There are many benefits to working out with a partner in the gym. You can help to motivate each other and hold each other accountable so you do not miss gym sessions and help you push yourself harder, which means you could see better results.
Providing you workout with a gym partner who is equally motivated, it can also add a competitive edge to your training and promotes healthy competition. It is this healthy competition that can help drive you both towards achieving your goals.
Challenge Your Partner, Challenge Yourself
If you are serious about your training, the likelihood is you already have a regime in place, whether it be a more traditional bodybuilding format of leg day, chest day, back day, shoulder day or a push, pull leg split.
There is probably already an element of competition between who can lift the most, but why not push that healthy competition further by having one day a month when you challenge your gym partner. Below are a few challenges you and your partner can do to see who comes out on top!
1) Battle of the Biceps
This exercise will make you and your partner’s biceps burn. Using an EZ bar or a barbell, stand facing your partner. Use a weight, which will challenge both of you, but you would be able to perform 12 reps with.
The challenge will involve performing 10 controlled bicep curls. Aim to lower the weight over a 4 second time frame and do not rest at the bottom before beginning the next repetition. After completing 10 reps, pass the bar across to your partner so they can do their 10 reps.
Continue to hand it back, dropping the number of repetitions needed by one each time (9 reps, 8 reps, 7 reps etc). If you both successfully get to 1 repetition, take a 30 second rest and start again. The first one to fail to perform the necessary amount of repetitions is the loser.
2) Lateral Raise and Hold Challenge
Performing lateral raises will work your deltoids. Raising your arms is simple enough, but when you try to hold them up for an extended period of time you will quickly start to feel the burn.
For this challenge, you and your partner will need two sets of dumbbells; each of the same weight, and face your partner. The challenge involves lifting the weights in the same way you would do to perform a lateral raise, but at the top of the movement you must hold the weights in position. You will need to choose relatively light weights for this exercise. For example, if you normally perform lateral raises with 10kg dumbbells, use 6kg dumbbells for the static hold.
The one who manages to hold the weights in position for the longest amount of time is the winner.
3) Pull Up Dominance
Pull ups are one of the best exercises you can do to demonstrate overall strength.
There are 3 variations of this challenge. You can either perform a wide grip pull up with an overhand group, which will focus more on your lats, a close grip overhand grip which will again work your lats and back muscles or a underhand close grip which will focus more on your biceps.
To perform this exercise you will need to take on a similar format to the Battle of the Biceps described above. The first person will begin my performing 10 pull ups and the second person will have to also perform 10 pull ups. The number of pull ups that need to be performed decreases by 1 each set. If both of you have managed to perform all the reps, then take a 30 second break and begin again.
4) The Press Up Challenge
This exercise challenge will be sure to work your upper body and give one of you bragging rights over the other. Get into a press up position facing your partner. Then take it in turns to each perform a press up. Once one you has completed a press up the other should immediately do one and vice versa.
The person who fails to complete a press up after their partner has done one is the loser. When doing this challenge, make sure that each press up is performed with good form to avoid an unfair advantage. Cheating on your press ups will mean a hollow victory!
May the Best Person Win
These exercises can make a great session if you want to challenge each other, or you could pick one exercise to add to the end of your workout to see who comes out on top as a finisher. There is certainly nothing wrong with adding some healthy competition to your workouts. If you lose the Battle of the Biceps then why not declare a rematch for a month’s time. You can then focus more on your biceps and see if you can come out on top next time around!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Genzel is passionate about health and fitness having been involved in a number of competitive sports from an early age. He has been writing about sports nutrition and training for a number of years, alongside pursuing his passion for bodybuilding and desire to become a certified personal trainer. As well as writing for BULK POWDERS® Alex also has his own blog where he shares his training experiences and advice on supplements.