Monday, January 14, 2013

A Stronger Workout

"Exercise Etc" posted an interesting article on Sunday, "A Stronger Workout Partner Can Make You More Fit". I have blogged about this previously. However, sometimes the solution is not just an issue of time or frequency, but intensity of the workout. Studies show that having a workout partner that is a little stronger than you can make a difference in how hard you work, even if the partner is "virtual".

A study done at Michigan State University was overseen by Dr. Brandon Irwin at Kansas State University. The 58 female participants exercised on stationary bikes for 4 weeks, 60-minute sessions to create a baseline. Later they were told that their partner in another lab rode their bike 40 minutes longer. The "partner " was really a looping video. The participants increased their own workouts such that after several sessions, thinking they were part of a team, exercised 160% longer than the baseline.  I have witnessed participants in class working harder on days when a stronger friend was working out in the same session.

Think about eating habits. When you surround yourself with people who make good choices, you are more inclined to do so. Someone told my husband many years ago, "a smart man surrounds himself with smart people". It applies to many areas of life and if your workouts have plateaued, find a stronger partner.