Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
January 22, 2018
One of the downsides of my current lifestyle is the fact I don’t really have a good workout partner amongst my peer group. Many of my friends just don’t find much desire to hit a gym, and when they do they often times want it to be a more solitary approach. This has arisen because I have reached an advanced stage in my workout regimen and my friends keep getting mired in the beginner stuff or cardio. I think there is a level of intimidation and they might think I will judge them or something, even though this is something I would never do. Either way, I don’t really pressure them anymore and just focus on myself. One of these days they will come to me and I will gladly help them. Until then, I have to tackle this world of fitness by myself. Now one of the issues with being a loner at the gym is the fact you have no one to help spot you and see if your bench press is getting better or the fact you have no one to help push you. I mean, having a woman on my mind helps with my effort from time to time, but then again that is fleeting especially after they say “no” to me. Occasionally I get this competitive feeling in my heart where I have show up the other “bros” at the gym and work my butt off even though I am not as fit as them. Kind of like what I did in Austin, where I flipped a huge tire around the 60-meter indoor track and gave new meaning to the exercise (and seriously, that particular workout busted me up…so I highly recommend it). Eventually, those feelings are fleeting, because carrying around that sort of toxicity of competitiveness and “proving” yourself can wear on an everyday Joe like myself. Especially when I am constantly getting stressed and pushed to the edge at work and having to deal with people that have no idea how to read their billing. I do get some other moments of inspiration when I buy a new CD and listen to some awesome music, kind of like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s new album “Wrong Creatures,” which is a pretty good listen! Even then, you still have to find some inspiration.
This past week was one of those moments where I realized the importance of having a gym buddy. Usually I take advantage of the open gym here at Parsons Training, so I typically go at my pace and alter the workout accordingly. Much of the time I have my own workout swimming around my noodle. Anyway, Jon kind of gathered a group of workout bros and did a little Olympic Training. There was about seven of us, and I got to work directly with Jon. The pace was furious and the gains were quick, mainly because I was splitting sets with Jon on our weight lifting sets. I did 185 on the clean and jerk (which is something I don’t do too much so I never really had a max) and also did 135 on the snatch (I could have tried heavier but we still had a lot of other stuff to do). Just this little extra push helped me establish some new goals and gave me a good idea about where I was. Doing this stuff by myself can be a little difficult, because typically I tend to go full tilt with reps at lower weights as opposed to just a few at a time. So yes, this gave me some new ideas how to approach my Olympic weightlifting, but this also was healthy because it was a healthy, competitive environment. In essence, this helped me setting some goals and gave me some good ideas moving forward. If anything, this shows the importance of a personal trainer because I had no idea what I was going to do. Going through the process of HIS workout that he had formulated for me forced me to go at a different pace.
One thing I did not think about was this idea brought up from a list I saw. https://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/6-reasons-work-out-partner If you have a friend that is on the same level as you workout wise, co-signing for a trainer would be a good idea because then you can get a professional to push you. The unexpectedness of a personal trainer-created workout can really lead to some good gains. So if you have a couple friends that want someone to push them harder that is outside your peer group, then figure out the best days to meet and spring for a trainer! Just remember, hiring a personal trainer does not always have to be a singular idea. We also have some other good ideas from this other great list I found from a non-fitness website. https://www.thealternativedaily.com/workout-partner-benefits/ I think one of the more important things on the list was spending quality time with your friends that doesn’t involve the usual tropes of watching a game and getting some brews and grub. This can help lead to some better bonds because now you have something that creates a tighter link between you and your friends. Another good thing is the fact that you have competing minds. You might think this could be a problem but having different workout perspectives can give you the motivation to do stuff you hate. I see it everyday with some of the guys that Jon is mentoring in his olympic weight lifting group. One guy is far better at the clean and jerk than his friend, but the other friend is better at snatch and dead lift. So predictably they challenge and give each other with ideas and pointers to become more equal in their respective differences. And then they have a third friend that is merely trying to catch up to both of them, which means they can give plenty of pointers to maximize his gains. Now of course, you can do fitness as merely a personal time to hang out and do a little cardio, which is fine. Ultimately you will want to get the most out of your money because one thing people forget about is that if you have a good workout buddy, you share in the victory. If you spend the time with someone and help push them, you can take some credit for that win. Having that extra person to motivate and share experiences with can be incredibly helpful.
No matter how you look at it, fitness is a tough ride. Achieving goals is a long process and can sometimes lead to malaise and disillusionment. So when you have those sort of issues in your workout regimen, look into getting a trainer and going “half-sies” or maybe even “three-sies” if you have a trainer willing to do so. Join a meet-up group and see if you like doing boot camps and stuff. Sure you will have to pay for the service, but c’mon, this stuff ain’t free man. If you find someone willing do it free all the time, be sure you get them some grub or something from time to time. Jon does this as well with an Olympic Weight Lifting meet-up group, so check it out! Either way, finding the right person can be essential in your workout process. This is why I have issues with being single, because for me it is kinda essential I find a good woman that likes doing physical activities. Yeah, not really into streaming and binge watching television shows. Anyway, that is a subject for another day but until then, here is to the grind!
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.