Having a good lifting partner can be one of the best tools in your arsenal that will propel your progress in the gym forward. Nothing spurs us on like another human being with which we have to be held accountable to. As the saying goes “Iron sharpens iron,...one man sharpens another." I have seen it firsthand the changes in people's physiques from having a consistent training partner.
I included periodization in this title. Why? Because that's also a useful tool for facilitating gains in the gym, but I'll get to that in a minute.
So what makes a good training partner?
Flexiblity: Every time I read articles on this topic everyone else says, "being on time." I get it, most of us don't have time to spend all day in the gym so we can't be waiting around for someone to show up before we start training. I would say beyond that being flexible is probably the most important trait of a good training partner. Maybe it's because I'm usually the one running late. You can't expect a mutually beneficial relationship to work unless there is some compromise on multiple fronts. Flexibility is paramount!
Reliability: Punctuality is only a small part of this equation, I'm referring to the ability to safely spot you when you are pushing your limits. Spotting, assisting with negatives, and providing forced reps are things that need attention to detail and safety awareness. A good training partner is reliable in this regard.
Honesty: I always like to think that I train with good form. I don't, but it's a nice thought! A good training partner is able to give honest, accurate feedback about what you're doing that may or may not need correction. A mutually beneficial partnership will be founded in honesty.
Desire: You should seek to train with someone else that has a goal and similar drive. They don't have to have the same goal as you but they ought to be driven towards something. You compete in bodybuilding? Great! Does your training partner have to be a competitive bodybuilder also? Not necessarily. Some great partnerships have been between bodybuilders and powerlifters, strongmen or dare I say, men's physique athletes? I have trained with MPD guys and many are just as driven (if not more than the bodybuilders) in the gym! Among the list of legendary partnerships many of us know is John Meadows and Dave Tate. Bodybuilder and powerlifter... I'm pretty sure both have benefited from training with each other because the desire to improve is there.
Culture: This isn't often discussed but it is something vitally important because this is where most of us physique athletes get so worked up. Most of the years I've been training when I have trained with partners or even a group (think 4-5 guys on a leg day), we have a culture of always "dogging" each other. We're always bringing each other back down to earth. Now since I don't always train with them when I did train with them and they'd start "doggin'" me I'd take it personally, or at least until I reminded myself that this is the culture of the group. I'd "dog" them right back and it's no big deal. I've also trained with partners or groups that are constantly giving each other positive affirmation and building each other up. That is a different group culture and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just different! You have to decide which is a better fit for you, if you try to combine those worlds it will most likely not end well.
Periodization: Kinda silly to include this in an article about training partners isn't it? Here's my point: you will most likely put forth more effort when training with a partner than by yourself with your perfectly calculated periodize plan where you have to do 87.5% of your 1RM for 8 sets of 3 on 1 arm band presses. Don't turn down the opportunity to train with someone equally motivated because it doesn't fit with your "perfect" plan. Oftentimes I've set more PR's training with partners than alone, but I've also made the mistake of turning down opportunities to train with partners because it didn't fit my "plan." In the end, effort trumps planning in terms of yielding muscle gain and partners are one of the best ways to help us exert greater effort.
This is by no means a comprehensive list! There are lots of other things to consider when partnering up with someone in the gym. I hope this brings to light some factors you might not have considered. In the end, it's about finding ways to create more effort/intensity and few things do that as well as having a partner in the gym.
Written by Jon Habeshy
“Your body is like a piece of dynamite. You can tap it with a pencil all day, but you'll never make it explode. You hit it once with a hammer: Bang! Get serious. Do 40 hard minutes, not an hour and half of nonsense. It's so much more rewarding.” - Jason Statham
“Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. If you have a healthy lifestyle, your diet and nutrition are set, and you're working out, you're going to feel good.” - Jason Statham
“When I'm getting ready for a movie, let's just say my diet is 'The Antisocial Diet.' I don't go to restaurants. I don't eat what I really want to eat. I don't eat much. I eat small things frequently. Lots of protein and greens. And I don't eat with people, because there's a tendency to get social and then to overeat.” - Jason Statham
“I think we're all sensitive; everyone has a certain way about themselves that people don't like to let their emotions out too often. I think people tend to suppress them and hold them in, so I think there's a bit of that in me.” - Jason Statham
“I’ve come from nowhere, and I'm not shy to go back.” - Jason Statham
We all know the struggles of waking up early to go workout. It’s all fun and games when you’re at the gym, but the real test happens right before you walk into Pump City. Morning workouts are all about fighting with your inner voice that keeps telling you to go back to sleep or to just stay cozy at home. Even though it’s very tempting sometimes to give in to that little voice and go back to bed, you can’t! You have goals to achieve and people to prove wrong, so you better get that morning workout in. Here are 7 useful tips that will get you off your feet and motivated for that morning workout.
Move your clock: instead of putting your alarm clock right next to your bed, why not move it to the other extremity of the room? This way, you’ll have to get up to turn it off, which will notify your brain that it’s time to wake up.
Let there be light: Once the alarm clock is shut off and you’re on your feet, turn on the lights. If you’re not sleeping alone, go quickly into the hallway and open the lights. The brightness will send message to your brain to wake up and be alert to whatever is happening.
Drop for ten: Shut off the alarm, open the lights, and do 10 push-ups. Might seem crazy, but doing a short set of push-ups will release some endorphins in your body and give you a boost of energy. Your muscles take more time to wake up, therefore this short exercise will give them the adrenaline boost they need to start pumping.
Have a filling breakfast: You’ve heard already that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, period. It doesn’t matter at what time you wake up, eating a breakfast filled with nutrients will give you the boost of the energy you need to get moving. Some great breakfast ideas are oatmeal with egg whites and fruits, omelette or protein smoothie.
Listen to music: Listening to music in the morning is a great way to get in “the zone” before a workout. You don’t have to blast the music necessarily, but you can plug in your iPod and listen to your favorite songs to get a boost in energy. You can even listen to motivational speeches from Eric Thomas or Arnold Schwarzenegger to get those goose bumps going and be motivated for a successful workout. The voice of an expert in your ear tends to do that to you!
Take a PreWorkout: If you still need it, take a PreWorkout drink before your workout. The component of the drink will release the right amount of chemicals into your body to get you mentally and physically prepared for training. The drink will also feed your muscles to give them enough pump to withstand the weights you’ll be lifting later, which will also help them grow bigger for a more cutandjacked look.
Turn it into a meeting: It doesn’t matter who you meet at the gym, but if you make plans to meet someone, you will have no other choice but to get moving. Knowing that someone is waiting for you at the gym will give you something to look forward to, other than pumping iron. If need be, talk to your gym partner and agree to text or call each other in the morning so that no one skips on the workout.
About the author: Sarah Anton is a writer, editor, lifter, runner, and foodie. Whenever she’s not at her desk or at the gym, you can find her in the kitchen testing new recipes. For business inquiries, please contact her through her website at www.writingleo.com
Apparel available at: www.cutandjacked.com/shirts
"Success is not based on genetics. It’s not based on how nice his car is. It’s not based on how pretty my face is. How small my nose needs to look, whether or not I’m the right complexion. I have an eight inch scar down the side of my face but I have a camera in front of me more often than not. Which just means that if you work hard, and that your work is recognized, then the sky is the limit. So to all the people out there who think they are ugly and everything I’m holding it down for you. But more importantly you can still be a success. For all the people who think, “Well, I’m too short”, I’m still holding it down for you, you can still be a success. Find the things that you are excited about and that you can give your all in and work really hard towards attaining it" - Kai Greene
“The mind is everything. If you don’t believe you can do something then you can’t. If you believe that your upbringing was substandard and therefore you have to walk around as a refugee from that crisis situation for the rest of your life, forever bearing the burden of that experience then that will be YOUR life.” - Kai Greene
Nothing comes easy but as long as you're breathing you're always one breath away from making your dreams a reality. "Make every breath count" - Kai Greene
"If I have to die tonight, if this weight is going to kill me tonight, so be it! I am dying where I want to be." - Kai Greene
"You come to a point in your life and you may be in bed just thinking about it. Ask yourself what is stopping you from becoming your dreams" - Kai Greene
“How intense could you be? Can you be intense enough to pick this 500Lbs off the floor? Are you intense enough to pick this 700Lbs up? Squat down to the floor and stand back up? So what if your eyes are bloodshot! So what if your bones feel like snapping! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO!” - Kai Greene
"Your dreams are always going to be the most important to you than they will be to anybody else. So keep dreaming, keep believing, keep pressing forward. So all those warriors out there – be encouraged" - Kai Greene
"In the mind of every artist there is a masterpiece" - Kai Greene
“It's like you have to save your own life, nobody’s going to be able to save it for you. So we have to do what we have to do.” - Kai Greene
"If you don’t have a dream, then you have nothing to work for, nothing to get up in the morning for, no reason.. and no purpose to be. But friends we do have a dream and dreams do come true not because we keep believing but we keep working hard" - Kai Greene
Dwayne Johnson Motivation:
Bruce Lee Motivation: