If you ever have a hard time pushing yourself to go to the gym or finishing that last circuit set, a workout buddy may be just what you need to stay motivated. Workout companions provide positive motivation and help drive you to not only maintain your workout regimen, but to also work out harder during each exercise session.


If you’re ready to admit, “I need a workout buddy,” there are a few simple ways to find a great partner:


Ask friends and family

One of the first places to look for a workout buddy is among friends and family. Using your existing network of relationships to find a workout partner is ideal since you’re likely already comfortable being around those people. This eliminates the awkward, get-to-know-you phase, and you two can jump right into working out and challenging each other.


Find friends online in your area

If friends and family aren’t an option, consider moving your search online. An increasing number of websites can help match you with someone in your area who has similar goals and fitness levels. Sites like ExerciseFriends.com and MeetUp.com place like-minded people together, helping you find the right workout companion, whether you enjoy a lift session in the gym or an outdoor run or bike ride. However, some sites combine exercise with dating, so read the website descriptions carefully.


Use apps for virtual accountability

Continuing technology advancements have opened an app market for just about everything, including apps designed to help you find a virtual workout buddy. Apps like Strava and Yog allow you to compete with others virtually and develop a network of workout buddies. Once you finish each workout, you can upload your stats and compare your results to the other friends in your network.


Look around the gym

Most people with gym memberships go at least a couple of days each week. During your visit, if you notice someone of a similar fitness level is at the gym around the same time as you consistently, offer to spot them when lifting or strike up a general conversation about their workout. This can help you find a workout buddy naturally and jump start a potentially beneficial relationship. Classes at your fitness center are also great avenues for meeting people, so take a cycling or yoga class to find potential exercise friends.


Always use caution when choosing your exercise buddy, especially when meeting someone online or in-person for the first time. Otherwise, take that leap — you will benefit from the positive motivation of your new workout companion in no time.