7 Training Options for When You Need a Military Fitness Partner

(U.S. Navy/Amanda S. Kitchner)
(U.S. Navy/Amanda S. Kitchner)

Working out alone is tough for many of us. But for those who are self-motivated, these type of workouts are a great way to have some "me time" that can be quite therapeutic if you spend much of your day in large groups or stressful work or home environments.

But having a partner can be even more beneficial than that alone time. Even if you get a workout completed, having someone to push you and keep you company may increase your workout intensity and time significantly.

Is group training better for you? If you stink at self-motivation, you may find that setting a time with a partner or group training session in your day is all the extra boost you need to actually become consistent with training.

Here are some of the many group activities you can do with a workout partner or class sized group at a gym:

Early Morning Fitness Boot Camps

There is nothing like waking up and getting your workout done first thing in the morning. Usually that time of the day has very little competition other than a few more minutes of sleep. Compare that to the evening where family, work delays and emergencies pop-up regularly.

Now, if you are prior military like many of the readers here on Military.com, the last thing you might want at the gym is some young, fit person yelling at you to keep moving. But some people like it as it is a way to keep them accountable and moving even when they don't feel like it. A "boot camp" style class can also help with that.

Just Your Normal Early Morning Workout

If you want to avoid the Drill Sergeant method of training, get up about 30-45 minutes early and hit the pavement, do some PT or cardio machines with a neighbor or friend. It is a fact that having a partner on early morning workouts (or any time of day) makes it harder to hit the snooze button or miss that set time to train.

Personally, I run a 6 a.m. free training program where I live for men and women seeking to serve in the military, police and fire departments. It keeps me getting up six days a week even when I do not feel like it. We all hold each other accountable and the motivation to train becomes a habit and disciplined activity.

The workout of the week articles are great ideas for training and can be found at the Military Fitness page.

More Traditional Training Options

Yoga Class. Some prefer yoga several days a week, some will take a day or two a week and break up a tough training week of other athletic focus to recovery and work on mobility flexibility.

You can do yoga as a group prior to starting your day to get your mind and body right for a day of stress at home or work. You can also do it at the end of the day and have de-stressing benefits after a typical day of life as an adult.

I currently do a yoga class one day a week, but I can tell as I age, I will definitely add more yoga and swimming days into my week and taper the running and higher repetition or heavier weight lifting a bit. Remember fitness is a journey, not a destination and evolving as you age is important in determining how to start as well as progress.

Pilates Class. If you are not quite into yoga yet and like to mix in other movements and exercises, consider a Pilates class. Most of these types of classes are small and appointment driven, so it gets put into your schedule as an appointment to keep.

Bike Class or Spinning. Get ready to work in a spin class. This is not your normal casual bike ride in the neighborhood. Many gyms have spin classes while home stationary bikes such as Peloton are connected to spin classes you can join.

But if you like to bike, or trying to figure out some form of cardio other than running, consider a spin class and get on the gym's schedule to take these great workouts. You will find that you will push yourself more in a setting like this compared to riding a stationary bike on your own.

Masters Swim Teams. Being able to swim is typically a requirement, but not necessarily. Most pools that have Masters Swim Team (adult swim club workouts) will also have lessons for people needing some technique and confidence help. These workouts are typically scalable and some swim team partners will swim faster and more laps and some will be in the slower lane, but the workout is undeniable. The workouts are typically early as well, but some have evening workouts, too.

Personal Training. All of the above likely have one on one options that also enforce the schedule and appointment approach, but also is a monetary investment. People will put more effort into keeping appointments when the money is already spent. One-on-one is definitely more expensive than the above options, but can be both a learning experience and accountability.

Personalized training programs may be a great way to get started with learning the right techniques and training programs, then you can decide after your habit-forming education with a trainer if you want to do group training or try to start training on your own.

The common denominator between these group training events is the coordination of your schedule and the group start time or your partner's schedule. Sometimes schedules do not match up and you have to rely on your own self-motivation to still train.

But, one thing is for sure, "If it is not in the schedule, it does not exist." Blocking out that time every day it critical to building the consistency you need to make fitness a true lifestyle change and habit versus an intermittent activity -- even if that time is a quick walk during lunch break.

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