Gym buddies might conjure to your mind two fist bumping vest touting teenagers yelling “All you bro All you!”. Well, the benefits of having a gym buddy far outweigh just the occasional loud rep or two. There are four reasons that we can get into that will show that a gym buddy can be a priceless training tool.
It Get’s You To The Gym
It’s raining, my boss is a douche, I think I have a slight headache. I could train tomorrow instead, that would be better, I heard rest is good for you, and cheat days are vital! We have all had the same incessant chatter in our heads convincing us to not go to the gym. And when we are the last line of defence between our bodies and training, we will not always choose the right thing.
Psychologically if another person is relying on us, we are more motivated to take a certain action. So there will always be times that you do not want to train, that is the way life is. However, these times can be drastically cut down if you get someone pulling puppy eyes at you if you disappoint and bail on the gym. Even calling your gym buddy and telling them that you are not up to the gym can be helpful. They can easily motivate you to stop being such a baby and get your ass to the gym. Let’s also talk probability, the chances of not wanting to go to the gym are fairly high for one person. However, for two people to be struck with the same feeling the probability decreases dramatically. This will result in less missed gym sessions, and better health/body.
Your Food Conscience
Another idea could be that you and your training partner set goals, and make the other person help you reach your goal.
An experience I have had with my training partner was that I was sat in his house, and some angel from above sent pizza our way. I had told him 3 weeks previously to be totally brutal with me in the gym, and my diet. Of course, the smell of delicious, greasy, calorie-y, no proteiny pizza invaded my nostrils as mercilessly as a fascist. “I’ve eaten super well recently” “I’ve made great gainz” “1 or 12 slices of pizza won’t hurt” and my hand slithered confidently toward the piping hot box. I was met with an overly aggressive stare and the words “Don’t even think about it, or I’ll snap your arm off”. Admittedly his technique lacks subtlety, but here I am 3 weeks sober from pizza abuse, and sticking to my goals.
It is easy, if not pleasurable to tell someone else what to do. So your training partner will delight in making you suffer, and you will be happy when you stand naked in front of the mirror. You can also use the app MyFitnessPal, that way you can both have accountability to each other as you see what the other person is eating. This will make you progress a lot faster than if you are relying on yourself. You just inherited the self-control of two people!
You’ll Work Harder At The Gym
Your time is precious. So why waste it pushing light weights, jogging slowly or quitting when you get tired. Having a training partner will motivate you to get the work done. In the gym your partner can watch your form, spot you on the bench (Or to shout “It’s all you bro, all you bro”) or force that extra rep or two out of you.
If you are running, playing a sport, doing Yoga, another person can help you to stretch yourself out of your limits (Yoga pun not intended). You can always do more than you think you can, and sometimes another person will see that and force you to perform. Progress is made outside of your comfort zone. So use someone to get you out of that zone.
This point is simple but powerful. Some people are motivated enough to always push themselves to ungodly levels of pain and discomfort. These people are generally called Champions, they are the ones with posters that you put up as a child. However, most people are not plagued with enough self-destructive inner demon juice to do so. So get a partner to get you to do more! It will take you to places that you most likely won’t achieve alone.
Helps You Track Progress And Chase Goals
Having goals is an important part of optimal training. Whilst you should enjoy the movements you are doing, and being completely goal orientated probably isn’t balanced. If you want to truly succeed at anything you need a vision of where you want to be. This vision is a personal thing, and only you can create one that is sufficiently compelling to pull you toward your goals.
Having a training partner will not help you to create your own vision, but, they will help you immeasurably to achieve your vision. So your training partner knows your goals, and wants to help you. You know theirs, and want to help them. It will make tracking your progress easier. Your training partner will notice your “Gainz” before your significant other does, and will encourage you to chase your goals further. Your training partner can tell you if your weak points in the squat are improving, or if your need to hit your arms more frequently. Whatever it may be, your training partner will help you have a consistent voice to progress with.
So to sum up, yes you can train alone. However, you will be far less likely to skip a gym session, eat that crappy food that doesn’t belong in your mouth. They will help you get that extra few reps out in the gym, push you past your pain barriers, and give you consistency to reach the targets that you have set for yourself. You don’t have to be the next Arnie and Franco but you will be closer to your goals than ever before.