When it comes to lifting weights and working out, most people mean business. The sweat life is more than bringing a towel, hogging a machine and reading a magazine. Whether looking to stay active or training for an event, signing up for a membership and showing up at the gym is about committing to a goal. For the players new to the game and the ones winning it, check out the good, the bad and the ugly of picking a partner. If your partner is your significant other—pay close attention.
A little motivation goes a long way (in and out of the weight room). If your partner motivates you to go harder, faster and stronger while getting your deadlift on then you’re good to go. And if your partner motivates you to drag yourself to the gym in the cold, dark, winter weather then you’re double good to go. Since you’re probably feeling the drop in temperature and the loss of sunshine, a partner in practice is just what you need to keep you accountable. One to a clock or two to a rack; a familiar face is for turning up the beats, counting down the seconds and spotting the reps.
Depending on the type of exercise that you prefer, a partner isn’t necessary. For those who like to attend a class on the regular: yoga, body pump, cycling, give solo time a go. Let’s get real: no one needs a Chatty Cathy close by. A partner can hinder your work out by using the time as a catch up session. If you or the people in the class are serious about kicking calories, keep the talking to a minimum.
If you prefer to hit the gym with more than just your tunes than put some thought into who you pick as a partner. Although your significant other or best friend is the obvious choice, keep in mind work schedule and training level. Make sure that both their free time and fitness ability is a match. If you have to modify the work out to fit their needs, especially when you’re capable of more, than you’re wasting your time. Put in the extra effort to achieve the results that you want.
Depending on your type of personality and the type of relationship that you have with your partner, when it becomes a straight competition, exercising as a duo can get ugly. It’s important to know the difference between motivation and competition. If you always have to lift the heaviest and jump the highest, think about entering a contest. Before partnering up, take the time to list the pros and the cons. It’s not worth risking a relationship or suffering an injury.