I will confess, my workouts with Andrew (my personal trainer) have taken on an element of “me” time, in that it’s about the only three waking hours of my week that are devoted entirely to my well-being.  As my friend, Barbara, told me recently, I am a world-class multi-tasker, but it takes work for me to focus.  Problem solved if I’m gasping and panting my way through the third set of lunges.  I am completely focused on not dying.

So what happens, then, when I finally convince The Mister (who Huff and I fondly refer to as “Buff” due to his naturally athletic build) to come along to the gym with me? 

Let me back up a moment … I’ve been training with Andrew since April 2009 and I have asked Buff to join me at least a dozen times, to which he would respond, with one or more of these:  Nope.  Don’t think so.  No thanks.  Not gonna happen.  Why would I do that?  It’s too expensive.  I’m not a “gym” guy.   Then, about three weeks ago, I said it again.  “So, you wanna come work out with me?”  And he said, “Maybe.”

That was all the opening I needed because in our house we know that when Buff says “maybe” it really means “convince me.”  So I arranged for The Mister to join me and we are now sweating, grunting, groaning, and panting à deux.  Is it better?  Worse?  Here are my observations after four or five workouts …

  • It’s motivating to motivate someone else.  When I am struggling to lace up the runners, it honestly makes my laziness go phhhttttt when I turn that rah-rah talk on The Mister.  It is impossible to be simultaneously demotivated and inspirational.
  • My workouts are less “me” centered than I have become accustomed to, so I get to feel ignored, left out, gypped and needy.  For about a minute … and then I realize that what I have exchanged for my “center of the universe” status is a healthier mate.  Totally worth it.
  • It’s fun to have a secret belly laugh when Buff winces as he moves.  Welcome to my world.
  • It’s fun to share the wincing with someone who completely understands how I got this way and has his own muscle soreness to prove it.
  • We are not actually side by side in the gym.  When working with a “buddy” (as Andrew calls it), we are not doing the same workout.  Buff is over there doing death squats while I’m over here doing bicep curls.  We’re both moving, at about the same pace, but at different stations, so there’s not much room for competition.  This is a good thing since we are both first-borns with stubborn streaks.
  • When we get home, we are equally pooped out, but in a good way.  Before Buff got roped into this, I would come home plumb tuckered (as they say in Texas) and Buff would still be full of energy, which is not always a good thing unless he was fetching me cool drinks.
  • They say that fitness will turbo-boost your sex life to which we laugh and say who has the energy after these killer workouts?!  The jury’s still out on this one!
  • Working out à deux is not double the price … we both get the training for the price of 1.5, so there is a bit of savings to doing it this way.
  • We’re not just building muscles and reducing waistlines, we’re making deposits into our health bank so that we’ll be active and well as we age.  And that’s priceless.

Thinking about buddying up?  I think it’s a great idea and have these suggestions:

  • Make sure you are both on the same time schedule so that workouts actually fit into your work/leisure calendar.  Morning people and night owls may have trouble agreeing on optimum workout times.
  • Pick a trainer and/or gym that is convenient to you both.  If that’s not possible, then choose the trainer that you both really love and it will make the commute easier.
  • Decide in advance whether you are going to pursue similar goals (i.e., weight loss) or if you have different goals but want to work out together (i.e., muscle strength and sports training).  This will allow the trainer to tailor the workouts to each of your needs.
  • Have fun!

Working my way up the fitness ladder ~ Puff

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