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Joining a Team to Stay Lean: Easy as ABC

Aug 29, 2013

If you’ve been training solo all summer long for endurance sports events or trying to keep up on your workout schedule by yourself during the summer vacation season, you may be feeling burned out, lonely and struggling to stay motivated. Just as your kids may be getting ready to join a fall team sport this time of year, it also is a good time for you to join a workout team to meet new people, get your competitive drive back, and successfully accomplish your health and fitness goals.

Accountability is Key to a Strong Team    
Being part of a team means that you are accountable for your role and participation on the team. Your teammates trust that you’ll be there for every workout and you have each other’s backs. One day, you might be struggling with your workout and need a teammate to keep you going. The next day, you may be rocking your workout but your teammate could use a little support from you. Either way, a healthy team dynamic of giving, receiving and relying on each other to do his/her part can help you and your teammates reach goals that would be unachievable on your own.

“This day and age a lot of people are isolated.  So it’s important to get out and join a team,” says Matt Gagliano, personal trainer and owner of Fitness Together East Bay. “When people depend on you and you’re held accountable to others, it can be a powerful thing. You don’t want to let your teammates down.”

Buddy Up for Energy and Positivity
As a competitive baseball player growing up as a child and later playing semi-professional baseball as an adult, Gagliano is a big believer in joining a team and the power of teamwork. Gagliano advises that you should join a team with people who have similar commitment levels.

“The biggest thing that I used to get frustrated with when I played baseball was playing with people who had different commitment levels,” Gagliano recalls.  “I gravitated toward people who were as committed as me and who would push me to succeed. If my goal was different, but effort levels of everyone in the group were similar, then we had a good chance of having a successful team environment.”

When picking a buddy or group you want to work out with, another good rule of thumb is to pick people who have similar age ranges, life stages and common interests. It’s important to enjoy the company of those around you when you’re working out so the environment is energetic, positive and worthwhile.

“I’ve seen relationships build from people who have started working out together in the studio and it’s a really neat thing,” Gagliano says.

Compete to Succeed
Being in a team environment can motivate you to compete with yourself to become physically and mentally stronger. Motivation can be a huge factor when working out with a team because you are pushed internally, as well as from your teammates and coach, to become faster, better and stronger to reach your personal goals, as well as contribute to the betterment of the team.

For example, you might show up on a Monday or Wednesday and not be motivated to work out because you were up all night with a sick child or busy closing a big deal at work. But, if everyone in your group is putting in the effort, then you will feed off their energy and become more motivated then you would have on your own.

“I always tell my clients to work out at their own pace and to push it to an intensity that is good for each individual,” Gagliano says. “One intensity for you might be too much or not enough for someone else in the group. But, it doesn’t matter if everyone is giving their best effort.”

No matter what you do in your life -- whether it’s working in an office, volunteering for a PTA or joining a group workout environment -- you have to work with other people. Joining a team of like-minded individuals can help you reach your goals of consistently living a healthy and fit lifestyle by holding you accountable to your workouts, motivating you to push harder than you ever thought possible, and making your fitness routine fun and rewarding.

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