Lift With a Friend (or a Guinea Pig)

I have written so much ere about how much more effective (and more fun) it is if you do your regular fitness training with a friend (“Weights Mates”). Each is encouraged to push the other a little further with each exercise, then they can relax together. It may be your partner, just a friend, or someone else who – like you – was desperate to start using a gym but didn’t know anyone at first. Then they went along, feeling self conscious and maybe even embarrassed, only to find someone roughly their own age in the same situation. A friendship developed, and the results, in terms of their strength, flexibility and appearance, exceeding their wildest expectations.

We see so many locker-room shots with two or more guys in, all showing off the results…

There’s one!

It happens here too, at the vacation complex. Teen boys (or girls, of course) arriving with parents but no siblings. Nervous about joining in the activities. Loads of them – very quickly, and its our job to encourage them of course – they pair up or become groups. No language barriers – the language of fitness serves for all. And it is not just teens – we find the middle-aged and even the seriously unfit older folks who would love to ‘give it a go’ but have to be coaxed even to come in the gym and have a look. You notice them hanging out around the open-air areas, looking longingly at their fitter vacationers doing their thing. We’ve learn to be able to pick them, go over and chat… especially offering them some introductory help when a quiet period is foreseen… I reckon our success rate is about 80% so far. Add that to the 100% satisfaction from the dedicated gym bunnies who suffer withdrawal symptoms when away from their home gyms, and we’re kept pretty busy here.

And its not just lifting. With a little help from us with the organisation sometimes, there are wrestling and boxing matches and tournaments as well. And other ways of having fun…

I was diverted back to this theme today by a new discovery about funny rules and laws. I’m sure that I’ve commented here that it is illegal to piss in the ocean anywhere on the Portuguese coast. Presumably you have to leave the water, cross the sand and find a tree behind the dunes. But today’s partnership story comes from Switzerland, where it is illegal to keep one guinea pig. Yes, one guinea-pig is a no-no. They get lonely, and must have one or more friends. So anyone receiving a guinea pig as a present must instantly go to the nearest pet shop for another. You are then locked in a cycle of guinea-pigness for life since, when one dies, you are obliged immediately to get a new one to replace it so its partner doesn’t feel too sad (and so you don’t go to gaol).

The only way out, unless you can give the happy couple to a friend in one transaction, is presumably to wring two necks at the same time and pig out (sorry for that) on a larger than usual stew. But the aspect that had my partner Dave in near hysterics was the realisation that one guinea pig on a wheel can encourage the other guinea pig on a second wheel to go faster, thereby expending more energy, improving its cardio efficiency and developing its muscles beyond what one on its own could do…

So I guess our gyms need some guinea pigs whirling around on their wheels to inspire the human lifters…

…as those in the remaining pictures have been  inspire by their fellow gym bunnies!

I wonder if it is illegal in Switzerland to keep one bunny…? Well, here’s quite a few…

That’s Andy B from Vienna – and so is this…

“No guinea pigs were harmed in the production of these bodies”

Nor, indeed, in the production of the books (plenty of fitness and gay love in there though – just click no the covers)

Just the satisfaction of being drenched in your own sweat as a result of your determination and the encouragement of your “weights mates”…

About tony

Born Northampton UK
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