Note: (Now fiancée - and here is photo evidence so you know I’m not making it up.)
When Meg and I first started dating, I was this scrawny kid who liked to lift weights and teach people how to do it. I’m still scrawny, but a little better at the coaching thing. Obviously, I encouraged her to start getting after it, not at all in a “Hey, you need to lose some weight” kind of way. She had an interest and I told her I could help her. That’s how you get yourself in trouble.
So one day we went to the gym and I showed her some cool things; Goblet Squats, Trap Bar Deadlifts, Push Ups (Big fan of those, she is), TRX Rows; nothing fancy. You can be really good at basic movements and still get awesome results. But, that was a few years ago. She never really picked it up. It was always inconsistent and I don’t really think she liked it. Most of the time if she did go to the gym on her own she would just run in preparation for a road race or one of our Ragnar Relays. Lifting weights was just kind of my thing for a while. She needed something a little bit more.
Flash forward to today where I have a new…ish position as the Head Strength Coach at On Target Fitness in Portsmouth, she trains regularly, more than she ever has before. Even with a really demanding travel schedule. So what changed?
For starters, she needed the social aspect of training. She is very much a people person, and is enough of an extrovert for the both of us. In the past, Meg would typically go to the gym by herself, do some exercises, get bored, and then leave. Not really ever enjoying it or having a sense of direction. We forget sometimes that your environment can shape your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This is vital for having a sense of purpose and sense of belonging, two things key to fulfilling basic human needs. We are super lucky in that our members freaking rock, work hard, and support each other in the process.
So, it’s not enough to say “Go to the gym” – it’s more about finding the right gym… for you. As reluctant as I am to say it, I had gotten that part wrong. I always preached consistency, but that’s impossible if you don’t actually enjoy your routine or have any idea of what to do.
Secondly, she needed a consistent program to follow. At On Target, we program our Team Training schedule collaboratively, so it’s similar every time you come in, but variable enough to keep you engaged.
Third, she needed a coach that wasn’t me. I can do a lot of great things as a coach to put her in the right position for success, but there are blurred lines. I’m already biased, and sometimes too much honesty isn’t what your girlfriend of 4+ years needs to hear after a long day. Our other coaches call it like they see it and keep people accountable, and they are way cooler than me too.
Meg has been training at On Target for less than 12 months, probably 2-4 times per week. Nothing crazy, maybe she’ll squeeze in a run or crush a mountain bike ride with me here and there. But, in that span of time, here’s what I have noticed:
More Confidence, Less overall stress at work, Better Sleep, More dedication to consistency, Repeated Flexing, She has fun!, Asks me to “feel my bicep”, Tells me to “check out my triceps”, Better choices with nutrition, She has muscles that she’s proud of, More energy and less lethargy, Stronger – She even knocked out a legit push up the other day!, More control of her emotions (sometimes), She feels more in sync with her body, Asks me “why I got her addicted to exercise”, Increase in overall positivity and optimism, Owns her mistakes, Increased ability to eat pizza, and…
More drive to pursue her ambitions and fitness goals.
My point is really simple. Meg didn’t really have a passion for fitness when she started, but she knows what it does for her and how it makes her feel. There are so many other things to consider when thinking about training.
We can’t let the external noise shape our perceptions about how you should look and what you should do. If you need help figuring out how to get there, talk to us so we can help you get started. Sometimes you need a family behind you to keep you motivated, engaged, and in the fight. That’s exactly what happened with Meg, and now I can’t get her to stop flexing around the house.
'Til next time,