Nearly all success is based on having a great wingman. Maverick had Goose, Richie had the ref, and Sherlock had Watson.
Having a good wingman is crucial, and their job is to help give you confidence, energy and draw the absolute best out of you.
Part of our culture is the supportive nature of the community, personified by the end of workout high five or the post-workout cheer for the person grinding it out at the end. Our culture thrives on this in two parts, through our gym community, and on the personal level through your lifting buddy aka wingman.
Imagine the scenario:
You’re working hard with your lifting buddy; the weight on the barbell slowly creeps up to close to your best number. It feels good, you’re moving well. Hell, today may be the day you chalk up on the PB board! You load a little bit more on the bar and boom, PB! You look around at your lifting buddy and they give you a tip of the chin, and begin chalking their hands for their return to the bar.
Now imagine this scenario:
You’re working hard with your lifting buddy; the weight on the barbell slowly creeps up to close to your best number. It feels good, you’re moving well. Hell, today maybe the day you ring that PB bell! You load a little bit more on the bar and boom, PB! You look around at your lifting buddy and they are lit up like a Christmas tree, cocked and locked to jump over for a massive high five, then insist you immediately hit the PB board and let everyone know of your awesomeness.
That second scenario is the one I’d pick every day of the week.
Here are our top tips to being an awesome wingman:
Check in with your buddies.
Talk about lifts, talk about life, talk about rubbish….but talk. As a good wingman, you should know the movements they struggle with and the movements they rock. This way, you know exactly when to warm up the highest of fives.
Respect their bubble.
This applies to all aspects of the class. You’ll have plenty of time to shoot the breeze, but when the coach is briefing the class, giving your wingman a few coaching cues, or when your buddy goes into “The Zone”. Stop talking to them – they have an invisible bubble around them that nothing can penetrate. Don’t burst the bubble, as they want to hear the briefing, coaching tips, or that moment of exquisite calm just before they hit the bar.
Make a big deal out of things they do well.
When you get to know your buddies, you’ll start to see the progress around the room. Instead of seeing someone not squatting to depth, you’ll see how far they’ve come, working hard on their squat to get that low. See someone using the rings instead of pull-ups? Know your buddies well enough, and you would see that they have bought into to building their upper body strength before hitting the rig, as they know this is the path to success…
This is your chance to be an awesome wingman.
Getting to know the people in your community and actively being a good wingman is the path to all that is great, I promise you, the next time you do something awesome, you’ll look around and be surrounded by equally awesome wingmen. That’s the beauty of a supportive culture.