is hired as a contractor–they don’t get fitness center privileges. My [now] friend is a workout fanatic & I hated working out alone. One day I let her know that I always wanted to be a ‘runner’ but was never able to motivate myself to get started. And there we had it, the perfect buddy for me. We started running together last January & I’ve loved every minute of it. (She now has fitness center privileges & we hit the gym together too!)

    On finding a new running/gym buddy, this week my regular buddy has been on vacation. I hit the trails alone yesterday at lunch & passed someone else who worked in my building. We stopped to say the usual “Hi, how are you’s?” and then set up a run for today. It’s always a little nerve-racking to run with someone new (how fast do they run, how far do they run, will they be irritated if I want to walk, will they talk too much/too little, etc.) but it turned out perfect & now it looks like I have another buddy!

  37. Allison on December 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Your “meat” looks deliciously stuffed!

    My girlfriends and I keep planning to meet each other at the gym for a workout class but our schedules never seem to coordinate?! I think it’s fun to run with someone but I’m more independent at the gym…

  38. karen@fitnessjourney on December 30, 2011 at 9:39 am

    While we no longer work out together, it helped tremendously to have a workout partner. The personal trainer that we worked with knew the value of having a partner who held you accountable for showing up. He would often match clients up based on their current fitness level-and the bonus was that buddy sessions were less expensive.

  39. Kayla on December 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I was just going to blog about this as well.
    At college I find it easy to be motivated to go to the gym because it is only two blocks away from my apartment and I’d rather take group classes than do homework (obviously).
    Since i’ve been home for winter break I joined a gym thats 20 minutes away from my house, but that my best friend is also a member of. We’ve motivated each other to wake up early (or what feels early for college students) in order to meet at the gym. It’s also great when we decide to work out at night it feels like I am not missing out on something my friends are doing because I have my best friend with me.
    Having a gym buddy is a great way to feel accountable, and look forward to seeing your friend while working out but I also love going alone as well

  40. Chelsa on December 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I would love a new workout buddy. This spring I’d like to participate in some 5k races with someone. I’ve never done races before and I’m not interested in anything too crazy, just something different!

    That grilled mushroom looks fantastic by the way. I love seeing your meals everyday for inspiration.

  41. Koko @ Koko Likes on December 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I totally agree about talking to people. It’s funny because some of the people that I thought would be mean or were so good in class are actually my closest friends now. Even just asking someone what size weights they use strikes convo. And seeing people once or twice a week every week, you just naturally start to build those relationships.

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