I went to New York City this past weekend to visit a friend. While I was there, I made a point to get up early and give myself a nice little workout in Central Park, just a short jog from my friends apartment.
I purposely got up early, around 6:00 am on a Saturday, while my friend slept in. She’s a night owl, I’m a morning person. This made me think of today’s blog post topic: Partner Training. While it’s nice to have goals just for yourself, it’s also helpful to include someone else into your journey.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed working out alone that morning. But I admit, sometimes it gets a little lonely on the fat loss journey and it would be really nice if I was doing this right along someone else.
For most people who prefer to do the partner thing, the most obvious choice is your spouse/partner. Now, for some, this works very well because all your social obligations can be met and all your meals can be made to accommodate both of you without any modifications. For others, working out and meal planning with their significant other just causes stress and anxiety. I have known plenty of husband/wife and boyfriend/girlfriend gym-goers who admit the closest they get to working out together is driving to the gym in one car. After they walk in the door, they are completely separated.
For these people, you might want to partner with a friend or different family member or a co-worker. Let’s go over the benefits of having a buddy.
A partner can give you that accountability that we all lack when we’re doing something on our own. If you schedule regular check-ins with your buddy, it helps to stick with it because there is someone “watching” you. Even if it’s a simple, “How ya doin?” once or twice a week. Those small check-ins can go a long way. I’d recommend a specific check-in though, such as a weigh-in or measurements being taken or progress pictures sent to one another. Schedule them on the same day of the month/week so there’s a regimen to it.
2. Tough Times
When all discipline and motivation is lacking and you’re having a bad day or a bad week, your partner can act like a coach you never had but always wanted. Knowing someone else is going thru the same difficulties, the same obstacles as you can be comforting as well as giving you sense of camaraderie. Plus, they can be your drill sergeant when you need one to light the fire under you, getting you ready to being anew after having a cheat or skipping a workout.
3. Positive Chatter
We can give ourselves quite the pity party when we are feeling doubtful and guilty over a few cheats with our plan. Time to knock out that negative banter with some positive self talk. When talking to yourself isn’t working, that’s when it’s time to call for back-up. And that’s just what your partner is for! Have them reinforce the good that you’ve done so far, the positive changes you have made. Reminding you of all the good things that have happened so far is exactly what you need to get off the “Woe-Is-Me Wagon” and back on the “I’m Damn Awesome Train.”
4. One More Rep, One More Step
If you’re a solitary gym-goer, you know knocking out that last rep or going that last quarter mile/lap is sometimes the most challenging part of your workout. Having someone right next to you yelling your ear telling you to KEEP GOING can be a huge boost. When you’re by yourself, you have to picture someone telling you to keep going. Or, you have to just force it out. But the beauty of having a buddy, is that you don’t have to envision anything – they are right there with you. Get specific here and make sure your partner doesn’t let you stop until you hit a certain number of reps or laps or miles.
5. Safety in Numbers
Social gatherings are the worst when you’re trying to stick to a diet and a plan. There are countless ways others will sabatoge your efforts or not understand why you might be trying to avoid certain foods or they might not care at all. This is when your partner is literally at your side, holding each of you accountable to what you are going to eat or drink.
Remember, social gatherings are meant to be SOCIAL, not sitting in a corner eating baby carrots and chugging a gallon of water. Get out there and mingle and talk. If someone keeps insisting you eat or drink something, politely decline and find your buddy. They aren’t eating or drinking anything too right? So you can hang with them and enjoy yourselves while sticking to whatever plan you two had set from the get-go.
Again, be specific. Find out what is being served at the party and plan out which ones you’re going to eat. Tell your partner, have them tell you THEIR plan, and you can hold each other accountable the whole time.
6. Creative Workouts
The best part of having a buddy are how creative you can get with your workouts. Simply Google Partner/ Buddy Training workouts and you will find plenty of exercises to try. Most of them will only require your own body but some will have you pulling resistance bands, tossing medicine balls, stability ball training, and maybe some easy plyometrics thrown in there too.
Have a plan written down with specific descriptions so you don’t waste time when you get to the gym on what you’re going to do. Make sure you understand what body part you’re working and where the equipment is that you’ll need. Most importantly, have fun!
This is the best part of having a buddy – getting your sweat on and seeing the benefits of all your hard work in both of you when you’re done. There are plenty of other reasons to have a partner or a buddy help you along your fat loss/physique changing journey. If you have a buddy that you’re training with right now and it’s been successful for both of you, congratulations!
For those of you who are loners, consider getting a partner. The benefits and possibilities are endless!