Exercising is an activity in which the presence of others can motivate an individual to surpass his / her own limits. In recent years, technology has changed the way we carry out these activities. User commitment has been shown to be dependent on, among other, peer pressure. The introduction of challengeable virtual opponents broadened the spectrum of possibilities, enabling users to be motivated by either a real or virtual partner. In this paper we present an early assessment of the impact that different types of presence exerts on the users’ perceived motivation and competitiveness. In particular, we delve into how virtual entities compare to their real counterparts. We carried out an experiment in which we sought at obtaining amateur athletes perceptions on their motivation and competitiveness when exercising against real and virtual opponents. Results serve not only the purpose of showing that different types of presence counterbalance each other but they also validate a design space for physical and social partners in exertion applications in which our hypothesis are based upon.