As much as building the best physique you can ultimately achieve falls solely upon your shoulders, you don’t always have to go at it completely alone.
There are certain support systems you should put in place to ensure that you can give it all you have each and every day, leaving nothing to chance and putting yourself in a position to succeed; one such support system is a training partner. Many rely on their training partners to motivate them, push them past any previously set boundaries, show them new ways to approach different exercises and basically be their other half on the gym floor. When in perfect synchrony, training partners will surpass their bests each training session, will set new personal records and will feed off of each other’s intensity further increasing their chances of greatness. Not all training partners were created equal and you may end up going through training partners like you go through California rolls at an all you can eat sushi bar. That’s fine but when you do find that “special” one, make sure you can align your schedules so that you can train together as often as you can.
Here then is my top ten list for signs of a great training partner and what you should be looking for when conducting interviews and getting your short list for potential work out cohorts.
Nothing is more aggravating than waiting around at the gym for your training partner to show up.
You all know how important timing is in this sport, and the last thing you want to be doing is twiddling your thumbs waiting for someone to show up when your pre-workout kicks in. Your best bet is to align your schedules so that unless something drastic happens (which is the only reason you should miss the gym) you’ll both be there at the same time. Make sure you have each other’s contact information just in case one of you can’t make it; this way no one will be sitting around waiting and wasting valuable time.
Someone who shares the same aspirations as you do is a great training partner. They’ll take your time on the gym floor seriously and make every second count. When you have a passion for something it makes it that much better when doing it. If you have someone who lacks in this department and is basically just following you around, it’s time to switch it up.
Your training partner needs to have the same drive, same determination and same mind set going into each workout.
Otherwise you’ll be the only shark there and your symbiotic friend will just be a nuisance.
I have always made it a point to find someone to train with that is stronger than me. Most people I know don’t like this as they enjoy being the alpha of the group. Well, I like being the underdog in a training situation and I love feeling like I have something to prove. It makes me train harder, makes me do things I normally wouldn’t do with the weights and has tremendously helped build my physique.
Having someone stronger than you gives you something to chase and not only that, but it’s a nice security blanket knowing that they’ve got your back on a heavy lift when you need a good spot.
Stagnant workouts are common place for those who choose to do the same things week after week.
Having a training partner is a great opportunity to try new exercises, whether they come from bouncing new ideas off of each other or simply because they have read or seen something you’ve missed.
You’ve all heard that two minds are better than one, and if you luck out and find a training partner who is always looking for new ways to perform exercises or even better, develop new ones, then this is will go a long ways in keeping you motivated and looking forward to your next workout.
Each of us has a personal preference for how we like to be guided through our toughest reps.
Some like having support at the elbows, others at the wrists and some of us don’t want anyone coming anywhere near us until we absolutely cannot do it anymore by ourselves and are at risk of injury. Having a trained spotter who you trust to act accordingly to the situation and understands what will make you happy once the set is over is absolutely necessary for perfect training. Be sure to set the guidelines so that each of you knows what works best for you.
This one in my opinion may just be the most important on this list. Having a training partner that knows how to get your fired up will increase your intensity levels to frightening proportions.
If yelling and hitting gets you amped up, your training partner will use this to your advantage. If quiet encouragement is all you need, then no scenes will be created prior to your lift. Your training partner should know exactly what to say to help get your motivation and intensity levels sky high or the absence of any talk (if that’s your preference) will do just the same. Regardless of what your triggers are, your training partner should know them.
Alright, so now we start getting into the showy side of things. In an age where smart phones and cameras have become common place on the gym floor, so too is the snapping of pictures and the filming of short videos that showcase what you’re doing on any given day. If you require videos and pictures to be taken while you train or post workout in the locker room for your sponsors or for your own sites, having someone there willing to take them for you will be very convenient. It’s also less embarrassing than if you have to ask some random stranger to film your set of stiff legged dead lifts.
Any competitive bodybuilder out there knows the importance of posing and the time it takes to make all your poses look effortless.
You can pose all you want in the mirror by yourself so you can see what adjustments need to be made so you look your best. Here’s the catch though; there’s no mirrors on stage and you have to go by feel when hitting your poses. This is where your training partner (with a keen eye for posing detail) comes into play. Simply by hitting your poses the way you think they should be hit and setting up without looking in the mirror and having your training partner say yes to the pose or no, will go a long way in your comfort on stage. They will also be able to give you constructive feedback on your conditioning which is another great asset of having a great training partner who knows what they’re talking about.
As much as you think you’re good friends with someone, you’re not as close as you think until it’s time to put your color on for a show. That’s right; it’s time to get downright personal when applying your ProTan. Hopefully as supportive as your training partner was all through the process of getting ready for your show, they’ll be just as supportive when it comes time to put color on those “hard to reach and hard to see” places. Let’s just put it this way; you’ll be much closer after a session of color coating.
A friend in need is a friend who forgot their supplements. Check any serious gym goer’s gym bag and you’ll find their supplements. At times we all get rushed and forget things on our way out the door. If you happen to forget your protein powder or pre workout hopefully you have a training partner who’s got your back on this one. In turn, you’ll do the same for them and neither of you will ever be without the products you need.
Supplements are expensive and being generous enough to share yours or have your training partner share theirs with you will go a long way towards a solid training relationship.
Training partners offer a plethora of advantages for your training as long as you have a good one. Be cognizant of the aforementioned “look fors” and set yourself up for some great training. If you’ve been training alone for some time now and your gains have become diminished, this may just be what you need to get the ball rolling again and start packing on some serious size.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports. Inc, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Max Out or Get Out apparel
Online training: http://customtrainingpro.weebly.com
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