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Consider a Training Partner


training partner working out

The decision to have someone else with you while you exercise can often be a major factor in the success of your program. A training partner can both inspire and motivate you to meet your goals and keep pushing towards even larger and more aggressive ones.

As well as motivating you through the use of positive reinforcement, a training partner can be an extra mind for you as you workout. Seeing a partner succeed or fail can give you ideas on how to improve your program or avoid the mistakes that they may have made.

As with any other decision that is made in your program, having a training partner can come with consequences as well. As you will see, however, the down sides to a training partner are usually over shadowed by the up sides. When you have a friend with you, you can feel safer and more relaxed during physical activity. You may also find it valuable to have someone by your side to talk to and interact with as you push towards your final goals.

The Benefits of a Training Partner


There are numerous benefits of having someone with you while you exercise:

  • Motivation: When you do feel yourself slipping up in your program, it can help to have a friend nearby that can provide support. In addition, supporting someone else can give you a big boost in motivation.

  • Socialization: Having someone to talk to while you exercise can be valuable. You might be amazed at how quickly exercise sessions can pass when you have a friend to talk to about whatever is on your mind.

  • Safety: Whether you jog in the park or exercise at a gym, having someone else with you in the event of an emergency or accident can really make a difference. If you do jog outdoors, doing so at night or early in the morning can be very dangerous without someone with you.

  • Sharing of Ideas: You may be very skilled at one exercise while your partner is good at something else. Having someone with you to help with a difficult movement or technique can be valuable. Along the same lines, people tend to learn the most about something when they teach it to someone else. Teaching a partner about a technique that you know well can really help you to understand that technique even more.

  • Getting Back on Track: Should you fail, a partner can help you get back into the swing of things. By telling you to put down the donut and encouraging you to go on a run with them, a good friend can put you back on the right track towards fitness.

  • An Additional Connection: You might choose your partner to develop a stronger or more personal relationship with them. Using exercise to strengthen relationships or set a fun jog as a first date can really establish or strengthen trust and positive interaction.

Choosing Your Training Partner


training partner working out

There is no doubt that using a partner when exercising has been shown to increase the rate of success in any exercise program. But what if you have do not have a particular partner in mind? When choosing a partner, you need to keep a few things in mind, especially if you have never worked with that person before.

  • Choose a partner that has similar goals: You may have different ideas as to why you are exercising. Having a partner that is training for a triathlon while you just want to get up the stairs without being winded may cause some problems in your exercise partnership.

    The more similar your goals, the better chance you both of meeting them. In fact, consider sitting down with your partner and setting the same goals. They may change as you both progress, but having the same idea in mind when you start is important.

  • Choose a partner that wants to do the same exercises as you: If you want to do aerobic training and your partner wants to train with weights, you may want to consider a different partner. If you like the person, you could agree to do one session with each other every week as an alternative. Just as weight trainers could value from some aerobic exercise, you could reap the benefits of some weight training every week. Ideally though, your regular partner should be in the same training category as yourself.

  • Choose a partner that is around the same level of training: If you are just starting to exercise, avoid choosing a partner that has been exercising for years. Doing so could cause frustration for both you and your partner. You may push yourself too hard to keep up and suffer an injury or your partner could slow down and not meet their goals. Look for a partner that is at or around the same fitness level as you.

The Disadvantages of a Training Partner


While having a training partner is an excellent idea, there are some down sides to pairing up with someone else.

  • Scheduling: If you do not have much time to work out, it may be difficult to schedule sessions with a partner. Scheduling can become a nightmare if you work the night shift and your partner works during the day. This is amplified if you are more productive during the evening and your partner is more productive in the morning.

  • Hindered Development: There may come a time when you and your partner begin to develop at different rates and your goals begin to change. Even if you work out in exactly the same way, every person's body is different from everyone else's. Changing your goals to catch up to your partner (or let them catch up) can cause some problems in your program.

  • Trying New Things: You may want to leave your program with a little more room for trying new styles or techniques while your partner wants to stick to the same exercises. One of the best ways to develop in a program is to try new things. If your partner is not on board, experimentation can cause problems.

Why You Should ConsiderĀ a Training Partner


training partner working out

Even with the disadvantages, having a training partner can be a huge boost to your program and can mean the difference between success and failure. Not only can they give you insight and even let you borrow a medicine ball once in a while, they can keep you on track with your goals and pick you up if you fall (both literally and figuratively). If you are concerned about safety, having someone around in the event of an emergency is essential.

Should you or your partner begin to develop at different rates, for whatever reason, do not be afraid to find a new partner that is at your same level. By explaining to your partner that you will both be better off with more balanced exercise buddies, you can avoid any hard feelings or resentment. Just as goals and strategies need to change with development, so do partners once in a while. You probably will have established a strong relationship that goes beyond the gym by that time.