Let’s face it, stepping in to the gym for the first time or working out on your own can be a pretty daunting thing. You might be uncomfortable in the gym or using the equipment. You may be unsure of what to do or how to get the most out of your workout. You may need assisting on some of the equipment but have nobody there.
In this article, we’ll describe what the benefits of having a workout partner are and also what qualities you should be looking for in your fitness friend!
Benefits of a Workout Partner
The first, and one of the biggest benefits of having a workout partner is confidence. Being in busy, crowded gyms can be terrifying and can simply put people off exercise. Having someone with you will dramatically improve your confidence when walking in to any gym. This will allow you to go on machines you are normally reluctant to, push the weight you were too nervous to try and vary and experiment with your workout.
A second benefit to having a workout partner is that it allows you to ensure proper form. When doing certain exercises, we can quickly lose form and fall in to bad habits which can increase the risk of injury and reduce the activation of muscle groups you are trying to target. By having someone with you, they can prompt you to make adjustments to your form or reinforce good form when it is present. This will help with long term health and fitness and will make you look like a real pro in the gym!
In relation to strength/hypertrophy training, having a workout partner is a huge perk. When doing this kind of training, it is common to fail and to lift heavy weights relative to the individual. By having a workout partner, they can spot you and help you to safely and effectively finish the exercise.
Motivation is also a massive benefit when working out. A workout partner can push you to your limits, give you that extra boost you need when you aren’t feeling the workout, or when you are at 95% and they want to get you to 100%. They’ll learn what gets you going and they can become a huge influence on your progressions in your fitness journey. At points it can become about accumulating those marginal gains, and having a workout partner can definitely get those gains out of you.
A final key benefit of having a workout partner is the knowledge you share. Two heads are always better than one. Having a training partner can help tailor and tweak your workouts to get the most out of each other. You can also share knowledge on other tips and tricks you pick up which all lead to a better and more enjoyable fitness experience. Do not underestimate the power of a workout partner as they can help change things for the better.
Qualities of a Good Workout Partner
Now, not just anyone can pass as your workout partner. So many times you see people working out together, and one person will be on their phone, or not paying attention or being lazy and inefficient in their work. So we have got 5 key characteristics you should aim to seek from a workout partner.
- Motivational – This has to be present in every workout. They should shout and do whatever they can to get the best out of you. If they can’t push you more than what you could normally do yourself, they are not the partner for you.
- Understanding – This is key for us. Everyone is different and everyone works and performs in different ways. They need to understand this and adapt and change how they help/assist you in your workout. They may for example lower the weight for a set that they did higher, by understanding you aren’t at the exact same points physically. This is a great characteristic to have in your partner.
- Committed – If you find a partner, you have to both be in the journey together. There is nothing worse than being cancelled on 20 minutes before the biggest session of the week. Find someone who has the same goals and desire as you and is willing to work for you as long as you can reciprocate that.
- Humble – There is nothing worse than the arrogant workout partner. The one that always tries to show you up, beat you at something and try to embarrass you if you can’t do what they can. Find someone who is humble with what qualities they have and the relationship will remain strong.
- Truthful – Try and find someone who will speak the truth. You want someone who will tell you if you are doing an exercise wrong or if they know that you can do one more set of something that you say you can’t. This will only help you to grow and develop physically and mentally in your journey together.
We hope this has been a good guide as to why workout partners can be beneficial in your workout journey and also what you should look for in a partner.
About the Author
Connor Stead and Andrew Triggs are Sport and Exercise Science students who write about training, nutrition and supplementation in exercise. Their background in sport comes mainly from football where they coach and compete at university level. More recently, they have started giving training and nutritional advice through Instagram (@trainingwithscience).