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The New Fitness Rules

Think you know the drill on shaping up and slimming down? Think again. Find out how the latest science is rewriting the rule book on everything, including maximizing your fat burning and acing your running form, so you can finally reach your goal.
Workout buddies Do You Need a Workout Buddy?

Old school: Buddy up for the best results.

New rule: Sometimes it's better to go solo.

There's a long-held understanding that having an exercise partner will improve your fitness level because you're more likely to show up when there's someone waiting for you. But research from Santa Clara University found that, depending on your partner, you may actually exercise harder when you sweat it out alone. The key may be finding the right partner. While having a more fit pal can help push you, sticking with someone whose focus doesn't mesh with yours can ultimately compromise your workout, warns trainer Jonathan Ross, the author of Abs Revealed. "Your workout partner has to be similar enough in style for the situation to be a win-win," Ross says. "Chatty friends can be a distraction." Consider partnering with your BFF on easy workout days instead.