Although one of the reasons many people choose bodybuilding or weight lifting as their exercise of choice is because of an aversion to team sports and team competitions, having a training partner is an essential part of any weight lifting or bodybuilding program. While it may be possible to complete your workouts alone, asking for help from others in the gym when needed, you'll find the benefits of having a partner to rely on far outweigh any disadvantages. Choosing a partner, however, is sometimes a difficult task and quite often, has to been done more than once. Before we provide a few tips on choosing the right partner based on your own goals, let's take a look at the benefits that having a partner will provide.
Partners can be a motivating factor.
One of the most important factors in any training program is the ability of the lifter to stay focused and motivated. Self motivation is one of the most difficult tasks we often face. When first beginning a weight lifting or body building program, motivation is gained from the results of your training. Unfortunately, when your body begins to adapt to training methods or you've been training for awhile, the plateaus come more often and it gets much more difficult to stay motivated. Choosing a training partner is a excellent way to keep your motivation high and often provides an added opportunity to form relationships with like souls. Knowing that somebody is on your side is always an important factor when attempting to reach and goal and the challenge that can be provided by a partner will keep your training sessions interesting and fun.
Safety is a concern.
Another important reason for choosing a training partner is the safety factor. There is always a strong chance of injury when working with weights and having a training partner makes the entire process a little more comfortable and less fearful. Your ability to concentrate on performing the techniques correctly will increase if you don't have worry about the possibility of injury. In addition to the safety factor, having a training partner will also increase your confidence level when attempting heavier lifts than normal. A partner who knows your limits and abilities is a much better bet than a spotter you've never met. While these are only three of the many reasons that training with a partner can be an important aspect of your weight lifting regime we're sure you probably get the idea. Realizing the impact a training partner can have on your success is the easy part, however. Finding the right training partner just may be a little more difficult.
When you start looking for a training partner, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind:
- First, although the gym is probably the best place to start, don't limit your search. Supplement stores, the Internet and even a classified ad could turn up the perfect training partner for you.
- Secondly, make sure the person you choose is actually someone you like. Before making a commitment to training, it might be a good idea to take the time to have lunch or dinner with a prospective partner. Keep in mind you'll be spending a lot of time with this person and it's important that you're able to get along. You will be, in a sense, trusting him with your life. Make sure your potential partner doesn't have any annoying habits. It's a lot easier to ignore these types of things when you only see the guy in the gym every once in awhile. If you're spending at least an hour a day together, however, they could be the beginning of the end.
- Thirdly, set your expectations for your training partner up front. Make sure that they understand the importance of respect and consideration. Cover all the bases and let your partner know exactly how you want to be treated and how he can expect to be treated in return.
- If you're a beginner, it's a great idea to try and find a more experienced lifter to partner with. Their knowledge could prove invaluable to your success and your enthusiasm could help them through a few tough spots. On the other hand, if you're the experienced lifter, don't be afraid to give a newbie a shot.
- While you might think it's a good idea to have more than one training partner to insure that someone is always available, it doesn't usually work out that way. If you're both 100% committed to success unless the third person can bring something very valuable to the relationship, you'll probably begin to understand the old saying "three's a crowd."
- Finally, before committing to a long term relationship, agree to a 7 day trial period. This will give you an opportunity to make sure that the match works and will give you both the opportunity to walk away with no bad feelings if it doesn't. If you have any reason to believe your partner isn't going to work out during the trial period, cut your losses and look for someone else before you waste too much valuable time.
It's important to keep in mind that when looking for a training partner, patience is going to be necessary. Take the time to get to know potential candidates before making a long term commitment, and don't avoid addressing all potential issues up front. Having a partner, when you find the right one could be the factor that takes your training to the next level.