We’ve spoken at length in the past about how training plans should be personal, tailored to your own goals and achievable regardless of your capabilities and lifestyle.
I’m now going to say something which may seem to contradict that entirely: -
“Training always works best when you have a buddy.”
Your goals can still be your own, your programme unique. The addition of another person to support you is just another tool you can use to maximise your chances of success.
Having someone to run with, walk with, go to the gym with or attend the local exercise class with is a great thing for a number of reasons. Firstly, especially after many months of having to stay at home or having restricted access to outside venues, there’s the very valuable social element. Meeting with someone else, discussing your week, airing your grievances with the world and talking things through provides a huge boost to your mental well-being. Humans are, in the main, very sociable animals so we thrive on contact with others, even contact whilst getting out of breath and burning those unwelcomed calories!!
And then there’s the pester factor. You may be committed to your training plan most of the time but I can guarantee there will be periods when your body and mind convince you that you can skip a bit of exercise ‘just this once’. The temptation to duck out of an activity is usually at its highest in the winter months when it’s cold and dark – in total contrast to the warm cosiness of staying at home. At such times, the addition of a touch of pressure from a training partner can be just the thing you need to get you up and out and moving. Letting yourself down may be something which your brain can justify one a ‘one-off’ occasion, but letting someone else down too? That’s a whole different matter!
Sometimes you don’t want to be too personal with your Personal Trainer
Let’s face it, chatting to your Personal Trainer on a twice-weekly check-in is a great way to analyse your progress and decide if tweaks may be required. You may feel totally comfortable discussing the low points of your training and the struggles you’ve endured, maybe even the naughty diversions you made from your nutrition plan at moments of weakness, but there will undoubtedly still be areas of conversation you reserve only for those who know you best. Talking is a recognised necessity for good mental health, so a good old-fashioned moan to your buddy about the more frustrating aspects of your life will do a great deal of good for your short-term sanity and your longer-term mental wellbeing too!
So, the overall message from me is keep your training goals personal, but share your route to achieving them with a buddy.