Was reminded today of one of the most valuable training tools one can acquire:
A training partner!
Thinking back on the times I’ve been in the best shape of my life, or thinking of absolutely every single PR I’ve ever set (squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, anything) I did it working out with another person. There’s been plenty of times I’ve trained on my own. I just plug in my iPod, drink my pre/intra workout drink and get it done. I enjoy those workouts. But it’s not the same. Not even close.
You’re telling me when you see your training partner grabbing a higher weight that you’re not going to consider you should be doing the same? You don’t think when you see your partner adding an extra 5 reps to their last set you’re not going to follow suit? She’s running faster, cranking it even higher, she’s not going to quit…not for an instant until this workout is done. Tell me you don’t work your damnest to keep up?
There’s also a bonding that happens when people lift together. I am lucky in that I get to watch couples train together and I’m telling you that it’s the single most positive thing I think a couple (especially young) can do to build a life together. Don’t agree? Have you ever seen what happens when the wife (or husband) of an overweight couple decides they’ve had enough, that THIS is the moment they strive, struggle, fight, claw and suffer to reach their goals? It gets UGLY!
One of two things: the spouse either bucks up and follows suit (usually moaning and groaning about the process) OR they go the complete opposite way, sometimes going so far as to frequently sabotage the results of the person they supposedly care for (eg. husband brings home pizza for dinner when wife trying her damnest to fight the food monster that’s ruining her physique). Ever heard the infamous “you look fantastic just the way you are!” And I DARE any uber fit person who has a spouse where the training lifestyle just isn’t their thing, to try and tell me your lifestyle choices don’t cause problems in your relationship.
Couples that train together, grow together. Even couples that train apart but are at least both getting in shape still gain the benefits of a closer relationship.
Same goes for two buddies training together. I swear, some of the most life affirming guy based conversations I’ve ever had came between sets of hard work. You see what someone is made of when the weight gets heavy, when the body says no and you just keep going. You see a person.
I’m telling you this: find someone that will commit to your schedule. Train however, it really doesn’t matter, just do work. If that person is flaky, get another, NOW. When you find a training partner that will show up and expects you to show up you’re guaranteed to have the best series of workouts and therefore the best progress you’ll ever see in your life!
This post is just a huge thank you to everyone whom I’ve ever worked out with. Seriously, it’s been some of the greatest sources of joy in my life!