Exercise is good, but with a buddy, it’s twice as nice!

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Published on 3 December 2018

Luc and Jacques are both in their seventies, are in similar average shape, and go to the gym with the same moderate frequency. The two long-time friends, one with a bit of extra weight and the other with a bit more, decided to try exercising with Johanne, their friendly drill sergeant.


Johanne’s challenge is twofold: schedule activities that consider both men’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses, and deal with a two-against-one scenario when encouraging them to stick to their routine. To keep her two cadets motivated, she switches up the exercises as soon as they start getting used to them! “I took a training course recently and I learned a special exercise trick that you’ll like,” she tells them with a mischievous smile.


An effective method is to get the two warriors to compete with one another while keeping their past individual performances in mind. This way, Luc, who is weaker in the arms, will do fewer pull-ups than his burly companion. Jacques, however, will fall behind when flexibility is involved. We check their heart rates after each set and compare them to previous readings to note improvements. Johanne never fails to highlight even the smallest progress that we would otherwise overlook.


But the main motivator is still THE FUN.


The two accomplices have a great time meeting up each week (skipping a session is out of the question) and thinking up pranks to spring on their coach: costumes, wacky ties, shouting like sumo wrestlers, dance music to accompany their pas de deux interactive exercises, hidden weights to fudge the weekly weigh-ins… When it comes to having a laugh, anything goes. This requires the “victim” to be a good sport, have a good sense of humour, and have a sharp wit to get even. These little gags tend to be contagious and draw the attention of other members, who don’t hesitate to join in the fun.


As for the pacing, asking one man to exercise while the other one rests is a good way to let the pair deepen their understanding of certain motions by observing one another. Other exercises are interactive (ball activities, pushes, relay races, etc.) and break the monotony of solo training.


“Thanks to this experience, which took place over two sessions, we improved our physical and mental fitness, and our trainer was able to express her creativity at our expense, but also for our great benefit!”


Jacques and Luc:

The Formidable Duo


P.S. – Johanne’s observations of Jacques’s heart rate encouraged him to get an in-depth medical check up; he’ll be coming back in September with a brand-new pacemaker!