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September 11

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Partner Training – Two Heads are Better Than One

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A gym buddy or training partner can be a great asset to help anyone along in their fitness journey.

According to an old Swedish proverb, friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief. And while the gym is not normally associated with joy or grief, training with friend can get you further. Perhaps even faster and with more fun along the way too.

If you haven't already done so, perhaps it's time to consider partner training.

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Before we go on to talk about specific partner training routines to try with your gym buddy, let's first consider why training with a partner can be so productive. One of the key benefits is that it's fun!

Lifestyles are becoming increasingly independent and socially fragmented. Humans are essentially social animals and we require regular social interaction to flourish and develop our full potential.

No matter how much discipline you have. Regardless of how much you enjoy your training. Sharing the experience with a friend can make it more fun.

That's important because lots of studies show those who enjoy exercise are much more likely to stick with it. This way, it is far more likely it will become habit.

Of course, your intrinsic motivation still has to be there.

No one can force motivation on you.

Arranging to train with a mate can be particularly helpful during those periods when things like work or family pressures mount up. Or for those days when dodgy weather might tempt you into missing your workout.

There is more to partner training though than increasing the fun factor and consistency.

When you train with a friend, you have the chance to learn from each other. For example, different training techniques and routines. New exercise variations too. By learning about the kind of things that others have used successfully in their workouts, you'll broaden your own knowledge base. This will be useful for future workouts with or without a training partner.

For training partners that are fairly evenly matched in terms of fitness, there's also the added spice of a bit of competition.

Competition doesn't just have to be about seeing who's the fastest or strongest. It can be more subtle than that. It's common to tell yourself "If they can do it, so can I."

‚ÄčHaving a gym buddy is also great for a bit of inspiration. When you really want to go for it and need to psyche yourself up. Ask any experienced trainer and they'll tell you no matter how motivated you are, it's the workouts performed with a ‚Äčtraining partner that are the real blockbusters. The ones you'll remember long after the aches and pains have subsided.

Ready to give it a go? Check out Part 2 where we dig deeper into tips and techniques you can use with a gym buddy. 

About the author

Paul Stokes

Paul Stokes BSc (Hons) is a Certified Personal Trainer, Accredited Sports Nutritionist, qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Precision Nutrition coach, Massage Therapist and teaches 8 of the Les Mills Group Exercise programs.

He currently works in the Oil & Gas industry as a Wellness Coach, imparting his vast knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life of several hundred offshore workers.

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