Subj: The Benefits of Training with a Partner.
A training partner can take a workout from good to great.
With a partner, you can push yourself to the absolute limit.
Good training partners keep you motivated and focused. Progress comes faster and training with a partner is fun.
I’ve made my greatest strength and muscle gains when training with a partner. This happened for a number of reasons:
You’ll naturally compete rather you think so or not. It’s human nature. Use this to your benefit.
Pick a gym partner that’s stronger than you. At the very least, they should be equal strength. This way you will constantly compete and challenge each other. If your partner does 10 reps you do 11. Your partner lifts 250 pounds, you lift 260.
A training partner can watch your form and offer suggestions to help you improve.
It’s hard to analyze yourself while lifting. This is where a partner comes in handy. Having a gym partner observe you gives you new perspective on your lifts. Use their insight to improve.
You need to train with intensity in order to see results. Nothing is more intense than training to absolute failure and training to absolute failure requires a partner.
Absolute failure means being unable to move the weight in the concentric motion and unable to resist the weight in the negative, or eccentric, range of the motion.
There are certain techniques you can only do with a partner using free weights like forced reps and negatives.
Your muscles fatigue faster in the concentric phase of the lifting motion. Concentric means shortening, or contacting, the muscle.
The eccentric phase of the motion is stronger and fails slower than the concentric phase. Meaning even if your muscle fails concentrically, it hasn’t failed eccentrically. To reach total failure, the muscle must fail concentrically and eccentrically.
Failing eccentrically means performing negative reps until you can no longer physically keep the weight up.
It’s easier to resist the weight from moving rather than it is to actually move the weight by pushing or pulling with the muscle.
Having a partner also gives you confidence lifting heavy weight you’re not used to.
They can spot you so you can grind out the last couple reps. These last couple reps make a big difference in terms of building muscle.
You’ll perform better when people are watching. You’ll also celebrate good lifts and feed off each other’s energy. Don’t underestimate the power of camaraderie.
When you have a gym partner you are accountable. You don’t want to let yourself and your partner down by not showing up for a workout. Don’t just ‘wing it’.
Set a schedule with your partner ahead of time with predetermined days and times to workout. I have standing workouts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with my workout partner.
Each day we meet and the gym at 5:45. Work out for an hour
There’s safety in numbers. That’s why you see guys lifting massive weight have up to 3 spotters at a time. A spotter will keep you safe from having weight crash down on you.
More Muscle and Strength gains
Add up all the benefits and the result is increased muscle size, strength and power.
How to find a good gym partner
The right training partner can be hard to find.
They need to share your enthusiasm for training. They need to be goal oriented and hit the gym consistently. One of your old sports buddies works great. Workout with your roommate. Find a guy in class, at work or a friend and start hitting the gym together. Link up with people on instagram.
If you’re not in school, unemployed, and friendless there’s still hope – every gym has folks that are always there when you are.
Start working out with one of those guys. Ask them what their training program is like and if it’s similar to yours, see if you can work out together. If you’re serious about lifting and learning and not a total weirdo, most people will be happy to train with you.
The gym is a great place to meet people. The first thing I do when I go somewhere new is find a gym. Get to know people at your gym. Work out with them. Share workouts and techniques. It’s easy to get sidetracked and talk shop, sports, and women. Save that for the locker room or over some beers (unless you’re cutting). Focus on workouts while in the weight room. Work hard and always aim to improve and maybe you make a new friend or meet someone who is well connected who shares a mutual interest with you. This is a definite added bonus.
To sum it up:
1) Hits the gym consistently and on your schedule
You need someone you can rely on to show up and kill it – day in and day out.
2) Needs to be strong than you and experienced enough to help you improve
You need someone who can spot you correctly. That can make sure your lifting weight evenly and maintaining good form. The smarter and stronger the better.
Find somebody that has good muscles and that does lifts you aren’t familiar with. These guys are great for learning new workouts when your old ones get stale.
3) Training partner must be positive and driven
You need to stay positive and focused on becoming a stronger, better man each gym session. A complainer is only going to slow you down. You’re gym partner needs to motivate you.
Give this a shot. You will find that you have the greatest improvements when training with a good partner. It might be awkward at first, especially if you’re just starting out. Keep at it though. After a while it will be easy to find someone to train with because people will start approaching you for advice once you start making progress.
With all that being said, don’t be afraid to workout alone. Don’t settle for a shitty training partner because it will only drag you down. You’re on a mission and there’s no room for any knuckleheads on the bus.