Wanted: Training Partner

Many people workout at home because their time may be limited or the freedom and flexibility of achieving fitness goals on their own schedule are extremely important. I have discussed ways to keep your motivation high during your at-home exercise bouts at length on this site. Incorporating a partner into that routine is a motivational tool that is often overlooked. Of course, this is not specific to garage gym warriors only. There are many people that will visit their gym early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the surge of useless wanna-be’s consuming valuable space (and air) in the gym.

If you fall into the latter category, this message is for you too!

Conventional wisdom says that a “training partner” is a friend that completes the exact same workouts, at the exact same time and place that you do. You two will perform each movement in a round-robin format and your partner will begin to sound like Hulk Hogan as you push through your session. But this is not always the case. A partner can be loosely described as someone that takes part in an activity or event with you. Thus, a training partner can be viewed as someone that is there with you (training) at the same time that you are, but not necessarily doing the same exercises.

I have trained alone for over 10 years, mostly due to the availability of adequate training partners. Serving on active duty can often hinder the ability to establish those relationships with like-minded people. I view the selection of training partners as analogous to online dating. Create your profile, identify your likes and dislikes then calculate your compatibility with others to see if they are a match. This can become a stressful process. As you sort through the gamut of would-be partners, you ultimately decide to stay “forever alone”; but, this is not advantageous to continued growth (emphasis added).

Hall of Fame Powerlifter, Steve Goggins, is a strong advocate for the team environment. Steve released a video in 2015 where he discusses how significant the team environment is to harnessing aggression during a workout. Moreover, having someone present to conduct spot corrections is crucial to enhancing performance.

It takes a village to squat over 700 lbs.

I previously discussed mentorship being the linchpin to success in the gym albeit not the end-all-be-all. Mentorship is a byproduct of good training partners (or coach). Training partners are stress relievers who act as an outlet or receiver for you to unload all the stress or worry you might be dealing with in your life. I’m far from being smart enough to be a doctor; however, I’m sure unloading significant distress while (or after) you release any stored tension — during exercise — would be wondrous for your mental health.

“There’s no ‘I’ in team” is an expression that has always been used in a sports context. It has been recited to motivate self-centered athletes since the 1960’s. It may only seem applicable to conventional team sports since athletes in individual sports such as track, boxing, or badminton, only have themselves to worry about. However, their individual performance could affect a collection of individuals (a team, for example) despite competing in their own right.

Do not dismiss an opportunity to have a partner (or partners) for the satisfaction of being an introvert. Having others around you during training is much more of a benefit than a detriment.


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