So the other day, whilst casually browsing through fitness magazines it occurred to me every one of them puts so much emphasis on finding a training partner! But what if having a training partner is completely out of the question? Maybe you hate people or you’re socially inept. Or perhaps you're in the Antarctica where the current permanent human residence stands at a staggering 0.
All jokes aside, a training partner can be very beneficial to your motivation and safety. But if you don’t have one? Don’t fear! In the last 3 years I’ve been training, I would say only 5% of my workouts were with a partner and I’m still alive and I’ve seen some great results. This blog post is a quick guide to what you can do to make sure your ‘one man band’ performs in tune, every time.
Lets start by looking at some of the benefits and drawbacks of training solo.
Training alone allows you to completely focus on the workout. No chatting with your buddy about the treadmill treats you want to ‘mo’
Safety could be compromised. We’ve all heard the story of some poor guy being pinned down by the bench press
You can hit the gym at a time convenient to you and not that of your partner
A partner shouting in your ear “push push push” really does something for motivation. This is something you will never get training alone
No arguing over what exercises you should be doing (if you have a proper programme to follow, this shouldn’t happen anyway)
Provided you both don’t get too side tracked, having someone to have a friendly chat to can make the workout a much more enjoyable experience. Therefore keeping your motivation levels to come back, high
Next time your training alone, put these simple tips into practise to ensure your workout is as productive as it can be.
· Make use of safety equipment where appropriate. For example, on chest day a smith machine or power rack would be a great alternative to the standard bench press.
· Make sure you follow a workout plan and write it down. Going back to the music metaphor, a musician wouldn’t play without musical notation would they?
· Leave your ego at the door. It’s not about how much weight you lift, but more how you lift it.
· Listen to music that motivates you. Whether its some heavy metal or dirty drum and bass, invest in some good headphones and isolate yourself away from everything else that’s going on in the gym.
· Lastly, learn to channel your anger into your workouts. This is something that I’ve done ever since day one, but only recently have I learnt that I do it. Generally I’m quite a calm person, but things do piss me off in life. I’m only human! I seem to bury a lot of it though, and then dig it back out when I’m in the gym and take it out on the weights. It works wonders for self motivation prior to a gruelling set.
Hope this helps for you ‘one man band’ trainees out there! Now go and have the workout of your life...