Let’s face it, motivation is a key factor in maintaining consistency in most areas of life. This is especially true when it comes to our fitness or bodybuilding regimens. While we usually understand the benefits and envision meeting our goals, there are days when our enthusiasm decreases or other factors distract us. At those times, it’s easy to rationalize and give in to excuses about why it’s NOT a good time to go to the gym and exercise.
This is exactly why it’s important to have a training partner. Finding someone who shares your vision and wants to help you succeed can make all the difference between success and failure. That training partner can also nudge you into action on days you might feel sluggish, or you may fulfill that same role for him.
The “secret” here is feedback. Any time we perform a task, it is always helpful to receive feedback about what we did and how well we did it – or not. A national fitness organization performed a test about the feedback theory on a group of athletes performing upper body workouts. Each strength resistance training session included four sets of three repetitions using designated exercises.
The selected group of athletes performed four sessions of these exercises, following the four sets-three reps format. During two of these sessions, they received verbal feedback about their performance. In the other two sessions, they received no verbal feedback. Each session was separated by a period of seven days. The results were revealing.
This group of trained athletes demonstrated sharp improvements during the sessions in which they received feedback, compared to the sessions with no feedback. Their improvement manifested in greater upper body power output during each successive set during the feedback sessions.
Feedback, of course, represents the way you can benefit from having a training partner. You can benefit not only by encouraging each other to complete your workouts, but to strive for your peak performance. You can offer each other suggestions for improvement, as well as throw each other props when you perform well.
Can’t find a training partner with a schedule that fits? Social media and forums can be a great alternative for this sort of positive feedback engagement (twitter + the bodybuilding.com forums are my favorites – shoot me a tweet [@androsform] next time you hit a personal best or need some inspiration). There’s some great smartphone apps out there as well…search your favorite application market, search fitness and sort by rating…you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.