Do You Have a workout partner?
That’s not a friend at the gym or a friend that goes to the gym but your very own in-house coach, confident and all-round fitness coaxer? Having a great gym buddy can make all the difference, not only to how enjoyable your workout time is, but also how effective it is too. After all, how many athletes praise their support network when they break records, claim trophies and challenge their own personal bests?
When you imagine giving it your all and challenging yourself to reach your fitness goals, what comes to mind? Do you conjure up the image of a lone fitness warrior doggedly working out with steely grit and determination at the gym? Do you see a solo crusade full of single-minded focus? While the success of your own personal exercise plan may be down to you, a quality gym buddy can make the ride less bumpy along the way.
A fitness buddy is someone who will be there for you in the gym and proactively add to your workout. But what qualities should you look for in a prize gym buddy?
Like laughing, motivation can be infectious. Spending 10 minutes with someone on a downer can be enough to zap some of your positivity. You want a gym buddy who is going to motivate you. You don’t want to waste energy on trying to motivate your gym buddy to motivate you!
It’s really not essential that you are totally on the same page as your gym buddy. In fact, having goals that differ can help create an interesting pool of ideas and information to share. However, if you are at total opposite ends of the spectrum then you might find that you’re speaking two different languages and your fitness progress is lost in translation.
If you regularly weightlift then you might need a gym buddy with good spotter skills. This means that they are looking out for you and making sure that you are lifting correctly and safely. In this instance it is all about all eyes on you and ensuring that you are not going to injure yourself and that you get the most out of each lift.
Honest, forthright and no-nonsense
Cheering on from the sidelines is great motivation, and might be all you’re really looking for in a gym buddy. However, if you’re serious about forging ahead that you need someone you can trust to be straightforward and on a level with you. You need someone who will tell you when you’re slacking and push you if needs be. You don’t want a gym buddy who is going to buy into your excuses, if you’re making them that is.
Reliable and committed
You want to get into a rhythm with someone if you’re going to train alongside them. Someone who is flaky when it comes to turning up and being on time is going to hold you back and frustrate you. Knowing that you have a steady gym buddy who has made a visible commitment to going to the gym is ideal.
Make sure you’re in the right fitness environment too. Being part of a gym that feels right and is professional and welcoming is the best setting in which to reach your fitness goals, alongside your gym buddy too.
Get a great gym buddy
Sometimes doing it alone can be tough and there’s nothing quite as supportive and encouraging as having your very own gym buddy. Fitness success needs to come from personal efforts and you may feel that you get a great amount of camaraderie from good network of people around you, but a gym buddy can really keep you on track and on target to reach your fitness goals. The key is to make sure the person you include as part of your team is a positive influence.
We highlighted some points to look out for when it comes to choosing the right person to buddy up with at the gym. A motivated individual who is not going to drain you of your own reserves of motivation is pretty essential. While you don’t need to be pursuing the exact same goals, coming from a similar place is helpful. If your buddy has quality spotter skills that’s of real benefit and you need an honest individual who is going to be straight talking with you, not to mention reliable and committed.
There are other characteristics to look out for when choosing someone to train alongside to:
A true teacher
If you surround yourself with positive people, this is going to have an impact on you in a good way. It is the same when you are around people who have knowledge and different skill sets than your own. As you progress with your fitness you want to be able to learn about your body and also about what exercises work. A gym buddy who can impart some tips and advice, becomes a valuable teacher, which means you can really excel and absorb new techniques and ideas.
Believes in you
You may not be aiming to become one of the highest athletic elite necessarily, but no matter how big or small your goals and fitness ambitions are, you really need your gym buddy to be on side. If your main practical supporter doesn’t think you have it in you, or that you’re not going to get to where you want to go, then they are hardly going to be the best motivator. Would you push someone you thought was going to fail anyway?
With a personal trainer it’s important to establish boundaries and expectations so that each person is comfortable with where they stand. Start to blur the lines or fail to deliver what’s expected and this can put the relationship under strain and detract from what you are wanting to achieve. A gym buddy may be a good friend, and they can be, but they may also be somebody who is linked to fitness and working out and not someone you should try and be best pals with. Maybe your relationship and communication is for the gym only and perhaps your gym buddy wants to focus on fitness and not delve too deeply into personal affairs. Go with the natural flow and don’t push in the wrong direction.
Whatever your relationship with your gym buddy, what you do need to make it work, is to be able to communicate. This doesn’t necessarily mean talking non-stop or chatting about every subject out there, but it does mean feeling comfortable and at ease. It is important that you can speak your mind and express what you think and feel about your training. If you are dreading spending time with someone, in any capacity, then that’s not going to work favorably.
If your gym buddy is not determined with their own fitness schedule and regime, then the chances are that your fitness strategy is not going to be tackled with much gusto. While you need to show willingness and put in effort, you also need a gym buddy who is not going to suffer a setback, or allow you to, if you reach an impasse or challenge that seems tricky to tackle. Determination equals sustainability.
Before you commit to a gym buddy, you need to commit to the gym. Come along for a visit or get in touch to get your fitness on schedule.