Do You Need a Workout Partner?

workout partner

Training Partner: Need One?

Do you train solo? Maybe it’s time for a fitness partner? A training partner is a great way to add extra motivation and drive to your routine and push you to new heights! Read more to see if it’s time for you to get a training partner!

Training Partner versus Solo

It’s one of the eternal conundrums of the fitness world – should you hang out for a training partner or would you be better off going the isolationist route?

This is a decision that all trainers face and one that is critical to your training success or failure – and possibly your friendship.

With all of that at stake, you owe it yourself to do some due diligence on the issue. So, let’s get to it.

Partner Positives


Sustaining the motivation day-in and day-out that you need to power you through your work-outs ain’t easy. In fact, running out of steam is the major reason why most people never achieve their physical goals. A great way to inject a little external motivation into the workout equation is to team up with a partner.

The knowledge that there’s someone waiting on you to show up is a great boost to overcoming mind over mattress syndrome.


Hitting the gym on your own can be risky business. Whether you’re bench pressing, squatting, or doing lunges, the presence of a partner could be the difference between an extra couple of forced reps and six months of chiropractic treatment.


Nothing propels humans to excel more than the competition. In the gym, healthy competition can be the difference between a by-the-numbers session and a fat-scorching, body-shaping frenzy. To really get the most out of your workouts, find a partner who’s a little fitter than you.

That way you’ll be constantly pushing yourself to keep up with them.

Training PartnerSensibly Solo


There’s nothing quite as draining as waiting around for someone to turn up for a training session, especially for a person who’s only just managing to squeeze their workout into a jammed schedule.

The frustration of a no-show is anything but motivating. Go solo and you avoid the pain.

Self Starters:

There are certain people among us who are able to produce incredible amounts of training intensity by means of nothing more than their own inner desire. For them, a training partner would be nothing but an annoying inconvenience.

If you’re one of them, going solo is the logical choice.

Opposing Views:

Finding a partner who has matching training goals is not as easy as it sounds. Unless you’ve got similar areas of physical need, the same intensity desire, and matching fitness targets, you are going to end up in frustration-Ville. Going solo could be a lot less hassle.

Program Conflicts:

So, your weak point is your upper pecs. Your partner, however – well you could balance a glass of water on his damned pecs and not spill a drop. His delts, however, are another story. Unlike yours, they’ve got no width. Clearly, you’ve got different weak points.

A good program should be built around hammering weak points first, but what’s a guy to do when he and his partner have different areas of priority. Compromises will necessarily have to be made which could lead to less than optimum workouts.

And the Verdict Is . . .?

Now that we’ve got you nice and confused, what are you going to decide – partner or solo?

First, determine if you’re a self-motivator or a guy who thrives on external input. If you’ve got that Platz-like ability to summon up super-human energy, by all means, go it alone. Talk to an instructor at the gym and explain to them that you prefer to train alone but that you’ll be calling on them for a spot when you go really heavy.

If they’re any good at their job they’ll be happy to oblige and they’ll know how to spot you properly. If they’re not, then what the Hell are you doing there?

Everyone else should seriously consider a training partner. The key, however, is to be selective. Get the wrong guy and your muscle-building goals are in jeopardy.

Here’s a checklist of qualities that you’ll want to have checks besides if you’ve found the right partner. Have a trial of a couple of weeks and see how he goes . . .

How Do They Rate?


If the guys are not there at least a couple of minutes before the scheduled start time of your workout, every workout for the first two weeks, can him. The first time he’s late, start your workout on time and let him jump in when he arrives – he’ll know you mean business.

Training partner group
Classes are great motivation too!


Worse than being late is not showing up at all. A missed day during that trial period means the guy’s a total loser (unless they have a pretty good excuse). Move on.


The last thing you want when you’re trying to focus is some goof spewing on about how great they are. In fact, those idiots who don’t know when to shut up and concentrate are even worse. So, if he suffers from verbal diarrhea, give him the shove.

Ability to Motivate:

He doesn’t have to bark catchphrases at you like a drill sergeant, but he should be able to gently say the right words at the right time to help you achieve at the highest level. He should know, after those first two weeks, what buttons to push to get you to push out those critical last couple of reps.

Comparable Strength Levels:

You don’t want to be flipping 20 pounders on and off between sets, so look for a guy who’s about as strong as you are, maybe even just a little stronger. The exception to this is the extra motivation a guy can get from working out with a female.

It’s a proven fact that female partners give a male trainer the extra motivation to lift more – after all, who wants to fail in front of a girl?


There you have it! So do you think you need to find a training partner? Tell us below if they’ve worked for you in the past!

My name is James and I’ve been in the health and fitness industry since I graduated from USC with an exercise science degree 5 years ago. I love fitness and helping others reach their goals is my passion. If you’d like to learn more about me, you can check out my fitness blog where I write product reviews, interview athletes, and write workout guides.
James Jackson
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