Fitness

Partner UP How do you like to work out? Alone? With a workout partner? Or maybe even in a large group? It is really a personal preference.When it comes to cardio, I like to fly solo. For yoga, I workout with a class. But when it comes to weights, I love training with my fellow fit chic NPC bikini competitor Shanon Griffee. Having a like-minded workout partner helps me push past my physical and mental limits. There are so many great benefits to having a workout partner. So find a buddy and team up!

CHOOSING A BUDDY

This is a tough one. Be careful when choosing a workout partner. There is a lot of talk out there. You need someone that will walk the walk with you. When choosing a workout partner make sure to find someone that is close to your current fitness level. It also helps to find someone that is serious as you are about your fitness goals. Compare notes and decide if this person is right for you.

CAMARADERIE

Working out with others provides and atmosphere of friendly competition and camaraderie. I remember back to my high school days as a track athlete I would look forward to the interaction with my teammates. Some of my best memories of high school involved working out or sports. I loved having my team cheer me on during track meets. Same goes for training, I love it when my workout partner cheers me on to get those last few reps on my set. It mentally and physical motivates me.

MOTIVATION

Working out by yourself can be hard sometimes. If possible, I highly recommend a workout partner to maximize your workout program. By having a fitness friend workout with you, it will motivate you or keep you on your toes. On days that I do not feel up to par, my training partner encourages me during my training session and vice versa. It helps me get back in the right mind frame. If either one of us wants to skip a workout, the other one will remind them of their fitness goals. Having someone to inspire or mentor you is one way to ensure you get your booty to the gym.

COMPETITION

Even though having a workout partner can be motivating, it is a competition too. We as human beings like to compete with one another. By having a workout partner that is more fit than yourself, makes you work a little harder in the gym. My workout partner happens to be younger and stronger. I am always motivated training with her!

Up for a little friendly competition? Find ways to stay motivated. A little game Shanon and I like to play to keep each other motivated before our workout is called “Ab Check”. We take pictures of our abs with our cell phones and send it to each other during the day. This is a definite motivator to eat clean throughout the day. By keeping each other motivated, we stay on track. The longer we stay on track, the closer we get to our goal. We motivate each other in a positive way to keep each other on our toes.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Showing up to the gym is half the battle. A workout partner keeps you accountable to show up to your scheduled training session. You don’t want to disappoint your partner by not being there. By showing up for the other person, you show up for your workout too.

PLAN OF ACTION

Whatever exercise you and your workout partner choose to do, make sure that you have a plan of action. Without a plan, you will either spin your wheels or plan to fail unintentionally. Shanon and I both are bikini fitness competitors. We are on the same fitness level so our training relationship works. As an IFBB Pro I have helped her tailor her training program for future NPC competitions. Our plan is to compete because it takes our fitness to a whole new level. I think it is fun to have someone with the same fitness plan in mind. It makes for a fun journey together.

GOALS

After you have your plan of action, set short term and long term goals with each other to keep you motivated along the way. You don’t have to have exact goals, but something comparable. Shanon and I happen to share the same fitness goals. We both love to compete and we both love photo shoots. For example, Shanon wants to do NPC show in early 2012. That is her long term goal. Her short term goals are to set up photo shoots along the way to keep her on track and to assess her body’s progress. Setting a goal then reaching it makes one feel accomplished.

KEEPING IT FUN

Having a training partner keeps your workouts fun and fresh. Friendly joking and socialization keeps the training session entertaining even when you don’t want to be there. You will be sure to look forward to your training session. Shanon and I have developed a stronger friendship due to our consistent workouts. I look forward to our training session because she is such a goofball.

SPOTTING

Ever thought about lifting heavier to break through your personal plateau but not quite sure you can do it on your own? With a training partner you can. Having a spotter allows you to lift heavier. Great form and safety is the key when lifting heavy. Without a spotter, I am not able to push as much weight. With Shanon there it dares me to try things that I normally would not do because of the risk of injury.

CHANGE

Want to try something new but scared to do it on your own? Having a training partner allows you to feel comfortable with trying new things. I remember when I wanted to try a Zumba dance class but was scared to be the new uncoordinated kid in class. I asked Shanon to take the plunge with me. That way we both can look stupid together. Turns out that we were better than we thought. We had so much fun learning something new. I just remember smiling and laughing the entire class. Change is fun!

When thinking of most great athletes, all of them had at least one thing in common, a coach or partner that pushed them. Someone was there to mentor, encourage, and push them past their limits to help them succeed. By having a fitness partner support you through your journey and vice versa, you too can be a great athlete.

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