It was a wonderful Spring Break, and one of the reasons it was so is because I got to reunite and workout with my good friend, Myles! Yayyy!
Last Thursday I met up with Myles at LA Fitness for a [killer] workout session. We did some shoulders, and then we recharged with some steak and sweet potatoes! — Okay, technically he got chicken because he’s not eating red meat, but we both got sweet potatoes and broccoli on the side. And it was bliss!
This is Myles! He’s very cool, and happily holding a beer because MR. MYLES JUST TURNED 21! (AKA: He’ll still get ID’d for the next few years, but he’ll still get his drink on [responsibly] because ayyyyye: HE’S FINALLY LEGALLLLLL! )
Myles had a grand workout routine planned for us, though, that I really wanted to share with you all because it was BOMB — totally killed my arms, that’s for-darn-sure.
Grab a partner and give it a go…you won’t regret it!
Shoulder Murder by Myles
All sets performed 10-12 reps, 4 sets
- Barbell Shoulder Press drop set
*drop weight x4
(Myles and I spotted each other at the weight-rack to do these)
This is a warm up so perform 2 circuits (AKA: 8 sets total)
- Arnold press
*increase weight on third and fourth sets
- Seated lateral raises (bent arm)
- Upright barbell rows
- Front raises superset with lateral raises (straight arm)
- Rear-delt flies
- Shrug circles (back and forth)
*Hold plates in each hand and perform shoulder circles
10 forward, 10 backward
Distracting or Empowering?
If you’re like me, then your workouts tend to be a time for you to de-stress, unwind, and get in your zone; it’s a time to get away from reality for a little bit, and focus on clearing your mind, getting in a good sweat, building muscle, or whatever it is your goals might be.
But for others who workout with a partner (which can be for various reasons), have you ever stopped to ask yourself if your partner is empowering you to be better or distracting you? In other words, is your workout a time for you and your partner to catch up about the day and life events, or do you two actually get sh*t done?
The Workout Partner that moves his mouth more than his muscles
Often times – way more often than not – I see partners barely breaking out a sweat because there is a lot of talking in between sets, or checking someone’s phone, I’m assuming, to see what the next exercise is. Even more commonly, I will see two workout partners talking while walking on the treadmill…
While this is all fine and dandy, the bigger question to answer here is:
Are you and your workout partner challenging each other to get better…
…or are you holding one another back?
If you’re not at the gym to reach goals, but merely to socialize and do something active because “that’s what healthy people do” then by all means, keep it up! But I’m going to assume you’re coming to the gym for a reason – you have a goal in mind that you’re working toward, and your friend is supposed to be there to push and support you. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but that means he/she should be encouraging you to run faster, grab heavier weights, or knock out a few more reps.
For this reason, and for a lack of a consistent gym partner, I tend to keep my workouts to myself. Is this better, though? Mmm, it depends…
When working out by yourself isn’t such a great thing
Again, this depends on you and your individual work ethic. Where we just disclosed the possibility of your partner holding you back from going hard, there also comes the question of: Are you holding yourself back from going hard?
As much as some of us may like going to the gym by ourselves because it’s we see it as “me time,” if you have goals you’re trying to achieve, they can be accomplished quicker, funner, and with way more positive vibes, when you have a gym partner – a good gym partner at that.
*For the record, I know ‘funner’ is not a word, but it is in my dictionary! Thank ya
How can they be achieved quicker? Well…
- Gym partners keep you accountable.
If you know you’re going to be working out with someone who will be witnessing your growth/change/results, you’re more likely to stay disciplined to your regimen
- [Good] gym partners will keep pushing your limits.
They will encourage you to finish that last rep, run that last mile, and add that extra weight. Change comes when we’re forced our of our comfort zones; change comes when we’re challenged; change comes as we adapt to higher levels of stress. We’re not always going to feel motivated to push ourselves; that’s what our gym partners are there for.
- Spotters are everything.
If your gym partner knows his stuff, he will be keeping an eye out for your form, and correcting your mistakes — AKA: he will make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Not to mention, when you know you have someone to catch you if you fall, you won’t be afraid to set the bar higher.
With that being said, I understand that some people struggle with wanting to step out of their comfort zones to go for the gold, but face the problem of fear. Maybe you do want to step out of the cardio section and into the weight room, but that’s like discovering a whole new planet. Maybe you do want to try a new exercise, but you’re unsure of how to set up the equipment or where to go. Now the mission becomes: Overcoming gym-timidation.
On gym-timidation / fear
I get it. I do. It’s really hard to walk into the gym and pump out some reps when you’re unsure of what you’re doing, where certain equipment is, whether your form is correct, how you look, etc. (I love fitness and body-building, but on the same token it is such a selfish sport).
But while you are worried about all these things, the person working out next to you is more than likely worried about the same exact things regarding themselves. That’s right…while you might be worried about people seeing the sweat stains growing larger under your arms, the girl next to you is probably worried that people can see the sweat around the edges of her butt. We go to the gym to work on ourselves; therefore, we may notice a cute guy around the corner and think he’s checking us out (which he just might be), but he’s more concerned with whether his bicep is peaking and if the pump in his forearm will be strong enough to make him look like Hulk in his next selfie.
Some other reasons you could be gym-timidated & getting over that:
- You’re not coming to the gym with a plan
It’s like going into an exam without knowing what’s on the test — of course you’re going to feel over-whelmed, scatter-brained, and automatically set yourself up for failure. My advice to you now is to do your research! With the amount of information there is on the internet, with the million of different workouts, programs, and exercise videos out there, you’re basically being spoon-fed! All you have to do is chew it up, swallow, and wait to see how your body responds!
- You’re overwhelming yourself
Yes, there is a lot of information at our finger tips…maybe even a little too much, aye? I know, it’s overwhelming. So take baby steps — no shame here. One of the best ways to start boosting your confidence in the gym and learning new exercises is to join a boot-camp class! You can bring a friend, or you can go by yourself and make new friends! Take mental note of the things you do in there and make it a mission once or twice a week to incorporate those exercises into your routine outside of class.
- You’re taking too large of steps
Another way to slowly build your confidence at the gym, or in any sport, is to accomplish small tasks as you go and build on those over time. Let’s say you go to the weight room to practice three exercises: squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Then finish your workout with your old routine – whatever makes you feel comfortable.
The next day, go back to the weight room to try three new exercises: Arnold press, bent over rows, and tricep dips. And finish off where you’re comfortable.
Later, go back to the weight room again, but this time do all six of those exercises together!
It’s the little things that will add up. Slowly, you’ll warm up to the weight room, and eventually you’ll be comfortable spending your entire workout in there!
The Take Away
It honestly depends on your preference. Although I personally enjoy working out on my own, when I have a hard-working guy like my good friend Myles to workout with, then you can bet I’ll definitely choose to workout with him! It’s a great way to build relationships with people, motivate yourself and your partners to reach your goals, and to have fun while you’re working out!
What you need to ask yourself:
- What kind of workout partner(s) do you have right now, if any? Do they make you work hard or are do you tend to socialize more than sweat?
— In this case, try to get a good workout in by yourself to compare whether you’d rather workout alone or not.
- If you workout on your own, do you push yourself hard enough? Are you intimidated to try new exercises (or even get in the weight room for that matter) by yourself?
— If so, try to reach out to a friend to go with you a couple times a week. Or try a boot-camp class! If you don’t have many friends that like working out, then make new friends at the gym. Or reach out to your local personal trainer, look up videos, and take those baby steps.
It will take some work, but don’t. give. up!!! I promise you, if you start today, one year from now you will thank yourself.
Have a great week, friends!