With Thanksgiving having come and gone and Black Friday in the rear-view mirror, the holiday season is in full swing. As our bank accounts shrink and our waist lines grow, it’s easy to struggle with starting a new exercise program (or even maintaining the current one). Plus, when faced with a choice of drinks and dinner with friends or a slogging through a workout, which activity are we probably more motivated to undertake?
One of the best ways to create accountability and consistency within your training program is to work out with a partner or group. By agreeing to meet someone at a specified date and time to work out, it functions like an appointment. You’ve booked it and committed to it, so the likelihood that you attend increases dramatically. Furthermore, I’m a firm believer that shared experiences are incredibly powerful because of their potential to create strong bonds with those involved. Just like a night out with friends is preferable to one spent alone, a workout is less of a grind when someone else is there with you.
I first learned the value of having a workout partner during my freshman year of college. With my high-school sports days behind me, intramural sports became my primary outlet for exercise. I wasn’t spending much time in the gym, and at that point in my life, I didn’t really know much about strength training. One of my good friends and I decided that we were going to start working out. While these initial efforts could best be described as “the blind leading the blind” it didn’t take long for us to settle into a routine. As our confidence grew, we expanded our repertoire of exercises, moving away from selectorized machines and toward barbells and dumbbells. Without question, this experience paved the way for a budding strength training passion.
After graduation, I returned home to Vermont for a job opportunity. Looking to build upon the good habits created in college, I signed up for a membership at a local gym. The place had equipment from the 80’s and probably hadn’t been cleaned since then either. But it was cheap and it allowed me to keep up with my workouts. I met a great group of guys who would be become friends that I have to this day. Through them, I expanded my strength training confidence, adding power lifting movements to my routine. To this day, I’ve never been as strong or lifted as heavy than during those years in VT.
Eventually, I moved to Atlanta to start grad school and pursue a career in coaching. One of my fellow graduate assistants and I had a standing Friday morning appointment to play basketball. We never missed it. Following grad school, I began working as a coach at Excellence in Exercise, where I still train today. A few days each week we have group workouts together. At times, I think we make it our goal to outdo each other as we search for ways to inflict pain. However, I’ve learned a lot from all of our trainers and been exposed to some great concepts along the way. As an added bonus, my clients love the fact that I, in turn, share these experiences with them!
Tough Mudder is just one example of that shared
Over the years I’ve developed a strong working knowledge, diverse skill set and confidence with respect to exercise and nutrition. Given my chosen profession, that should not come as a surprise. However, I owe some of that knowledge, skill and confidence to those shared experiences with the workout friends I’ve made along the way. Even on days where I work out alone, I’ll text something I’ve done to someone for them to try and vice versa. Technology has allowed us to compete with one another and create that shared experience, even though we’re in different time zones.
Technology has also improved both the access to, and the cost of, quality coaching. Vitalifit is your partner as you work to develop the skills and confidence inside and outside the gym. If you’re looking to improve your health and wellness but struggling with direction and consistency, contact us today to join the Vitalifit Coaching Program that is right for you.