don’t exercise with your friend or family

childhood friends

Having a friend to exercise with to motivate you to workout, and to be accountable, is an incredible gift, but, what if you’re the one that wants to work out, and your friend doesn’t want to? What if that friend that doesn’t like to exercise dreads it, and demotivates you; or that friend is frequently late, cutting your workout short. Or maybe your workout buddy finds excuses not to exercise and cancels. In those instances, working out with your friend is a really bad idea, because you’re not exercising enough and/or not hard enough.

Another reason not to exercise with your friend, is that it’s really rare to have a buddy who has exactly the same goals, strength and flexibly as you do. You might really like some exercises and she may hate those. She may have knee issues and won’t do plyometrics, but you want to do box jumps. Or, maybe she pushes you too hard, or makes you lift too much weight, which can lead to injury; that’s not good either.

I’ve trained husbands and wives, moms and daughters, and best friends, and the problem is always that one person is stronger than the other, which means, that I, as their personal trainer, has to pay more attention to one person more than the other, and some exercises may not be hard enough for the client that is more fit. So the client that is weaker gets more attention, which isn’t fair to the stronger client; I do this to make sure no one gets hurt.

When I’m training two people, it’s a challenge, and limiting, since I have to find two exercise machines that are close to each other (and available, which can be hard when the gym is busy), and an area large enough that will accommodate the three of us, and those exercises have to be ones that both people can do.

The other problem is that when one person cannot make the training appointment, the other person typically cancels the training session completely, either because they don’t want to pay the full cost of personalized training, or because they are so used to training with their partner, they don’t workout at all.

The bottom line is that, if your workout partner motivates you, you get along, your schedules work perfectly together, you enjoy your sessions more, and your exercises are more effective and you get more done, then your workout buddy is a keeper. But if your exercise partner is causing you to miss sessions, cuts sessions short, pushes you too hard, picks on you, stresses you out, dictates all the exercises, or is holding you back from getting stronger, it’s better to workout on your own.

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