Training in the gym or in the park can be a very lonely business. You walk in and put on your headphones, stare at a mirror or at the upcoming footpath and just get through it. Life isn't meant to be spent alone and neither are training sessions. If you follow these five tips, you will be able to find the right fitness partner for you. One who not only helps you train and push yourself but could also become much more than just a gym buddy.
There are those days you find when exercising is easy, you count off the distance and happily complete every set. These days are wonderful, but you remember them because they do not come around all that often. More often than not, there are times when exercising is not easy and definitely not fun. You need a person stood by your side with the same interest to give you that little bit of extra motivation. They can give you the want to go that extra mile, lift that extra rep or just not quit. You need that person with you, to stop you walking out of the gym and straight into the burger joint next door. You need someone who will give you the right form of motivation. Are you the sort of person who responds well to being shouted at? Or would you prefer some positive reinforcement coming in the form or a compliment? Finding the right balance, could be the difference between a successful workout session and losing your motivation.
When you are looking for the perfect fit of a fitness training partner, the second most important aspect is a similar schedule. Some of us really like to get up before the sun and head down to the track for an early morning run. The sane among us would rather head to the gym after work, it lets all of the day's stresses and strains pour out of our bodies at the same time as the sweat. If you know when your body responds best to exercise, you will always train at these times. You do it because it works for you. It makes sense to find a training partner on a similar schedule to yours. It's not rocket science to make good plans, but too many people will ruin their own training to fit around someone else, then wonder why they have quit after two weeks.
This one will seem almost too obvious to include in this list, but it really is crucial. We know you won't see a marathon runner partnered up with a body builder. We're all far too clever for that to happen. However, the subtle nuances of our individual training requirements are sometimes overlooked. Two people can both be training for the same distance, let's say 10km. They both have a race to enter and want to be in peak shape for it. What's important to note is that peak shape is not the same for any two people. Whilst one might be aiming for a personal-best time, the other might just be trying to finish their first ever race. Then factor in the dates of these races are two months apart and we have issues. Teaming up with someone who has very similar goals to you, with the same timescale, will be a huge benefit not only to your physical training but your positive mental attitude. They are there to help through the bad times and celebrate the good ones.
It is a really nice feeling to be out in the world, running down a country lane or through a picturesque park. Nothing quite tops it in our daily lives, but it can be completely ruined by either being pulled to run faster or having to dramatically slow your pace. Running out of your natural stride will cause pain. Shortening your paces or slowing down your cadence will annoy you. In the same way as having to sprint whilst your training partner has hardly broken sweat and seems able to constantly talk, will annoy and decrease your self-confidence. Why would you put yourself through it? Find a partner who is very similarly matched to your ability. It is not an elitist thing, it's about getting the most out of your exercise and relationship.
If you have found a fitness training partner, who works out at a similar level to you, then you are in a brilliant position. They can even be found online. You now have the chance to not only have a great relationship with them, but you have the ability to have a direct comparison of your workout success. You will both do the same training, the same distance, reps or speed. When you have trained with someone for a while, you know how they workout and you know their levels of fitness. This allows you to use them as a markerboard for your own fitness progression. Have you added an extra twenty kilos to your bench press or dropped your time by a minute. That's brilliant and really well done to you, the hard work is paying off. However, if your partner has added thirty kilos or dropped two minutes, then something is wrong with what you are doing. The training is obviously working, but there is something you are doing differently. Choose a partner where you will be able to create a direct comparison between you, it is a huge advantage to you. It will pay for itself, time and time again.
The Warm Down
There are many great reasons to find a fitness partner. If you consider these five tips, then you will find the right one for you even at an old age. The results will come and you'll look forward to training again.