Having a gym buddy is one of the best ways to keep your workout schedule routine. Whether it’s your wife, boyfriend, roommate, or friend, a workout partner is often an undermined component of working out. So, to make a long story short, here are the pros and cons of having a workout partner:
You always have a spotter Having a spotter means someone to help you lift heavier or more reps than you’re used to. This is also the safest way to lift.
Motivation The most important aspect, in my opinion, is your partner's ability to motivate, whether it is motivating you to go workout or "put out" during the workout. If you know someone is depending on you to be there, you are more likely to go
New workout ideas: Get out of your normal routine and try different exercises your partner knows. Use each other's strengths to make the most effective workout.
Competition: Maybe you want to do more weights than your partner or go faster. It's a great way to push one another.
Good conversation This is both a pro and a con. It's nice to make comments and laugh at the gym, but too much conversation can be a disadvantage.
Keeping the pace: As soon as your partner’s set is done, you’re up. There’s less wasted time in-between sets.
Less phone, more activity: Many people will look at their phone while they rest between sets if they work out by themselves. The time on one’s phone is distracting and can lead to rest periods that are exceedingly long.
No music: It’s difficult to pay attention to your partner with headphones in. Those beats will have to wait.
Matching schedules: Sometimes you have to wait for your partner or change your plans. Maybe you have to go to a different gym than you’re used to. Look at this instead as an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and adapt. If it becomes a problem so that you can't make it to the gym, you may need to find a different gym partner.
Too much chit chat: Maybe you or your partner are talkers. The gym isn't the place to have philosophical conversations or long winded talks. If conversations take too long, you may rest too long, causing your heart rate to return to normal, making it more difficult to burn fat or resume your exercises at the same pace.
Different levels of ability: Do you lift drastically different weights? Is one person exceedingly faster? Striving to keep up with your partner can be great for a workout, but adversely, slowing down for your partner can ruin a workout.
More time at the gym: Two people means double the sets, which means that you'll be at the gym longer than if you went by yourself.
Other things to consider: Workout length of time: Your partner may be used to only 30 min, or may be used to 2 hours. If you can work out longer, do so. If you’re not getting enough time in the gym with your partner, consider getting a new partner that aligns with your goals OR focus on the evolutions that are most beneficial with a partner, like bench press, shoulder press, or squat. Later, you can do the exercises that don’t require a spotter on your own.
I can attest that having a good workout partner is very beneficial. Incorporating muscle confusion with different exercises and having a constant spotter is a true advantage. I strongly encourage everyone to find a workout partner that is best for their abilities, schedule, and personality too. The most important thing is to have fun, and a workout partner can make that happen!
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.