I have mostly exercised by myself over the last 50-plus years, but when competing, at that time I found it invaluable to exercise with a training partner – in fact, essential! The psychological support of exercising with a person you know and trust is best when you are struggling with your program. I have never personally had a problem with compliance and that would be one of the reasons that I have enjoyed exercising by myself, but that suits my personality…but when you are struggling, this is another essential reason. As a coach I endeavor to only use encouraging words as my self talk works the same way although it is not just the positive encouragement and support that is important when using a training partner.
The picture above is of couple of old professional bodybuilders who you may recognize and it brings to mind the importance of having someone checking your technique as you perform your various exercises and not being reticent in correcting it if they see something faulty in your movement. This is yet another essential because you only can see things from one point of view and as I said in my post on using mirrors in exercising, even the mirror can lie to you…
I have touched on a few reasons how you can get the most from using a training partner in the last two paragraphs but your mind may have skipped over another important point? That your training partner should be a friend. A friend is someone who supports you when things a tough going but also someone who is not afraid to point out your faults…it is someone you trust and respect. The people I trained with while competing became close friends of mine and I have exercised with my wife sometimes but I also become close to the people who I coach. My motto in my coaching business is that I am passionate about helping people reach their potential and you can’t do that without becoming their friend. I think that this is the main reason I have a high success rate in training people to reach their goals…that I want them to succeed. Of course it is a two way street in that their success becomes my success as I not only get enormous satisfaction from it but there is a very positive spinoff to my state of mind generally. The fact is that you are a far happier person when your friends are.
It does not matter whether you exercise with a person of the same sex or the opposite sex. But I have noticed that it does help if the person you exercise with is of the same standard or better still of a slightly higher standard as you. This is because the dynamics of the relationship changes if there is too great a discrepancy with performance level in that it becomes more of a coaching role for the dominant partner. It depends upon what you desire from your exercise program?
I can think of more reasons how to get more from using a training partner but the examples I have covered in this Post are the ones that count.