Finding a workout routine that fits your goals is difficult. Doing it alone, while possible is a far more daunting task.
I've been lucky with my exercise routine for the last 14 years. My father introduced weight training and other strength and conditioning regimens to help me become a better athlete as I was growing into my body at age 11.
I had a workout partner from the start. That continued through college and even briefly after.
But I couldn't find one training partner who would stick with me, push me, challenge me and ultimately help each other become better people physically, mentally and spiritually.
Being alone in the gym wasn't fun. Sure, accomplishments were made but it was hard to find new challenges as I was getting comfortable being the big fish in the little pond of my gym friends.
Enter late 2015 when I found strongman on Instagram. I was invited to event training by Gregg Inocencio and he was at Colosseum Gym in Columbia with a host of other competitors.
I felt whole. Being brand new was a challenge in and of itself, but having so many in the group pushing me and believing in me to accomplish feats has brought me into the competitive ring. The rest is history.
At one point, I even held my own event training on Saturdays with a group of men and women. We all got better and became better people.
But nothing is better than the current situation I am in at NEVERsate Athletics in Westminster.
What owner Brian Alsruhe has created is a strongman gym that eliminates the typical stigma attached to serious lifters. There's no ego. There's no negativity. If there is, you're out.
Brian created a group that continues to grow in size and it's because of the values he and the rest of the members share in the group/class setting.
We go to the gym to find some purpose within ourselves and to "find our 'why.'" Ever since I've become more involved with the people at NEVERsate, these are a few of the things I've noticed that make the group workouts so great:
1. A wide variety of skill levels, body types and backgrounds.
2. Everyone treats each other as their equal. Whether you're lifting 100lbs or 500 doesn't matter.
3. Effort is appreciated.
4. Encouragement and positivity is a constant.
5. Training is tough, but kept unique and fun.
6. Progress is tracked over the course of a program.
7. Competition is encouraged and is meant to push group members through plateaus.
8. Nobody quits. Attitude is everything.
9. External factors are less important. Everyone is present in the moment.
10. Everyone emerges as a leader in training and in life.
There's so many other great qualities I've seen from this group, but these are the 10 most noticeable traits.
If group training isn't normally your thing, I encourage you to give it a try. If your group has these traits, you'll grow as a person and not just the concrete, tangible results we're all looking for.