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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #99, In Praise of Training Partners
October 01, 2012
October 1, 2012
In this newsletter . . .
In Praise of Training Partners
It used to be that most dedicated workout people had training partners. I don’t know why, but you don’t see as much of that in gyms today. Yet the advantages are obvious, such as:
• Having a training partner creates an obligation, making it harder to skip a session because of a hangnail or bad hair day.
• A good training partner has similar goals as yours and you keep each others spirits up with encouragement. Plus, a little good-natured kidding around can be fun.
• Certain lifts require a spotter. You never want to get caught at the bottom of a squat or bench press with no one to help get you out of trouble.
Two training partners are even better than one. When I was a younger guy and pushing my limits at most workouts, the rest time between sets was perfect when three of us did sets one after the other. And with squats and bench presses there would always be someone at each end of the bar. Perfect.
If you train at a commercial gym you probably have casual acquaintances there. Look around for people you like and ask if any want to buddy-up for a workout. Then see how it goes.
Personally, I’m on my own these days. And that’s fine. I workout at home and at my age the weights I lift are no longer so challenging that I need spotters. Training is also so ingrained in me at my stage in life that I don’t need someone to nudge me along. But for beginners just starting out, or people really pushing their limits with heavy iron, I’d recommend a training partner or two.
For cardio, I’ve led kickboxing classes, played handball, and been a runner, a swimmer, and a bicyclist. These days I am a hiker. Sometimes my wife goes with me or I walk with friends, but usually I am alone with my dog. I enjoy our time together.
That’s me. But I find that many people who love weight training hate cardio. Most of them, grudgingly, will work to get their heart rates up because they know they should. But enjoy it? They say they do not. If you happen to fall into that category, one of the best cardio-training partners you will find is a dog.
Mine is an Australian Cattle Dog mix named Tyra. She gets excited whenever she sees me put on my hiking shoes, and her excitement is infectious. How can I not feel good about taking a trail in the woods when I see her tail wagging as she runs for the door?
Such enthusiasm from your own best friend may change your whole outlook about cardio.
If you’ve never had a dog, here is a suggestion: Try volunteering to walk dogs for exercise at a local humane society or animal shelter. It’s a great way to do good deeds and at the same time discover if you would like a regular cardio training partner of your own, the most loyal one you will ever find.
You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .
Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
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The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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