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Why It’s Problematic to Put Your Friends on Your Workout Program


If there was a special day for you to take your best friend to the gym what kind of workout would you put them through? Of course there’s no specific day, it’s whenever they’re ready and able to hit a workout session with you they’ll join, right? It’s a fantastic idea to help others get more involved with their health especially with you around because they can trust you with their goals.


[National Posture Institute] Why It’s Problematic to Put Your Friends on Your Workout Program


One of the best ways to help a friend stay consistent with their exercise regimen is to accompany them and give them a workout. Friends make us feel more comfortable and they’re more likely to continue with the healthy habit if they have someone to support their goals. Let’s imagine a scenario: you and your friend are at the gym and they’re doing your workout with you, so you know they’re training hard. Minutes into the workout you realize they can’t perform most of the techniques properly and can’t manage the intensity. What do you do next?


Most trainers would say if the program is too difficult for them they’ll need to modify it to suit their needs. This is the best advice you could give, but many won’t do this. They’d rather encourage the friend through thick and thin without taking a moment to acknowledge their goals and current fitness level. It’s a disservice to try to push them to do the same workout when they’re not even close.  Here’s what happens all too often, they’ll eventually quit because they just can’t make it. A few will try to push hard. Either way, this is problematic for both ends.


It’s challenging when you’re the ripped trainer and the friend wants to be just like you, but remember you’re always the professional. You are the standard and the guide, and if you’re not guiding your friends they’ll get injured or want to slip out of the sessions just like any other person. This leads the discussion on training intensity. We often overlook this because members of the fitness industry have shifted to a more “shed fat fast” and “get ripped now” mentality where workouts have become so intense even the fittest of people hang their hands when they’re done.


The general public, possibly your friend, can’t keep up with this. It’s downright dangerous to push people past their limits when clearly they aren’t able to perform at that intensity. While we’re on the subject of performance, form tends to take a backseat to make up for reps; if after a few reps their form starts to go awry, it’s time to stop and re-evaluated the routine. Yes, nothing is perfect all the time, but doing the exercise in poor form isn’t benefitting the cause either, it’s making it worse. They’ll soon learn they can perform that way and its fine if their trainer friend doesn’t stop them.


Routines need to favor the person performing them. I watched a trainer bring his friend to workout and the trainer was making his friend perform his difficult routine. Some of the techniques required advanced level pull-up strength and outright acrobatic-like abilities that most people just can’t perform. Sure, both of them looked fit, but even if the friend looks the part the ability to be able to perform the technique correctly must be acknowledged. If a client or friend can’t perform it properly, give them another technique. It’s that simple.


We’re professionals whether we’re working with clients, friends, or family, and it’s not only practice, but it’s part of our responsibility to set the standard and reject bad practices when and where possible. Even though our workouts may be the most grueling and impressive, it’s important that we pay attention to who we we’re allowing to access them.


Lastly, this is also a call to think about the workout program you’re on. Do you really need to do 200 burpees to achieve your goal? Some professionals think they need to work harder than everyone else, particularly their clients, as a means to impress and stay ahead of the curve, but at what point is it enough? Can you perform a series of basic workouts and get results? Yes! This isn’t the case for everyone as some results require intense work, but it’s important we be honest with ourselves and check on our own programs and habits to ensure we’re not unnecessarily placing ourselves under more strain than necessary.


Before I finish, I want to mention our trends survey for 2018. Please take a moment to fill out the survey; we appreciate the feedback as it helps. Also, share it with a fitness and/or health friend, the more the merrier. Here’s the survey: http://www.surveyshare.com/s/AYAYHSD


I also want to assist you with concerns about workout intensity and how that relates to your clients or friends by offering NPI’s Certified Resistance Training Professional™ program. The program demonstrates the right techniques to use and how to transition from the easiest to the most difficult.


Here’s the program >>

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