Training with a buddy can help you to advance further than ever before, or it can hold you back from achieving your goals and fulfilling your potential. It all depends on the person you choose, and the path the two of you take together. Here are some factors to consider when training with somebody else in the gym.
Challenge one another to think of ways to make every movement more productive. Often, a training partner will notice what sections of a particular lift are easier, or more difficult, for you to complete. Find ways to change the movement to overcome these weaknesses.
If your goal is to crack 600 pounds on the deadlift, and your training partner’s goal is to win a state-level show as a light-heavyweight, then your training is going to be counterproductive to at least one of you – and will probably short circuit both of your efforts. Train with somebody who possesses similar goals to your own and you’ll reach them together.
Are you a super laid-back individual? Does nothing ever get under your skin? Does your training partner explode at the drop of a hat? Decide if you will get along well enough to make progress in the gym. If your meandering into the gym 5 minutes late is going to send your super-punctual training partner into a tizzy, you may want to find somebody else with which to hit the iron.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
If your girlfriend has ever asked you if a particular dress makes her look fat, you either got the answer right, or you slept on the couch that night! When your training partner asks you if his body fat is too high or if his legs aren’t big enough to match his upper body, you can and should be completely honest. The only way to make improvements is to assess your weaknesses with the help of a completely objective and knowledgeable outsider.
Areas of Expertise
Sure, you and your training partner are both going to enjoy a situation where you come from similar backgrounds or share a lot of common interests. It will help to solidify your friendship and ensure lots of good conversation between sets. However, at the same time, this may be a limiting factor in both of your advancement. You’re both strong in the same areas, but you might also be weak in other areas. A good idea might be to assign areas of expertise to one another. Each of you will have to research a particular field of nutrition, anabolics, or training each evening, and teach it to the other person during the workout the following day.
Consider the use of two training partners. This will help ensure continuity if one person cannot train for any reason. It will bring in three minds, chock full of ideas and learning potential, into the lifting blend you’re forming. And it will make spotting heavy movements like squat and bench press be that much more safe on spotting. If you see a duo lifting, consider asking them if you can join in. Or, invite a third person onto your training team.