In Part 2 of this article series, I have an overview of the services that a physical fitness trainer can provide you with. In this and the next article in the series, I'd like to introduce you to two alternatives to a fitness trainer. The first one you're probably aware of already — an exercise buddy or training partner.
An Exercise Buddy
When we were kids, we all played outdoors with our friends. For boys it might have been running around and climbing trees. For girls it might have been jumping rope. As we got older, formalized sports and athletics took the place of the informal fun and games of childhood. However, we still had friends — buddies — that we hung around with as we participated in these activities. These buddies of ours made the strenuous athletics we were participating in a lot of fun.
As we got still older and had to “make a living,” it became difficult to make regular exercise a part of our lifestyle. Most of us did not even realize what happened and gradually wound up in the sorry physical condition that so many people find themselves in by middle age. However, some of us did realize we were getting out of shape and generated the willpower required to continue the sports we were involved with when we were stillger or adopted formal exercise programs. These are the guys and gals who rightfully put exercise at the top of their list of priorities. A few of us remembered the fun we had with our buddies when we were young and realized that this “fun” also kept us in great shape. So, we decided to train with a partner — an exercise buddy.
For these few of us, the camaraderie of physical activity with a buddy removed the issue of willpower and made exercise something that we actually looked forward to. This was because an exercise session became a social event. In addition, on those inevitable days when we simply did not want to train, we remembered that we had a date at the gym; someone would be waiting there — and it is not very nice to break a date with a buddy (or with a member of the opposite sex!).
If your exercise buddy has roughly the same ability as you, there is also the possibility for playful competition. In college I was fortunate to have such a training partner. John and I were almost equal in strength and every workout we would absolutely wind up maxing out in either the bench press or overhead press (not a very popular lift nowdays). I even snuck in additional workout sessions doing various types of assistance exercises on our off days to help me make greater gains and potentially beat the guy. Without him as a partner, I never would have reached the strength levels I achieved. I might even have been the strongest guy in my college at that time (over 50 years ago!).
So, an exercise buddy can provide the companionship and moral support that's almost a necessity in any difficult undertaking. He or she can also help insure that you train consistently and, of course, not give up the minute you get a little bit lazy or have a bad day. These items are, of course, a part of what you pay for when you hire a physical fitness trainer to help you out. An exercise buddy gives them to you free!
However, there's still something missing from this picture. In my college days, I learned everything by trial and error and by personal research. This works but it's not necessary the most efficient way to do things. Of course, your trainer can provide the technical advice necessary so that you use a wise exercise program and do your exercises correctly. Another source of this advice is an “Exercise Mentor.” That's what I'll talk about in the next article in this series.