I’ve been around gyms and training since I was 15. One of the most important things about training is having a great training partner. They help make working out fun and they are also important for challenging you and keeping you accountable.
Arnold Schwarzenegger described the relationship between training partners like that of a marriage. Your training partner or spotter is the one who stands by you and gives that little bit of support on heavy lifts and makes it possible to go beyond your limits through constant challenges and encouragement.
I remember one time my training partner grabbed my dumbbells for a set of bench presses and when I finished the set, I thought “Man why did that feel so heavy?” When I looked down to check the weight, I realized that instead of giving me two 80 lb dumbbells, he got me one 80 lb and one 90 lb dumbbell! At the time, I had not lifted more than 80 lbs so I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to handle the 90s. It was an honest mistake and I am not recommending this as a specific technique for pushing your training partner past his limits but more to illustrate what happens in the spotter/spottee relationship. My confidence grew from this experience because I handled the weight well. My training partner constantly coached me and challenged me to lift heavier. He made sure I was safe during the lift and we always had lots of fun training together. A deep friendship was built through the work we put in at the gym.
Now, imagine if we brought this concept of having a training partner into the workplace? What if instead of competing with each other we spotted each other: To be better, to get our work done, to be healthier, to MOVE more, to eat better, to go for walking meetings, to take a stretch break, or to do a pushup challenge?
With MOVE, it’s my hope that the people/companies I work with will feel that when they go to work their entire team is their ‘training partners’; that they will feel supportive to each other and be supported to live healthier and happier lives with more energy, focus and positivity.
By placing health on the agenda and encouraging staff to take care of themselves for the 8 to 10 hours a day they are at work, you address not only the physical issues related to being sedentary but you begin to evolve a new work culture.
This new work culture can involve experiencing more collaboration and less hierarchy; one that de-emphasizes competition but fun and care. One MOVE participant said she felt, “The morale in the office allowed people to get to know each other more and to have fun. It’s typically hard to make friends across the hierarchy and it’s hard to have fun at work, but with the MOVE program, there was more laughter and more energy in the office.”
Changing the culture not only involves changing the way employees relate to each other (and having a ‘spotter’ culture) but also how each individual relates to the concept of work broadly.
If sitting is killing us and we are expected to work all day sitting down, doesn’t that mean our work is killing us? Clients are constantly telling me, “I’ve gained 20 lbs in the year I started working here!” or “My back is killing me from all the sitting I do!” and “I’m so tired by then end of my work day I have nothing left for my family.” Now who wouldn’t feel a bit resentful about being killed, whether that is from the killing back pain, the killing off of energy, or the premature death caused by a sedentary lifestyle?
By giving employees the opportunity to MOVE with just a few minutes a day, employers will help change the relationship staff have with their work, from resentment to connection, fun and care.
Instead of feeling like their job is killing them, the MOVE program can help employees feel that when they come to work they are entering a supportive environment filled with ‘Spotters’, people who genuinely care about their health and are taking active steps as a team to support each other towards being a happier and healthier version of themselves.