Lifting alone has several benefits.
When you fly solo in a gym, you have complete control of program load, choice, exercise, starting time, variation and more.
Training alone can give you the opportunity to get lost in the session and deeply focus on every muscle fiber and movement you make without having a human distraction.
The problem is: you can’t predict what will happen or when life will happen.
We all have some of those days when it is difficult to find the inspiration and motivation in order to push through a really challenging workout. And the perfect environment for mental focus during workouts is really hard to find on a steady basis. Life is so distracting, and sometimes we allow such distractions to come with us to the gym in the form of lack of intensity and focus.
And although there is no stopping life and its various ways to get you off track your fitness goals, there is a single method which can help you train whatever mental state you have:
A solid training partner.
The Search for a Partner in Iron
Choosing a gym partner is not easy.
It would be nice if it was as easy as chatting your BFF to meet you at the gym and after a few months heading outside with bulky muscles and a well-toned body, but it does not really work out that way.
You are searching for someone who is on par with you in terms of strength and work ethic. And although it is not necessary to find a carbon copy of yours, if you are way off in either of such areas, then the motivation is not the same.
If you have 200 on the bar and your buddy has 400, then seeing him lift such weight can be discouraging instead of motivating and might as well make you throw in the towel and call it a day.
In the end, we usually gravitate towards the people similar to us, so starting out with a similar level of strength is indeed the winning formula.
And once you find someone who meets the work ethic and strength requirements, then there are other few characteristics that you need to consider in order to have the most effective workout partner.
- Matching Schedules
Make sense, right? If you can’t meet up, then what is the point?
- A Partner Who Cares
Like any other relationships, a reciprocal behavior is required for a workout partner. In case you are dialed in at some point in the set and offering proper spots and cues when necessary, he or she should do the same for you. Someone who really cares whether you get better or not will be more likely to pay attention to your workouts.
- A Coach Who Does Not Over Coach
When in the middle of a challenging set, a partner who can eyeball and give the necessary and appropriate cues in order to get you back on track is invaluable. On the other hand, a partner who thinks that yelling at the top of their lungs in order to motivate you to perform well needs to be disposed of, fast.
- Semi-Similar Goals
Although your training goals do not need to be completely identical with your training partner, it should at least be in the same wheelhouse. Thus, a semi-similar goal can work.
For instance, if you want to get bigger and your partner needs to get stronger, then both of you can benefit from the increased intensity and focus regardless of the particular programs.
Spending time on both hypertrophy and strength style programs can benefit both parties in the long run. If one of you is preparing for a competition, then all bets are off. Go find someone else or go solo!
- A Positive Attitude
A good training partner needs to leave negativity inside their locker. Someone who always complains about training is not someone who you want to have in a squat rack with you during stressful situations.
Nothing is more annoying and “demotivating” than showing up for a leg day and your gym buddy complains too much about how much they despise leg training. That negativity rubs off, so do not be involved with it if you wish to improve.
The old saying “iron sharpens iron” cannot be better observed than in a weight room or in a Pilates chair. You can find more at https://www.gymgearinfo.com/ !
When you fail in a squat and rack the weight before you can even hit the necessary rep count, having a partner who tells you to “get your big ass back in there and finish your damn set” and proceed to spot you in order for you to finish the set is such a beautiful thing!