The new year is coming up and that means new goals and resolutions; many may be fitness and health related. Often, as we begin to map out our plan for the new year we feel overwhelmed. I want to lose 20lbs. I want to run a marathon. I want eat more whole foods. All very possible, but all require hard work.
How will you accomplish your goals?
How will you push through when they seem impossible?
There are, of course, so many factors that go into your goals. But, one factor that I promise will have a positive impact on you no matter the outcome is having a gym buddy.
Why is having a gym buddy important?
Having a gym buddy is great. You can workout with your gym buddy as much as you please. Gym buddies can provide you with a plethora of things; motivation, support and inspiration. They can lend a listening ear or solid advice. They can help you overcome obstacles. They can help you get out of your comfort zone in trying new things (running, fitness competitions, yoga). They can make you smile and laugh until you have six-pack and most of all become a life-long friend.
If you're trying to lose weight, a gym buddy may be the accountability you need to stick to a diet or routine. If you're trying to get stronger, they can spot you and help you lift more. If you're trying to eat better, they can provide ideas for meals or a friend to cook healthy dinners with instead of eating out.
If you struggle to stick to your resolutions or goals, having a gym buddy may be just what you need!
How do you choose a gym buddy?
Choosing a gym buddy with similar goals can be beneficial however it isn't necessary. Consider your goals and then consider what you want out of your gym buddy. Remember, having a gym buddy is two way street. You cannot expect them to always show up at the gym at 5AM if you aren't. You cannot expect them to lend a listening ear if you're never available to do the same.
Things to consider:
- Do you belong to the same gym? It's a bit difficult to have a gym buddy you cannot workout with! Consider a gym buddy that belongs to your gym. Otherwise, you may be limited in what the two of you may accomplish especially during the holidays. If the weather is cold and snowy, outdoor activities may be limited.
- Do you have similar goals? While this isn't necessary, it is beneficial. If your gym buddy is training for a marathon and you're training in the weight room your interaction is little. While you can still support each others journey, you may find losing 10lbs or pushing through a tough spin class may be more fun if you have someone along sharing the same struggles. For instance, when my gym buddy and I trained for an uphill race at Red Rocks we went together to practice running the hills. We got to experience race day together and it was so fun because we had endured the entire process side by side.
- Do you enjoy each others company? While number 1 & 2 are important factors, without number 3, you will most likely not succeed. Pick a gym buddy who you want to spend time with. Pick someone you enjoy talking to and someone you feel comfortable opening up to. Whether you're discussing your struggles with losing weight or whether they're spotting you in the squat rack, if you don't feel comfortable overcoming obstacles with them may be tough.
- Intimidation? Picking someone who is stronger than you or faster or leaner can be great motivation, but if you're intimidated by them it may effect your performance. Consider this when choosing someone to help you in your journey. For instance, Janine is a faster runner than me. However, that mixed with her encouraging personality actually helped me grow as a runner this summer. But, if she had a better than everyone else attitude, it may have made me feel inferior which may not have made her an ideal gym buddy. There is a difference between looking up to someone's abilities and being intimidated by them.
Meet my gym buddy, Janine:
Janine is a wife and mom of two! We first met when she came up to me while I was practicing posing at 24 Hour Fitness. Since then we've become the best of friends and our fitness goals have flourished immensely.
Janine is fast - this past summer we ran two road races...one of which was 2/3 uphill.
Janine is kind - she is always thinking of others and is a friendly face to everyone at the gym.
Janine is strong and eats like a queen - she is currently bulking before she cuts for her first bikini show in the spring (SHE DOES IT ALL)! She is eating over 3,000 and her strength gains this fall have been unreal!
Janine is dedicated - she seriously is going after her health and fitness goals and setting such a great example for her kids.
Janine is a hoot - seriously, we always have a blast - from running deathly hill at Red Rocks in 80 degree weather to getting glittered up for a photoshoot to on going and hilarious text chains, I can always count on Janine for a good laugh and a positive mindset.
What's great is while I am doing Crossfit and she is bulking for her first bikini prep, we have similar goals and that is to become better athletes and healthier in general. We workout together 1-2x a week which is perfect. We have goals to compete in Spartan Races and hike 14-ers next year too. We aren't aiming for the exact same goals but the mindset is the same. We support each other and help each other over speed bumps! Most important of all, we enjoy each others company and we have FUN!!!! She truly has made my move to Parker, CO 100x better.
BONUS *below is the shoulder workout we performed last Friday & today*:
Overhead Strict Press: 4x8
Single Arm Barbell Shoulder Press: 4x10ea
Arnold Press: 4x10
Lateral Raises: 4x10
Smith Machine Shoulder Raises: 4x8
Rope Face Pulls: 4x15
Plate Shoulder Raises: 4x5