Article written by Jason Tawn, Personal Trainer at Simply Gym Cheltenham
If I told you that I could double your chances of getting fitter as well as making it more fun, getting you through any plateau and guaranteeing that you never skipped a workout, I’m sure you’d all want to know how I could possibly do that, right?!
It’s not a miracle pill. It doesn’t cost you a fortune. All it involves is a friend with the same mindset as you. Yes, a gym buddy can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your goals!
One of the single most important factors in gym success is having a good support system. Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition. A gym buddy can motivate you to do one more set, continue when you feel like you have just had enough and want to give up, or when you are feeling hopeless.
So, are you ready to buddy up? Great! But before you recruit any old mate, keep in mind that not all workout buddies are created equal.
If you choose someone who does not share a similar commitment to fitness, that can be a distraction or even a deterrent. And if your partner is at a radically different level of health, fitness or ability, you could be held back, pushed too hard or even injured.
Your workout pal doesn’t have to be your best friend, but he or she has to be someone you like and whom you wouldn’t want to disappoint. If you feel like you have a responsibility and commitment toward another person, you are more likely to follow through on that commitment.
So how do you become a fantastic gym buddy? Here a few pointers to get you started:
– Stay in touch. Send reminder texts or emails, prearrange lifts to the gym, offer wake-up calls if necessary.
– Be on time. Always.
– Push your partner, then reinforce their efforts with praise.
– Suggest new ideas and routines to keep things interesting and prevent plateaus.
– Remind your partner of their goals and encourage them when the going gets rough.
– Keep tabs on each other through illness, travel and other routine-breakers. It will make it easier to get back on track.
– Talk about topics other than fitness. The more you care about your partner as a person, the stronger your alliance will be but keep your chats as positive as possible; negativity is an energy downer.
– Be flexible. Sometimes things crop up and you might have to exercise on your own. Don’t let it get you down. Just look forward to the next session.
I’ve seen this way of tackling your training regime work for so many people. I have a group of ladies who I see 3 times a week and they were the kind of people who always declared that they “would never get obsessed with the gym”. But now they love it and look forward to catching up with each other and having some good old gym banter which they thought was reserved only for the boys!
So, grab your phone, find someone who you know will fit the bill and see if they fancy a trip to the gym. You never know, you could get the body of your dreams and create a solid friendship in the process!