Saturday, June 16, 2012

Training Buddy: Pro's and Con's

We know the feeling all too well - after a day of work, running errands and just the day-to-day grind, we get into that lazy mode and want nothing more than to go home and go to sleep. This is every gym goers kryptonite.   Even the most avid fitness buff falls victim...especially when there’s noone to call and help to get them out of that funk.

The conversation with your significant other goes a little something like this: “Damn, I should have gone to the gym,” shaking your head with a glass of red wine in hand.  However, if you would have had a gym partner you had to call - to hold you accountable - the conversation would go more like this:  “Damn, I didn’t want to go to the gym but, I’m so glad I got kicked in the ass and was pushed, “ smiling with a glass of ice cold water in hand.

So, why do you really need a training buddy?  For one, the reason described above.  You’re being held accountable and you’re holding someone else accountable.  Now, that’s just stepping foot in the gym each scheduled workout day.  A training buddy gives you the added benefit of someone in your corner, your devoted cheerleader, motivating you to push out that last rep, encouraging you to push harder when you only want to quit.  There’s no better feeling when you’re challenging your body and mind, to have a partner right there with you high fiving, giving you a pound or a smack on the ass - if you’re into that sort of thing.

In addition, it is crucial for your safety to have someone spotting you as you squat, push, pull and press.  Many people don’t train to their fullest potential because of fear they won’t be able to push that bar up off their chest.  Being cautious is key but, imagine your own personal records you’d break, feeling confident enough to throw on two more 25lb plates because your training buddy is there to get you out of trouble and help prevent serious injury.

Despite the incredible benefits of a training buddy, there are cons.  Since you are depending on another person with a different schedule, responsibilities and habits, you risk dealing with someone who is always flaking out or always too hungover to really be into the workout.  And, instead of encouraging you to go to the gym, they’re trying to convince you to skip today and go tomorrow.  But, if there are no extenuating circumstances keeping either of you from the gym besides severe lazy mode, then why not go TODAY?  Those types of training buddies get real good jaw workouts is all, bumpin’ their gums, bamboozling themselves.

Furthermore, having a training buddy makes it yours and her/his time rather than your time.  Many of us cherish this alone time to focus on ourselves - treating ourselves to some well-deserved, hard-earned personal space to zone out and do what’s important for you and only you.  Nothing worse than your gym session (time from the spouse, kids, boss, etc.) turning into your training buddy’s one-man pity show or you just become a wingman as your buddy tries to get the girl in the pink top to notice him.

My suggestion?  Test out both methods.  Commit to at least two weeks with a training buddy.  Maybe you’ll have to “kiss” a few frogs.  If you find you’re actually more productive and you get results alone, by all means, be a solo gym rat - but, do recruit someone to spot you when you’re going to push your limits and surpass your comfort zone.


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