It seems that anytime someone talks about fitness they suggest that working out with a partner in tow is recommended to boost morale and motivation but how many times do people talk about how damaging it can be to workout with a partner?
I have no doubts that for some people, working out with family and friends can provide a huge boost of motivation or at least accountability, but I am not that person.
When I started back on my fitness journey, I quickly found out that working out required a lot of self thought and focus. I mean, I am that person who listens to white noise in the gym and goes on runs without headphones in tow so that I can relax and reset.
I like hearing silence with the occasional thud of a weight being placed on a bar, or my sneakers hitting the ground. But, the more I worked out with a partner, the more I realized that I just couldn’t get that level of focus that I needed to put in the work I was used to.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved hitting the gym with a partner, but 9 times out of 10, I focused more on them than myself. With a partner, I found myself rushing to finish my reps to make sure they weren’t bored or spending time sitting on equipment chatting it up (yes, I was that person) rather than taking the time to work on my fitness and in some cases, if I wasn’t spending the time idly chatting, I was comparing myself to my partner.
I’d ask myself a billion questions while watching my partner and while I admit it was a hit to my confidence and esteem, watching others made my workouts worthless as time wore on. Instead of finding motivation in my partner to push myself to the limit, I began to work out the way they did by either moseying about for a few seconds on different machines instead of putting in the real work and the same went for those partners who were really fit and would dominate the gym. Instead of working at my own paced, working out would be a race to keep up and I’d end up pumping iron so hard I was left immobilized for a week due to soreness.
And it sucked.
I started to resent working out because of the competition or the lack of motivation and while it’s totally cheesy to say, I didn’t need anyone else for motivation. I’m my motivation and while it took me forever to realize that, once I did, I started working out on my own and it helped keep me on track better than anyone else can.
Moral of the story, sometimes doing things alone gives you more happiness and better results than doing it with others.
Let me know how you guys feel about this!