Do you have a training partner? Is there someone you meet up for exercise? When I was going to university my brother and I used to train together.
This was great as we had similar goals, enjoyed training the same way and we’re both competitive. We pushed each other because we trained together moreso than if we trained on our own. We would even do things to try and throw each other off their game. For example, when spotting for bench press it wasn’t unheard of to lean over the bar when spotting and try and drop a bead of sweat on each other. Gross stuff I know but hey that’s what brothers do.
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But what does the research say about having a training partner? Does it help?
Well a study with heart attack survivors says that it does help,
The Dutch study included over 800 participants who were all survivors of a heart attack. And they were split into an intertion or control control group. The goals for both groups were weight reduction, smoking cessation and physical activity. There were lifestyle programs to help the participants achieve these three outcomes.
The intervention group was also allowed to have partners join them in the program at no additional cost. Health professionals also encouraged participants in this group to have their partners join. Those in the control group had access to the same lifestyle programs but completed them alone.
So what did they find?
Study participants with a partner involved were more than twice as likely to achieve one of the three outcome goals. And weight reduction was the most positively affected by having a partner join them. This intervention group was 2.71 times more successful in achieving weight reduction than the control group.
So how often did the partners have to join the program?
Over the course of a year a partner only had to attend one session. Can you imagine how powerful that is? Someone supports you once and you are almost three times more likely to achieve a weight loss goal?
So why is this the case?
I remember working with a client years ago with a fat loss goal. And we had a specific program for when they came to the gym. We adjusted their schedule to fit in the training. We gave them the guidelines and habits to follow nutritionally. Everything was set up for success. We planned to end each day at a reasonable and allow for optimal recovery and rest.
And then the family got involved.
But not in a good way.
They (the family) missed their comfort foods no longer in the daily meal plan. They objected to the new schedule which didn’t allow for nightly Netlix binge sessions. And weren’t interested in making sacrifices in their own lives to help another.
So this indivual tried to make dual meals to keep everyone happy. They stayed up late to join in the evening movies. They added time to their schedule to buy groceries for the changes they needed to make as well as the regular groceries the family was in the habit of making.
There was no support at home. It made this person feel guilty for investing in themselves. And they were burned out physically and emotionally. Unfortunately it didn’t result in a positive outcome.
What about you?
Who’s in your corner? Who supports your decision for a better, healthier tomorrow?
If you have a partner or family behind you that’s great! You’re in good company with the intervention group that achieved a great weight reduction.
And if you don’t have that support we’d happy to fill that role. We’ll be your fitness family. From email reminders, newsletters, pump up texts, meet ups for coffee, phone call check-ins, coached training sessions and more we’ll be in your fitness business so much you might wish we were related so you’d have some more space.
To find out more about joining our fitness family, send us an email to athletetraining (at) shaw (dot) ca or stop in to Okanagan Peak Performance Inc.
Minneboo, M., Lachman, S., Snaterse, M., Jørstad, H. T., Ter Riet, G., Boekholdt, S. M., … & van der Spank, A. (2017). Community-based lifestyle intervention in patients with coronary artery disease: the RESPONSE-2 trial. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 70(3), 318-327.