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:
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?