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Fitness Culture, Workplace Wellness and never doing it all alone

The following excerpt is taken from the Coach Seán Weekly Newsletter. Click HERE to subscribe for FREE

“I came over here with absolutely nothing. I had $20 in the pocket and some sweaty clothes in a gym bag. But let me tell you, I had this one little apartment and on Thanksgiving, the bodybuilders from Gold’s Gym came to my apartment and they brought me pillows, dishes, silverware, all of the things I didn’t have. None of us can make it alone. None of us. Not even the guy that is talking to you right now, who was the greatest bodybuilder of all times. Not even me, that has been the Terminator and went back in time to save the human race. Not even me that fought and that killed predators with his bare hands.

“I always tell people that you can call me anything that you want, but don’t ever, ever call me a self-made man. It gives the wrong impression, that we can do it alone. None of us can. The whole concept of the self-made man or woman is a myth. I would have never made it in my life without the help. So this is why I don’t believe in a self-made man. Why I want you to understand that is, because as soon as you understand that you are here because of a lot of help, then you also understand that now it’s time to help others. That’s what this is all about.”

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Yep, we're getting straight into it for this week's newsletter. Bear with me on this one. 

I don't think I need to explain who Arnold Schwarzenegger is. Before being governor, acting etc. he was the biggest and most famous bodybuilder ever. Bodybuilding, as a sport, is something that seems like a one person sport. We do not see a team of people when that one person in on stage, posing away. But it took a group of people to get to that one person to that point. No matter how great someone is, everyone needs a coach. Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer, has a golf coach. Michael Jordan had a basketball coach. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who literally wrote the encyclopedia on bodybuilding, had a bodybuilding coach. 

My point is (and it is something I am guilty of this myself if you ever see my training videos) that when you go to the gym, most people have their headphones in, training alone, doing their little bit and then moving on. They get stuck doing the same exercises for 3 sets of 10 reps on the same machines and never truly challenge themselves with the weights. 

I'm not saying this as a pitch for getting Personal Training but to truly get the most out of your training, you need to create a culture and the best way to do that is to get those closest to you involved. 

Getting others involved with help with your motivation to stay on track. A training partner that will push you to do an extra few reps challenge you to increase the weights in the gym or inspire you to create new goals and change up your workout. 

And the benefits go beyond training. At home, it is easier to keep your nutrition in check, sign up to events with close friends (shout out to anyone reading this before doing the Night Run tonight in Dublin!) and stay accountable.

The exception to this is for Personal Trainers reading this - never, ever train with, and coach, your other half. I've done this. I've failed at this. I've talked to other PTs who have failed at this. Do not try it. Don't do it... you're going to do it. Good luck! 

There is no such thing as an individual sport. No one gets to be successful on their own. And it should be no different in training either. Ask for help, give help, reap the rewards. 

Workplace Wellness:

Companies realise the importance of employees having good fitness and wellness culture as the demand for Workplace Wellness is increasing. Nearly half of the workplaces in America (with 10 or more employees) now have some sort of policy in place for Wellness and that percentage increases with the size of the company (ranging from 39% of worksites with 10-24 employees to 60% of worksites with 50-99 employees, to 92% of worksites with 500 or more employees).

The more prominent companies obviously have a bigger budget for workplace wellness and what seemed like a throwaway a few years ago is now being recognised as something that can help with productivity and culture. 

If you are struggling to find inspiration at home to get out of the rut of what you are doing in the gym or even need the motivation to train, consider using the workplace to build a culture for fitness. It can undoubtedly help with productivity if you are in a stressful environment to walk away for 45 minutes to train, feel better, more energised etc. and come back to the problems with a fresh mind and a new outlook. 

It can take time to develop a new culture/habit, as I talked about in a previous blog. But it can be done.

Bottom Line: Involve others in your training. Don't do it alone because NOBODY is successful alone. 

Tomorrow's Monday is not a Bank Holiday so we can throw that excuse out the window. Start the week strong. Get a workout in. Get at least one other person involved in your fitness journey to start developing that culture. That can be someone at home, bringing someone to a fitness class, cooking a healthy meal in batch for others as well as yourself, the opportunities are endless. 

Enjoy the end of your weekend, I'm off to get ready to do that Night Run in town with a few friends (practice as you preach and all that)

Take care,