For those that follow my running and exercise adventures on social media, know I enjoy trying new classes, challenging myself just a little further and just generally keeping fit. I can’t say I’ve always enjoyed sporting activities; back in school I would rather have done double maths (and I really hate maths!) than a PE lesson. But whether it’s a midlife crisis or just finding something that suits me, running around is sort of my thing these days.
For a good part of this year, I’ve been having one to one Personal Training sessions with Peake Fitness Personal Trainer, Daniel Turner. I don’t want him to get too big for his boots, but he’s great and each session I push myself and laugh out loud in equal measures. I’ve been riddled with injuries; problems with my sciatic nerve, soleus muscles, I fell and twisted my ankle giving ongoing issues, but Dan and I have been able to continue our sessions, building up strength and working to mend my broken body parts through a bespoke training programme that improves my fitness rather than breaking me further. I should also mention the brilliant Chiropractor Alex Smith, who’s been fantastic at fixing me. Read here how he helped my running related injuries)
However, not one to rest on my laurels, Chris Grimwood, Leisure Club Manager suggested I try PT sessions with a friend. There’s oodles of evidence to suggest you’ll get more out of your training if you have the support of a pal. I’ve partnered up with my friend and photographer, Nicky West to put this theory to the test. Nicky has a whole set of other injuries, so we’re challenging Dan to find a training plan that works for both of us and our old knackered bodies.
From the 3 PT Sessions, one 10km race and a class, here is what I’ve discovered so far when you train with a friend…
It’s More Fun Exercising With A Friend
Although my PT sessions with Dan are always good fun, throw in a mate for good measure and you’re guaranteed to have more of a laugh; whether it’s laughing through the shear pain of doing that tenth burpie or making the other person giggle mid exercise, there’s definitely potential to have lots of fun exercising with a friend
You’re More Likely To Stick To Your Plan
I’d be lying if sometimes I thought I’d blow out a class, session or run, but when you’ve made a commitment with a friend, it’s way more difficult to back out. Take for example the other day. Nicky and I had had an hour PT session with Dan, mostly working on our core and the next day Nicky booked us into the Legs, Bums, Tums Class at Peake Fitness. I really wasn’t feeling it, but I’d promised I’d be there and didn’t want to let anyone down, so I duly took part. I’m really pleased I did, because… well see point 1 – it was lots of fun
You’re more likely to achieve your goal
We all have different reasons for wanting to exercise. Whether it’s to lose weight, improve fitness, it’s a personal thing and one goal doesn’t fit all. So, Nicky and I decided we should sit down and share our fitness goals and by sharing them with each other, we were more likely to achieve them.
And there’s also evidence that shows if you write your goals down, you’re more likely to achieve them too.
You’ll definitely work harder
I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, when you train with a friend you will work harder. In my case, turns out I have this inner competitiveness. I think because I detested sport so much as a child, it lay dormant for many many years. Then BAM! Get in in a gym with someone timing me against someone else, I turn into this competitive banshee. Can you imagine my horror when I lost? And I tried really hard. All I can say, is next time, I won’t lose again.
It’s more affordable
At Peake Fitness, you can share the cost of your Personal Trainer. They have special group PT Sessions that start from £10.12 each. And you’re not limited to training with just 2 people. You can share the cost amongst 3 or 4 of you. You can take a look at the packages here.
And don’t forget, you can also car share, saving some £1s on petrol
You may discover new exercise ideas
When you train with someone else, they bring their ideas and exercise experience to the party and in our case, our injury limitations mean our training will focused around the non-broken bits. Outside the gym, training with others has introduced me to Park Run, Half Marathons and 10km. None of which I would ever have done without the encouragement and enthusiasm of others
Training with a friend will Keep You Motivated
Sometimes when we have a goal or target we want to reach, in any area of our lives, we start with enthusiasm and determination but when we’re working on it on our own, after a while, the excitement and shininess fades. Working with a friend can keep you focused. There’s someone to remind you of your initial “why” ; to keep you training and keep you on track. If I’m honest, I do get distracted by new shiny things that can take me from my goal, so I’m hoping training with Nicky will help reign my distraction in a bit.
You can try a new class
Have you always wanted to give body balance, Pilates or Battleropes a go, but didn’t want to try it alone? Well, bring your training buddy and together you can try out loads of new classes. Peake Fitness, for example, have over 90 classes per week. Why not set a goal to try a new class a month? It takes away some of the uncertainty when you both go in together. So don’t assume you won’t like a class until you give it a go. You can download their classes here
I’ll be updating the blog with how Nicky and I get on and our progress to achieving our goals. Make sure you follow me on Instagram, where I’ll be updating our exercising adventures as go
Member since: 17th March 2014
Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens