Recent studies found that individuals tend to workout longer when their partner was perceived as both more skilled and was one who kept encouragement to a minimum.
Studies show that your ideal workout partner is 40% better than you are at a given activity, but still motivates you to exercise for a longer period of time and at a more challenging rate. Yet the motivation does not come from the constant “keep going” message, which can be taken as condescending.
“If two individuals are exercising together and one is constantly saying ‘you can do this’ to the other, it may be taken as patronizing,” Brandon Irwin, assistant professor of kinesiology, states. “Those who received encouragement may have felt condescended.”
“Being the ‘weak link’ is a big motivator in partner or group exercise,” Irwin said. “You don’t want to let your partner down.”
Now go find that partner if you don’t have one already!