What makes for a good gym partner?

Some people are ‘lone wolves’ such as myself, but every now and then we want the encouragement of someone else to keep us pumped, grow a bond & be the ‘bro’ we need in order to hit that next PR (yelling in our ear and rooting for our success)! 

 

But.. 

 

We should be picking about who we choose to be that “bro” and that friend we call on because it does make all the difference. Down below I highlight some tips to look for when searching for a gym partner who benefits you & vice versa. 

 
 
  1. You need to choose someone who has a personality that meshes well with yours
  2. Choose someone who is close to your fitness level — unless you don’t mind playing teacher/coach (some people find that annoying)
  3. Find someone who commits to the gym as much as yourself or more so that you can count of them for the long term. 
  4. If they don’t push you to do better, don’t challenge you to excel then they aren’t a person who will benefit you. 
  5. Find a person whose schedule can work along with yours — or find a compromise you are both willing to do
  6. Choose someone who doesn’t ‘yap’ all day, but knows when to focus on the grind while at the gym — you are there for results not for a social party
  7. Choose a gym partner that keeps you accountable
  8. Choose someone that doesn’t have a huge ego, you don’t want someone that’s there to show off their gains, you want someone who compliments your gains but also confident with themselves without having to be flashing
  9. Choose someone who is open minded- because when choosing a program for yourself or the both of you, you need someone who is willing to give something a go, unless they seek different results, but not someone who talks down about your decisions *but offering advice is fine*
  10. A know it all, doesn’t always know it ALL. Choose someone who doesn’t treat you like a test subject, they might know their bodies but it doesn’t mean they know yours and unless you hire them for training you, don’t allow someone to make you feel stupid or incompetent. There are coaches with experience and degrees that can offer that type of support. If your gym partner is coming off like a ‘know it ALL’ then they are too involved with being right than being a friend & that will get old real fast. 

Thanks for reading, I hope these tips are helpful for when you are in search of a gym partner! please feel free to follow, share, comment and like 😀

 

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For more advice and Tips, click Here & here

 

Shay-lon 

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BEGREATGUYS — Don’t rely on someone

Save some of your motivation from within. 

 

We all need a little bit of a boost to keep going – to know we are headed in the right direction — to keep us accountable — to make us feel good about how far we have come. 

Indeed all of this is true, and I believe having a partner in crime that keeps you focused and disciplined and makes it possible for you to keep going is a great opportunity and needed — because social support is important. On the other hand, relying on your partner in crime, in order to succeed might weigh you down long-term and keep you from exploring outside your comfort level — or prohibit you from taking a leap of faith.  I think too much of a good thing, is just that, too much of a good thing. We need someone to keep us grounded, but when that someone backs down after awhile, we need to know how to use what we have within to keep up from giving up. 

 
 

As a personal trainer, i like to think it is my job to be a cheerleader, role model, knowledgeable professional in the field of fitness/health and an accountability partner that creates workouts and talks to you about what specifically will get you from point A to point B. I love my job and I love that I can build people inside & contribute to their physical changes that make them feel good. I just wonder sometimes if people whom rely on their trainers, realize that at some point, it will be time for you to leave the nest and utilize all the teachings so that you become independent at the gym. Now, I am not against having a long term client because everyone meets their goals at different lengths of time & everyone’s goals are different how they go about them BUT at the same time, when I am relied on, I don’t want it to be so that when and if I go on vacation; my client decides to quit working out until I return. I want my clients to be self sufficient enough that if I should be gone for a short period of time, they can manage on their own. It’s profitable to have a client rely on me, but it doesn’t make me look good when I have a client for years who has yet to reach any of their goals or who has yet to be able to gain enough confidence to workout without me being physically there every waking moment. I don’t want to kick my clients to the curb but I want to know that they are growing independently, building self esteem, and maintaining their success in the process of having me train them & I know it will take time. 


But not only from a trainer perspective but also from a friend/neighbor/spouse/family, etc perspective… 

We shouldn’t allow these people to feel so pressured. Having a friend who comes to the gym with you is fun, motivating and keeps you on your feet but what happens when that person misses a few days? Normally, the first thought is to stop going for a few days as well because you don’t want to workout without them. The motivation you have stems from being able to workout with your friend, so when a friend misses a day or two, that becomes your excuse for missing a day or two. Basically when you realize you aren’t meeting your goals and aren’t seeing results, the blame will fall on your friend because in your mind, because your friend missed a few days– you weren’t able to meet the requirements it takes to meet your goals. Not saying you will legitimately blame them to their face, but when someone ask why haven’t you been attending the gym anymore; it will fall back on your friend — “I normally come when my friend comes, and he hasn’t been able to make it back in so when he feels better or starts back on his normal routine, we will be back”. Nobody should take the blame for your lack of choice to do something, because when it comes down to it, you have the time and the reason for wanting to workout– but you have co-depended on someone for so long in order to workout that when it comes time to come on your own, it’s too intimidating & you make them the excuse. 


When you want something bad enough… 

It should come from within, it should fuel you enough to start and to finish. Having an extra person to root for you is good, but sometimes people don’t root and don’t support, so you have to be prepared to conquer things on your own. Prepare to endure many things on your own, so that if the time should come where you lose that partner in crime or lose that support — it doesn’t prohibit you from continuing on your journey. Life doesn’t always play fair and in order to make the best of the lemons thrown at us, we need to rely on ourselves for the most strength. I am a firm believer that having social support is a wonderful thing, but I stand by that people can either bring you up or weigh you down; you have to stay in control of yourself and not allow someone else to be your driver. 


Anybody can play backseat driver to our choices, but you are the one driving, so the only person who can control your steering wheel is you” — Shay-lon Moss

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BEGREATGUYS #5 — My exam story (Try Again)

I have learned many things, some of which made a difference in my life. One of which, is learning to “try again”, which for some is easy enough but for others like myself, “trying again” is scary and makes us overwhelmed, makes us anxious and gives us stress. Stress we don’t need nor want. I can tell you of many incidences where I wanted to try again but didn’t due to fear and not knowing, due to low self esteem and negative thinking and due to lack of courage. I grew up on “trying” and giving it my best; my mom always told me and my siblings this growing up — and even then it was easier said than done. Almost like now. Where trying something for a second or third time seems like a waste of time, especially when you don’t know how it will end. 

I learned REAL soon, that trying again can be the door that opens opportunity — All it takes is a positive mindset, belief in yourself and capabilities & your “why”  (in other words the reason that you NEED to try again, why is this important to you) because without a why, you lose focus and give up. This almost happened to me within this year. 

Just recently I got certified in Personal Training by ACSM (one of the hardest personal training exams right next to CSCS) and holds the “Gold standard” for the fitness industry because it was the FIRST certification and very few people pass this exam the first time let alone the second time. I graduated college May 2016 and took the exam for the first time December of 2016 and FAILED. Mind you it cost me 300 dollars to take it, and I didn’t have whole lot of financial stability at the time, so I knew it would take some saving up before I could afford it while also having to afford bills. I was very discouraged this first time (you can take it after 15 days with a discounted price) but at the time I could not afford to retake it, so I went a whole other year before re-taking it again. The first time I cried and got very upset. The second time, I had something new weighing on me, they were changing the cirriculum for this exam after this test date, so if I failed it this time, it meant having to buy new books & taking time to study the new material (expenses and time) so I retook the test Dec. 2017 and FAILED, again. Now I was very pissed off, I had cried at the gym when telling my boss/owner and sharing the news with a couple of gym members, it was like the world was falling on top of me and I couldn’t breath and didn’t know what to do, I started to think that maybe I was too dumb for this test — people gave me other names of personal training certs I could do: ACE, NASM, ISSA, etc but I didn’t want to do those, I wanted ACSM, it appealed to me because of the recognition it receives and how few people have passed. I wanted to pass it. 

In the meantime while my self esteem was low, I started looking into other cert options in case I wanted to give up on ACSM (and do know I did want to give up) because I even got ahold of NASM and talked with a rep about being interested in taking their exam and pricing and same with ACE. I even researched ISSA to see what it was about. When it was all said and done, I decided I would give ACSM a try ONCE more, because the material was new, I figured I’d rather study this new stuff then to spend more money with a whole other company/cert. Once again I was praying I could afford the new books/study aids — thankfully Amazon had it for decent price and because of using the trial period of Prime, I was able to have them shipped quickly to my house. I got my books and dug in, I decided to once again make note cards, but beforehand, read both textbooks while taking notes in a notebook then used the notes on the notecards and made over 100+ note cards to study from and used the ACSM pocket prep app. I was focused, UNTIL I wasn’t, I had set the date to February to retake the test but realized I wasn’t ready yet, so changed it to March but because I was too busy having fun on my birthday — I changed the date to April to give me more time to study (which I didn’t use my time to study very well) I got distracted by friends and wanting to hang out that I put my studies in second place & the times I could study I would have rather been able to go to bed early. I work two jobs so sleep is important to me. It wasn’t until a week before that I really dug into my notes and focused. I was overwhelmed but made it a priority to study because I didn’t want to keep rescheduling my exam. Long story short, I studies until midnight the night before and woke up bright and very, very early to eat breakfast, study and calm my nerves so I could come prepared with clarity. 

Walking into the testing center made me anxious but I was confident in myself and didn’t allow the nerves to take over my mind or fill me with negative thoughts. The test was 150 questions and I had to score 550 in order to pass. The test was HARD, very difficult but I could confidently say that I knew about 20 of the questions without pondering but the rest depended on memory, being able to answer practical questions and hoping that I can do a good job of guessing if I didn’t know the answer. Unlike the previous test, I went through all the flagged questions I had issues with and made sure I answered them to the best of my ability and even left 20 minutes on the clock before finishing the test because I took my time with this test, I wanted to do my best and give my best answers. 

I PASSED. I passed the test with a 557 score. I cried with a smile on my face and walked out that testing center not believing what just happened. I texted the first 5 people I wanted to share the news with and posted on Facebook the news. Everything was starting to make sense to me after this day, I didn’t give up. I could have very well not tried again but because I took the dive and TRIED AGAIN, I found out I could do it. I passed the exam and I am ever so blessed and happy with the results. Moral of the story, TRY AGAIN. 

“When you try something for the first time, you might find you aren’t the best at it, but doesn’t mean you can’t get better” – Shay-lon Moss

Shay-lon 

Check out my Instagram with the posted good news: ACSM cert

26 compared to 25. (Motivation Monday)

It’s probably fair to assume that since turning 26 on Thursday March 22nd, I have looked back on my life & everything that has changed (my goals, my maturity level, my growth, my career goals, my morals, my circle of friends, etc) some of the changes haven’t been big, but gradual over the course of the years and other changes, I made right away because it was “time”; time to develop myself and strive for new goals for myself. Goals that would challenge me and that could be accomplished by the time I reach 27 of next year. 

To begin with, I believe the big change in my life since turning 26 is my maturity level and level of understanding myself, this doesn’t mean that I won’t have fun at 26 or will live life “seriously” every given day; it means I have new priorities and obligations that mean more to me this year to have accomplished than it did the previous years. It means when I tell myself I want to do something — I will do it, because I am getting older and time is of the essence; and it means I am going to focus on my prospering my life a whole lot more. The fun will be there; the living life to the fullest won’t disappear, but the journey will be more focused and more dedicated than before. The “understanding myself” part is the time I have taken to clear my mind of the past mistakes and opening my mind to what it means to be happy within myself, finding ways to conquer my bad days, humbling myself in order to create a better circle of people who surround me, taking time to “treat” myself, putting myself first, getting to know my flaws & learning to better myself in all areas of my life one step at a time. All of these things about understanding who I am, is going to take time & won’t come fast but it shows I have progressed when I can see changes in myself that make me happy. 

 

My career goals, have pretty much stayed the same but with a addition of things that will help fulfill my life & add more fun to my goals — keep me on my feet but not overwhelm me with stress. Of course these goals will also take some learning on my part and some networking and possibly even more sacrifices — in the beginning, I wasn’t prepared for this, but now I feel I am more prepared because I see what I do on a daily basis and realize I have to have balance in my life to achieve my success — I have to work harder with more effort but not work harder and stressed. That’s a huge change I am making for myself, learning to find ways to cope with overwhelming amounts of stress (stress won’t disappear, because I know it happens) but instead of shutting down; I want to work through it and find my “coping ways” so that I can live a more positive lifestyle. My career choices will be stressful in the beginning because it will be a whirlwind of emotions and dedication — but in the end, I want it to be fun and take my breathe away every time.

 

Friendships & family members. I have decided that I won’t chase after people in order to keep them close. I will make better efforts to keep in contact with close friends and mend relationships that might need mending and I will eliminate any negativity that keeps me from thriving. I will be happy for those who succeed in life and hope that when I progress, they will be happy for me. I will stay humbled, no matter how far I come, because I won’t forget where I started and who helped me to get there when I needed the boost of motivation — that’s really important, staying humble. I am going to make new friendships but be picky in choosing my friends, I will not allow family to keep me from being who I want to be in this world because it might not fit their dream. I have decided that if you want to be in my life for the long haul, then I won’t have to ask, because I will know 🙂 My friends and family I love dearly and always will, but with love doesn’t mean I have to stop going for what I want for myself, it means they should be my biggest fans and always support me through and through and if I should fall, they will be the people who I can cry on & the same people who tell me to get back up and keep going. 

 

My physical well-being. I am transforming my body to new heights, I am becoming stronger and more willing to push myself past limits that before I was too scared to try. My physique is showing changes — some I enjoy and some I do not, but with my continued fight to accept myself, I will keep training and continue to make this a trial and error situation until I find the right balance with my body and diet. I will also take more care of my skin, my hair, my outer appearance because I want to feel good and look good. 

 

Mentality — My mental state will need work, because I have anxiety and mild forms of depression at times, but I have come a long way in handling these two things and also, have found new forms of better managing them without having to take medication (I refuse to take medication, never have) so I want to keep my mental state in check and make sure that on my off days, I really take the proper “me” time. I have also decided after talking to a friend to start up writing in a journal (keeping a diary of everything each day); I used to do this but stopped last year during my break up with an ex, but I enjoyed doing it, so want to give it a go again. My body dysphoria (lack of seeing myself the way others view my body) is ongoing battle as well but I am learning to look at myself and not nit pick everything. It won’t go away, but it does have it moments where it isn’t as bad. Thankfully having an encouraging circle helps soften my blows to myself. 

 

Goals — life goals will be ever changing because I have many of them and some that I want to do before 27 and others I want to do before dying. I plan on writing them all down and checking them off. Some of the goals will be with friends and others will be done on my own but either way, I want to stay motivated and having goals will help with that, but I won’t allow myself to become upset if I shouldn’t make them in a deadline because shit happens. 

 

Financially stable. I have reached a point in my life where finances are becoming more and more important; I can’t rely on money falling from the sky, so I have to work to keep myself responsible for my lifestyle choices. While being rich would be nice, I aim to be more comfortable and to live a less lavish lifestyle and more minimal way of spending money. I will spend money on travels, food, shelter and for memories that I can keep, I will buy clothes when necessary and new shoes when needed, and will continue to spend money on loved ones on special occasions.  I won’t allow myself to go broke in order to keep up with the “Jones”, and I won’t allow myself to feel obligated to buy things for a few compliments. Taking care of myself, that will be important, making sure I can pay on credit cards, being sure I can afford groceries and living circumstances, being sure that I can afford having a social life with friends, being sure I can afford my needs — that is important to me. There was a time when affording materialistic things in order to “fit in” mattered to me, but after growing up and realizing most people don’t give a shit and realizing that I have no business trying to impress someone who is superficial in the first place — I am going to spend my money more responsibly so that in the end, I have savings, I have emergency funds and have a better grip on my finances. I began this process by cutting up all my credit cards. 

 

Dating — If I am being honest, I am single and currently not in any rush to jump into a new relationship. I am  over my ex, but not yet ready to share my life with someone because I have things I want to do on my own for the time being BUT I am open to dating and meeting people. I even started talking to someone but was upfront on my intentions. We both agreed if we end up together — awesome but if not, then we are totally okay with having a fantastic friendship — right now I enjoy their company and they enjoy mine, we have some great conversations and share many personal things with one another. I find that this time around, I know what I look for in a potential partner and have also opened my mind to other things about people that I was blinded to in the beginning because of my superficial thoughts. Wherever this road takes me, I don’t know, but for now I am enjoying myself and this is important because I want to be happy alone before adding someone to my life. 


Athlete — being an athlete is my job and hobby, it’s my thrill and stress, my fun and competition. I love it, and my continued goals of competing and influencing others to be their best self in whatever they do is ongoing. I have been sponsored by companies, have been lifting since may 2016 and will be competing in powerlifting and will then broaden my horizon in other fitness industry sports so that I am well rounded and can offer more help when training my clients and growing my business. 

In becoming an athlete and growing my social media platforms, I have found where I need work when it comes to my own lifts and where I want to grow mentally and physically. This is part of who I am and who I choose to be, I don’t need fame to make me relevant within the industry, having made my own path and working towards growing my brand — I hope my athletic ability will motivate others to be reckless, kick ass and smile every chance they get when they want to better themselves in their sports. I want my brand to be about confidence, humbled experiences and thriving from positive people. xo 



Of course there are many other aspects to my life that I feel are important == but to keep this post short and sweet, those aspects I won’t mention at this time. I believe where my life is now, is not where I want it to be next year, I want it to be bigger, better and have more achievements. I know today is Monday, and what better way to spend it than to start this new journey at 26 now. I have a book I want to write, actually two books I want to write, so that will be a whole other addition to my goals that I want to accomplish. 26 never felt so inspiring, but I am thrilled to get this path started! 

 

Thanks for reading, hopefully all of you enjoyed this read. Feel free to leave comments, share and follow my blog. 

 

Shay-lon 

 
 

Building a positive social circle

I plan on getting back to the podcast soon that I created (been away from it for 3 months) and so to keep things fresh, I will probably do the Tips Tuesday — and gradually get back into things, don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much because of all the extra stuff I am now taking on. With this being said, I created this tip months ago, and I figured it is very important — something we should all aim for & that is:

 

Building a positive social circle.

 

What this means, is choosing to surround yourself with people who help to build you, motivate you, encourage you, and support you. We all have had people in our circle at one point who seemed like the debbie downer or the one that constantly complains about life and all the downs but never sees any positive things from it — but maybe some of us have been the negative one in our own circle (if this is true, change your outlook .. in order to gain the positive circle you seek). This is excluding those of us with mental illnesses that might play a part in our mindset, but even so with that illness, finding people who appreciate you and give you hope and have a concern for you and your life as much as you have for them is a start in the right direction. 

 

I am not perfect by any means, but since growing up and becoming more mature and making better adult decisions, I have gotten better at being alone until I meet people who have a good impact in my life instead of being friends and accepting everyone in my circle — I had to learn to be more picky because I get discouraged easy and I deal with my own demons and having a negative person who constantly brings me down, only creates more issues in the long term for me. Something we have to learn to do, is be picky as to who we allow in our lives and who we allow to impact our lives. Down below I list some ways to build a positive social circle:

 
 
  1. Be PICKY! Don’t allow anyone in, make sound decisions. Not everyone needs to be your friend
  2. Change your outlook/attitude about yourself – when you have a more positive outlook on yourself, people tend to gravitate towards you and in turn you make more relationships that are good relationships
  3. Respect people- Respect goes a long way in life, if you can respect others, normally it means they will have mutual respect for you
  4. Be open minded: Open minded individuals tend to see within a person vs the outer layer, they want a deeper connection with someone and in turn you truly start to build a stronger bond
  5. Compliment someone: Giving someone a reason to smile can make a difference — people will feel appreciated & it can make your day knowing you made someone else’s day. People enjoy compliments, truths about themselves that maybe they don’t see within them, but hearing it from someone else gives them a reason to continue being awesome! A simple compliment can carry a lot of weight
  6. Don’t be self absorbed: I always say there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself BUT you don’t want your circle to get tired of learning about you, when you become self absorbed everything revolves around you and that shows others that you don’t have their best interest in mind. I will just add that, being self absorbed can lead to bad relationships because everybody wants a chance to shine and when you take someone’s limelight to shine back on yourself, it comes off as arrogant. 
  7. Confidence is needed: Confidence is a necessity because people feed off someone who is confident with who they are, you need to carry yourself like you are proud of being alive, proud of who you are and proud of where you came from because it is what makes you, you! You might have a bad past but it doesn’t mean you are bad person, and you might have flaws but flaws don’t make you less of a person. 
  8. Think before you speak: We get in a habit with saying whatever is on our minds, which isn’t always bad, but it can lead to bad outcomes if we don’t think about how to go about things. If you keep other people’s feelings in mind, then you will have better outcomes, telling the truth isn’t bad but its how you say it that can make the whole difference. Take others into consideration before speaking too much of your mind. 
  9. Don’t be “two faced”: We all know what it means to be two faced “someone who smiles in your face but will talk behind your back when you leave” , yes, that’s very dishonest, rude and immature. Grow up, if you want people in your circle who are positive, don’t make it hard on yourself by giving them a reason to not trust you or like you. 
  10. Find people with similar hobbies: It can pay off when you acquaint yourself with those who share the same interest and hobbies as you, this makes life a little easier but don’t disregard those who are opposite because many times they can give us new experiences and allow us to step outside our comfort level. 
  11. Be true to SELF: Be real, be authentic, and be yourself. Changing for others will either end badly or last for a short period of time because you will run into all walks of life and having to shift who you are for each person will get tiring — change is good if it makes you into a better person and develops you mentally and physically and spiritually but when it becomes a change in order to “fit in” with people or groups of people, it drains you, overwhelms you, and reduces your chances of making deeper connections with people. Not everyone will like you, but those who do like you, will be worth it because they will see the best in you — 
 

Building a circle isn’t about being “popular” and most liked, it is about building a meaningful bond with people who take the time to build that same bond with you. Building a positive circle isn’t about having to smile and be happy everyday, it’s about building a circle that allows for bad days but doesn’t dwell on them — Shay-lon Moss 

 

A circle can be small (2-3 close friends) or a bigger circle (5-10 friends), or your family members — it doesn’t matter how big or small it is, it’s a circle that has your back no matter how deep the water gets; they motivate, support, and uplift you– they give you truths but don’t slam you with bad vibes — Shay-lon Moss

 

Have something you want to add to this list, feel free to leave in the comment section! 

Long Leg Day

I would just like to mention that today’s leg day was written down a lot harder than what I got finished within 3 hours. I know it seems like a long day, but that includes the breaks, because this week is all heavy lifting, which means longer rest periods. I don’t ever plan on being at a gym for more than 1 hour, but since training for powerlifting, I have been inside a gym no less than 2 hours .. which probably is normal depending on your fitness level and your workouts. I know many days I have a cardio and lift that (so take that into consideration) most lifters don’t like doing their cardio on the same days as lifting. I am an odd ball and so far have been able to handle it. I will also mention that some days I have a gym partner (now); I guess that is what happens when you make new friends at the gym, they then decide it would be cool to lift with you and thank goodness she lifts just as much or heavier than me.. so it hasn’t been bad at all, considering I am usually a lone wolf when I workout and I liked it. Many times my workout sets or reps get cut because she wants to shorten the gym period but very rarely will I be doing that because we have different goals in mind and I need to focus on my overall goal  to put it lightly. Regardless, it has been nice to have a gym partner every once in a while to keep me motivated and help spot me. 

 
 
  • barbell back squat: 

 

  • 75% of 90% of my 1-RM: 3 x 5, 135 lb
  • 85% of 90% of my 1-RM: 3 x 3, 155 lb
  • 95% of my 90% of my 1-RM: 3 x 1, 170 lb
  • 95% of my true 1-RM (singles): 3 x 1, 190 lb

 

  • Jump squats: 2 x 25-30 seconds
  • leg press: 5 x 20, 208 lb
  • DB goblet squats: 3 x 15, 25 lb
  • Barbell front squats: 3 x 10, 6, 12, 95 lb, 55 lb

P.S I also implemented foam rolling and stretching along with my warm up in the beginning of my workout — yay 🙂