One is helpful, the other an excuse. All the time (but in this instant I’m thinking of a couple of very specific people) people are coming out and saying “I’ve got to lose weight…” or “I’ve got to get more ripped…” or have some ambitious fitness goal. What do I say to that? Bloody good for you mate! But then the sentence continues “…so to keep me motivated, me and XXX are going to go together. You know, really keep each other in check”. What do I say to that? Well that could work, or it could be your downfall.

I completely support the idea of having a buddy, especially if you’re the kind of person that finds it hard to get up off your ass and do something about your fitness. But if you’re the kind of person who needs a buddy – your buddy should:

Be self-motivating: A buddy in a co-dependent relationship is not going to be a driver. They need to be able to give you the motivation on those “ah not today mate, not feeling my best” days.

Have similar goals: …or knowledge. There is very little use in you going to the gym with someone who is just looking to pump and get size if your goal is to lose weight and improve anaerobic capacity. They need to help the process along.

NOT be as in need of a buddy as you: This sounds silly and kind of ties back into self motivating, but if your buddy is going to be slacking as badly as you know you can be guilty of – you’re never going to get anything done and it will only depress you both.

The most important thing is that your buddy is not your personal trainer but also shouldn’t be in the same boat as you and should be able to drive you. Also even if you have a buddy, you cannot rely on them to be your motivator. If they aren’t going to the gym, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to. If you planned it – do it! Then tell your buddy you did it anyway and both of you will be proud of you!

Writing this advice seems odd as so many people do choose to buddy up with their friends with the mutual ideal of “let’s lose weight together, sign up at the same gym etc” but if you thought it was hard ‘finding time’ on one person’s schedule, if your buddy is your leaning post, you’re now trying to work out within 2 people’s schedules. Nine times out of Ten, the only winner in these relationships is your gym who got two people to sign up for an annual membership but used the treadmill a total of 4 times never to return.

SO IN CONCLUSION: Buddies = Good, Leaning Posts = Bad. There is nothing wrong with asking a friend or colleague, who is really into fitness, for some help. If they are passionate about fitness, they are a lot more willing to help than you think. Take it from me – if the certain people I was referring to had asked me to gym with them and help them, I would have been so happy to help! I would have actually been complimented. Instead they buddied up and in a 2 year membership which is 19 months in, they have been twice (and are still complaining about their bodies).

  1. Ice_Badger says:

    In this situation I always seem to end up being the motivator…and nine times out of ten end up going alone anyway!

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