Marsh column: Workout partner is a no-show

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Q. My friend promised to work out with me but most of the time our workouts seem not to be happening.
What can I do to get my friend to attend our planned workouts?
A. Many friendships have been strained due to promises not kept. This person is your friend, so you should know her pretty well.
Many times when I have heard a similar story, I find out that this person has started and stopped workouts LOTS of times.
That should be a red flag.
Now, if you are a motivator and will not take “no” for an answer, you might be a perfect workout partner for this friend. If you yourself need someone to stimulate you to go work out, this friend might not be the right pick for that particular activity.
Believing that everyone should be exercising, I don’t want to give up on you and your friend. What I gather from the question is that we are talking about failing to attend a weightlifting workout.
Have you tried other activities?
If not, try a walking/jogging program first. This way, you can talk while you are working out and the time will fly by.
Or try to find a group exercise class you can do together. There are so many different classes available for any age, fitness level and/or taste of music.
Or maybe swimming or water exercise classes can be the answer? You won’t know until you try it.
So this is what I recommend:
Look at all the things that are offered where you and your friend have a membership.
Now schedule three times per week to try out different classes/workouts, schedule them a month ahead and pick as many different things you possibly would enjoy or at least are willing to try.
After each class or session, both of you evaluate the class or workout and make sure you write it down. It can be as simple as: things I liked; things I didn’t like.
If both of you can make this commitment for one month ó I KNOW you can! ó you will find one or more classes that both of you really enjoy or at least are able to attend on a regular basis.
Remember last week’s column? I talked about being motivated to work out.
Working out regularly is a choice that you and your friend need to be willing to make.
Think health, think wellness, think increased energy and think looking better.
And what better way to bond with your friend ó or partner or spouse ó than to work on all those things together.

Ester Marsh is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or