You lift hard. You plan your meals and eat wisely. You are a disciplined sleeper. And of course, you understand the significant power of supplements and just how effective they can be when utilized with wise training and recovery. However, your workouts just don’t seem to have that level of PUNCH that you desire. Yes, there is some hidden secret which can boost training intensity, increase your motivation to push for personal bests on all the major lifts, and ensure you actually make it to the gym on a regular basis. And the best part of this addition to your workout? It’s FREE!
That’s right. The solution to your lagging workouts has been standing in front of your eyes all this time. Sometimes in your way, even! The secret to boosting your training intensity, increasing safety, breaking new personal bests on lifts, and even learning more from the experience of others is BUDDY TRAINING! Are you ready to check out the many advantages and added benefits of lifting with a partner? Let’s dive in!
First off, outside of all of the heavy metal moving inside of the gym, training with a partner can allow you the benefit of knowledge that another person has to offer. Start by taking off your headphones when training together. Start a discussion about nutrition, training, recovery or supplementation. You probably feel quite wise after your decades in the gym. Surely you’ve been able to amass quite a bit of knowledge based on the tried-and-true method of overcoming your failures. Guess what… so has your training partner! You both can bypass years of mistakes and trials & failures by putting your heads together! Trade ideas, debate theories, and learn everything you can from a person who has likely been learning the iron game just as long as you have!
One of the best reasons for lifting with a partner is safety. On heavy compound movements such as bench press and squats, going for a personal best 1 repetition max, or even pushing to failure on a standard 8-repetition set, can quickly become very dangerous as you grow bigger and stronger. Very rarely do we ever see a wise lifter going for 1-rep max on the flat bench press without a buddy. Sure, you can just ask a random stranger in the gym if they can spot you, but you don’t know their level of experience and you certainly don’t have any kind of communication system set in place with them for stops, starts, and assistance on each set. Injury avoidance as you lift heavier weights than ever before is the usually the most popular reason to train with a buddy.
We all have those afternoons when we’re a little sore from yesterday’s workout, a little tired from work, and maybe just don’t quite feel like training. Often, we’d combine that week’s shoulder and back days to allow us to simply skip that day’s training. However, if you’re training with a buddy, then you will invariably find the ability to persevere and actually show up to lift, because your friend and partner is counting on you. And once the lifting begins, the endorphins will begin releasing in your brain and you’ll be quite glad you were obligated to show up!
Sometimes, having a buddy in the gym to share weight training stations can elicit some creativity that you never saw coming. Compete to see who can move the weight for the most repetitions. See who can nail the best one-rep max. Or employ the ever-dreaded “I go, you go” in which you and a buddy hand each other a barbell for biceps curls, back and forth, until one of you surrenders! Just about every exercise you complete on a daily basis can be changed up to allow for greater competition and intensity. You have four pairs of hands and two brains to put together. Try to find new ways to complete every exercise in your workout. Mix things up and have some fun with it!
There are always going to be tough times that we all face in life. Relationships, family, school, and work often give us some of the greatest happiness in life, as well as the biggest sorrows. These unforeseen negative events often cause many people to miss weeks or even months of the gym because they’re just too sad to go. Having a partner, a friend, to train with on a regular basis means you’ll be more likely to get back in the gym following a tough time. You can vent how you feel and learn some coping mechanisms from the same person you were trading training and nutritional knowledge with last week.