What I learned from My Workout Buddies


In the past few months I have been working out at the Y with a couple of guys I’ve met in the weight room. They are not only younger than me, they’re also in better shape, and while some might find working out with people who can lift twice as much weight  as you a bit intimidating, I decided that I needed the challenge.  The right workout partner can help you push through psychological and physical barriers. So after months of hitting the gym hard with my bald friends, Chris and Christian, here’s a few things I’ve learned:

What I learned from Workout Buddies Maurilio Amorim

1. The early hard workouts sucked. No need for euphemisms here. They were hard and painful. At one point, I asked for my mommy.

2. I needed a change. I have been working out at gyms for decades. My routine had become, routine, very routine. I was not seeing much improvement because I did the same exercises all the time. Suddenly I was doing all kinds of different stuff and working out different muscle groups and my body noticed and responded.

3. Accountability. That seems to be a reoccurring theme for me, but having someone waiting for me at the gym, kept me from sleeping late and blowing off the workout.

4. Friendship. Whether I’m running or working out, having someone to share the experience makes my time so much more enjoyable. There’s always sports talk, movie talk and girl talk. It’s a bunch of guys at the gym, what do you expect?

5. Challenge. I remember my first ab workout with Christian. I did maybe 20% of it and cried like a little girl during the whole time. It was not only physically painful, it was psychologically damaging to know I couldn’t finish a 20 minute ab workout. (in all fairness, this is a very tough routine, some 350 hardcore crunch combination by the time it’s all over). Today I’m almost 75% of the way to completing the entire routine. I’m still whining, however. This morning I almost threw up at end. Good times.

6. Results. Nothing motivates us more than to see the results of hard work: clothing that fits better, shoulders that are wider, arms that are stronger and abs that are tighter.

I have been a member of the Maryland Farms YMCA for many years. I know a lot of people there and I’m even on the board.  However, it wasn’t until I decided to put my insecurities and hang ups aside and befriend people whose work ethic and results I wanted to emulate that I began to see the personal transformation I had always wanted.

Are you stuck on a non-productive routine? What are you going to do about it?

  • Jason Gordon

    I have been stuck for a while myself. This is what I needed to make a change.

  • Cindy Williams

    You make me laugh. Did you really cry?

  • Jeff Roberts

    I'm stuck with my workouts. Thanks for the challenge. I'm doing something about it

  • Cindy Williams

    You make me laugh. Did you really cry like a little girl?

    • Cindy, sadly I whine a lot, just ask my buddies Chris and Christian. 🙂

  • Joseph

    This is totally spot on and a great analogy for life.

    First of all, I am totally routine in my workouts and it is doing nothing for me….time to change so thanks for the kick in the butt!

    Second, I find these same challenges true in our work life. It is easy to fall into a non-productive routine that yields little to no results but because it is comfortable, it is what we do.

    The truly successful however, never settle for comfort and always step out to take a risk. That risk leads to amazing rewards.

    • You're right, we can make the same mistakes in our work environment and follow the routines and stop getting results.

  • I must admit Maurilio, that despite the fact that I run and hide behind some sort of large equipment or try to avoid making eye-contact with you whenever I see you saunter into the gym, I really am blessed to be sharing my morning cup-o'-torture with you and Chris. 'Tis true: misery loves company (and Maurilio loves cheese with his whine).

    Maurilio, I applaud your honesty, however, I feel as though there are a few things I need to clarify for those who subject themselves to this blog and your "unqiue" brand of wit and wisdom:

  • Good stuff, dude. I agree with everything you've said here. I've actually slacked in this area BIG TIME the past couple months, and I feel it. Just last weekend I asked a friend to start working out with me, so I'm excited about getting that going again. Interestingly enough, when my discipline slips in one area, it usually slips in all the other areas, too. But when I intentionally get my focus and discipline in one area in gear, it is easier to maintain in all the other areas, too.

    • That's a good point. It seems that discipline goes along with the way we see ourselves and what's going on in our lives.

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  • Christian,
    And the point I didn't make, but you have done so eloquently is all the verbal abuse I get from you and the other bald guy. Most of which I could not write it on this blog because due to its family-friendly tone.

  • Chris Mitchell

    I agree with Christian…the relationships we’ve built have been a blessing. But, enough with the man hugs! “The other bald guy”!?!? I been reduced to a nameless status?? We will be doing legs and shoulders tomorrow. And, no, I don’t care that your piriformis and shoulder hurt 🙂 Good read, sir, good read.

  • Chris Mitchell

    I agree with Christian…the relationships we've built have been a blessing. But, enough with the man hugs! "The other bald guy"!?!? I been reduced to a nameless status?? We will be doing legs and shoulders tomorrow. And, no, I don't care that your piriformis and shoulder hurt 🙂 Good read, sir, good read.

    • Hey my should and piriformis do hurt regardless if you make fun of them.

  • I know you're a very disciplined person, Ken. A workout partner could take you to the next level.

  • mo

    Great story man. I have the same issue right now at the gym.
    I go, but it’s definitely getting stale and routine. I should find some gym buddies.

  • Good point. I probably need to evaluate some of my routines to see if I'm just going through the motions or if I could switch it up and be more productive.

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