Your Gym Partners Affect Your Gym Performance
Your parents would always lecture you on the company you keep when you were a kid, and this new study shows they may have had a point. It turns our that the health and fitness of those around around you affects your own performance.
Researchers took 24 people and had them play different kinds of games. They were put into groups of three where at the end they would see how they did compared to the others. After the games they would be given their scores and the scores of the other two people. Then they would be asked to rate how well they expected to do for the next game, as well as predictions for the other two people.
Does that make sense? It’ll be easier when you see the results. According to this article, the study found that:
People’s ratings depended on whether they felt like they were competing or working as part of a team. In cooperative situations, people based their own evaluation on how well their teammates did. So if the other players scored higher, the player evaluated their own ability as higher. But if the other players scored lower, they perceived their own ability as worse as well.
So that means that if you are working with others, the performance of everyone influences how well you think you did. So even if you’re doing great, if the rest of the team is falling behind, you’ll feel like you didn’t do so hot either. And it works inversely, so if someone is doing great, you’ll think you’re also doing great… even if you’re not.
And it gets skewed more when you’re made to feel like you’re competing. If you’re doing well, the study found, you would have a negative opinion of yourself — if someone else was doing better.
So does this mean you should keep everyone away from you when you’re trying to get a good workout? No, but keep everything perspective. Working out with others can have some great benefits, but you need to try and be objective. Don’t compare your speed and calorie burn to your gym partners. Listen to your own body.