The code of a good training partner.

Working out with a bad partner sucks. A lot. Working out..

The code of a good training partner.

Working out with a bad partner sucks.

A lot.

Working out with a good partner is great, however, and it’s actually a very important aspect of staying motivated and on track.

Not only does having a partner hold you accountable to show up (if you skip, you’re not only letting yourself down but your partner too), but it also helps to have someone to spot you on certain exercises, to push you for another rep, or to go up in weight.

A good partner can make a big difference as time goes on.

Those days that you would’ve skipped solo but went because of your partner will add up to real gains, as will the times where you wouldn’t have gone up in weight or wouldn’t have pushed yourself for those last couple of reps.

So, I highly recommend that you find someone to work out with before you start, and the two of you should agree to the following code.

The Code of a good training partner.

1. I will show up on time for every workout, and if I can’t avoid missing one, I’ll let my partner know as soon as I know.

2. I will come to the gym to train—not to chat. When we’re in the gym, we focus on our workouts, we’re always ready to spot each other, and we get our work done efficiently.

3. I will train hard to set a good example for my partner.

4. I will push my partner to do more than he thinks he can. It’s my job to motivate him to do more weight and more reps than he believes possible.

5. I will be supportive of my partner and will compliment him on his gains.

6. I won’t let my partner get out of a workout easily. I will reject any excuses that are short of an
actual emergency or commitment that can’t be rescheduled, and I will insist that he comes and trains. In the case where there’s a valid excuse, I’ll offer to train at a different time so we can get our workout in (if at all possible).

Such a code might seem silly, but if you and your partner keep to these six points, you’ll be doing each other a huge favor and will make great gains together. 

On the flip side, if your partner can’t keep to these points—if he’s inconsistent in showing up, if he’s more interested in chatting than lifting, if he trains lethargically, if he doesn’t push you to do more, etc.— then he’s a bad training partner and is actually doing more harm to you than good.

You need to get him onto this program and follow the above code, or you need to find someone else to train with that embodies the above commitments.


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Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

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