Fitness, training, working out—whatever you want to call it—is a discipline. It takes time, effort, energy and unwavering mental determination. And whether your goal is to drop 20 lbs., gain 5, crush a marathon or become an All-American athlete, you’ll never get close without sticking to your guns and staying on track with your workouts and diet.
At the same time, the world around you is still moving. You’ve got school work, job responsibilities, family obligations—and other people to deal with.
Now you don’t want to become a workout-aholic and isolate yourself to the weight room and kitchen, but it’s important to recognize that other people might have different goals than you do. So, for all you disciplined and determined guys out there, it’s time to beware of the 5 Fitness Foes.
Foodies love food. They love food so much that they want you to love food as much as them, and if you don’t, they’ll make sure to let you know you’re missing out. Or even worse: That you’re being disrespectful.
Foodies aren’t bad people, they’re just people who love to explore, create and eat new and exciting foods. Only problem for you is that a revolutionary triple-layer fudge cake might be the best cake you’ve ever tried— but it won’t be the best thing for your aspirations of hitting single-digit body-fat levels.
Their go-to tricks:
“Try one little piece. It’s so good. You’re missing out!” or “Come on, it’s my great, great, great, great grandmother’s recipe. You can’t turn this down!”
Option 1: Hold your ground. “Sorry, I’m on a diet that means a lot to me, and I’d appreciate it if you’d respect that.”
Option 2: Take a small piece. But remember, one small piece here, one small piece there, a little piece of a cookie— it all adds up. You be the judge.
The Booze Hound.
Booze Hounds are a giveaway, but their peer pressure influence can be much stronger than you think. They love a party and live to sampe different drinks, knowing every detail of how they’re made and packaged—even their origins.
Booze Hounds also hate drinking alone, so you’re flirting with danger here.
Their party animal ploys:
“Come on, man. Loosen up. It’s the weekend! You’ve worked hard all week, so you deserve to relax and have fun.”
Option 1: Be your own judge. You know better than anyone how hard you’ve worked—and whether it’s time to “relax” or not. “Thanks, but alcohol effects my training immensely, so I can’t do it.”
Option 2: Nurse something. If you can’t get the Booze Hounds to leave you alone, grab a beer or a mixed drink and sip slowly. After they’ve been hitting the sauce for a while, they’ll have no clue you’ve been drinking the same drink for four hours.
The Inquisitor looks at your training program and says, “What’s the point?” or “Why are you really doing this?” They don’t get it— and don’t really care to—but will make it their business to get in your head and persuade you that your end goal isn’t worth the effort.
Possible interrogation questions:
1. “So, what’s the point of having low body fat? Do you want to show off that you’re better than everyone else?”
2. “What good does it do to squat a lot of weight or complete a marathon?”
When dealing with The Inquisitor, know this: You don’t have to answer any of their questions, because you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And if they keeping pressing you? Remind them these are your goals—not theirs.
The Wise Guy.
Similar to The Inquisitor, The Wise Guy wants you to question yourself, feel uncomfortable and make you the butt of their jokes. The Wise Guy is typically either the most jealous of all the Foes—or simply a jerk.
Common wise cracks: You never know. These people are typically loose cannons with attitudes.
Our advice: Just be aware that you’ll encounter these people, and be prepared to smile and walk away—knowing that if you ever called them out to a workout, they’d be posted up by the puke bucket in no time.
The Leech is one of the most dangerous Foes of all because he’s sucking the life out of you and you don’t even know it. The Leech is typically a training partner, someone who wants to work out with you so he can learn your tricks and get that extra push he needs.
However, The Leech doesn’t come into the gym with as much intensity as you, yet he expects you to push him and spot him for every set—before prematurely calling your session a wrap.
Blood sucking signs to watch for:
1. Lack of intensity
2. Lack of training ideas or programs and challenges
3. Poor spotting
Make it very clear to any new training partner that you’d love to have someone work with you, but don’t neglect to set some expectations up front. Let him know that he’ll need to push you, spot you, and always come with a workout idea for the day.