It's new years eve. Millions worldwide will pledge themselves to finally go to the gym and get in shape. No more sitting around and eating Wotsits for me we say. But inevitably over half of us fail to keep our promise to hit the treadmill and start pumping iron. It's understandable. The gym is a daunting place for newcomers. Loud clanging machines, played out hits from the 00s blearing through the speakers and people that look like they were fed protein shakes since birth everywhere. No thanks, maybe tomorrow. I propose however that all you need is a friend to face the scary world of fitness by your side.
Learning. At first we all struggle with all the fancy equipment modern gyms are decked out with. Fumbling around trying to figure out how to set the machines to a not so bone-crushing weight and looking around in embarrasment as the 'easiest' setting proves to be a remarkable challenge. If you go with a partner at least you will be trying and failing together which doesn’t feel so bad. If you are lucky enough to find a gym that already has some experience under their belt you will learn much faster and begin to develop more effective routine quicker.
Motivation. The hardest aspect of getting fit or toning up isn’t even at the gym, it’s in our minds. It’s easy to skip a day, maybe we were too tired or other plans got in the way. Often though, one missed day becomes two and two becomes a week and so forth. Before you know it you’re in worse shape than when you started. After all who are you to tell YOU what to do? When a friend is there to tell us to ‘get the hell out of bed’ we listen. In turn you make sure they keep up their hard work aswell. This is most important at the beginning of the fitness journey, once a consistent routine has been established working out becomes a habit and not a chore.
The limit. Pushing to go one more rep or another mile can be an immense task when facing it alone. I’t can be dangerous too. With a friend there verbally encouraging us we find ourselves genuinely stronger and more determined to push on. They are also there to stop you crushing yourself when you inevitably but a bit too much weight on.
Fun. Finally, the gym becomes less of a place of loathing when you know you’ll see a friend there. You can laugh and (respectfully) joke around. It becomes a great place to socialise with someone you may not get to see as much as you should. Maybe work or school has kept you apart and now you can catch up while also getting stronger and fitter.
So if you had a new years resolution to get fit that never quite came to fruition. Call a buddy and convince them to self improve alongside you. (They can also lend you an airpod when you forget your headphones).