Besides my 9-to-5 job, I work as a fitness and triathlon coach. It’s a passion of mine that I love to share with others. One of the first things I tell a potential client is that I do not have some sort of secret formula for them to get and stay healthy. I have not invented a new way to exercise. But what I offer most of all is accountability. I am the person who is going to make sure they show up to exercise and push themselves during the workout. I’m going to be that little voice in their head that says they need to get up and get moving. I call myself their “workout buddy.”
Having a workout buddy is crucial to maintaining a consistent level of physical fitness throughout your entire life. Even the most well-trained and disciplined athletes benefit from having a workout partner. And although you may not have the same partner your whole life, there’s nothing wrong with having more than one. I personally have several. My wife, friends, co-workers, clients and fellow tri-athletes. And depending on the activity, we’ll work out different days and different times.
Having a workout buddy not only increases your likelihood of sticking with a fitness program, but it can make it more enjoyable for you as well, especially if you and your partner are at the same fitness level. Experts say that working out with a buddy can help with three major components to a successful fitness program — accountability, safety and enjoyment.
Accountability is probably the most important of the three. Being accountable to another person will help you to keep your workouts on track. It is often very easy to tell yourself that you will work out later or perhaps you’ll start up again tomorrow, or next week. Some people might be able to pull this off, but most cannot. They keep putting it off until they feel like they have failed and give up completely. Having a workout partner usually forces you to perform your workouts at your scheduled day and time. Plus, you will most likely be more consistent if you outline an exercise schedule with your partner in advance and then stick to it. And hopefully at least one of you at any given time is in the right frame of mind to exercise. There’s nothing worse than having two workout partners who don’t want to exercise. More than likely you’ll both just feed off each other’s negative attitude and slowly workouts become less productive and less frequent until they end.
Safety is another reason to train with a partner, especially in the beginning, when everything is new and unfamiliar. Form is extremely important in the safety of an exercise. Having another person there to remind you of what you may forget can work very well — not to mention feeling safe while exercising outside through your neighborhood.
Enjoyment is another important reason to train with a friend. Your workouts can be somewhat of a social occasion as well as a productive workout session. Although it’s a plus for a workout to be enjoyable, you do have to remember that it’s not always going to be fun and there isn’t always going to be time to socialize.
It’s like the saying goes: “Not having a plan to succeed, is having a plan to fail.” Planning to have a partner in your exercise routine will help you succeed.
Mike DeCinti can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 910-827-2439.