I have been lifting weights and working out consistently for over 10 years, and there are certain times when I get in better workouts than others. Thinking back to when I was in college playing baseball, some of the best workouts I had have something in common. They were all with a workout partner. What makes having a workout partner so effective?
For one thing, if you have a good workout partner, they will constantly push you throughout the workout. Let’s take bench pressing, for example. When you are bench pressing on your own at the gym, you usually have to use dumbbells for safety reasons. Of course there are still those of you who like to use the barbell, but you can’t really push yourself because of the risk of dropping the weight on your chest, or even worse, your throat. But let’s go back to the dumbbell press. When you’re pressing on your own, it just isn’t the same as having someone scream in your ear to get one more rep, and then one more rep, and then…well, yeah, you get the idea. I don’t know about you all, but when some dude is screaming at me to get one more rep, I can’t sissy out and give up. No, I will make sure I can’t lift my arms one inch before I give up. Every exercise is until complete failure.
There is another benefit by having someone workout with you, and that’s to prove that you’re a manly man and stronger than him (or her of course!). When doing P90X with a buddy of mine, if he gets 50 push-ups, you better believe that I will get at least 51. I do not get beat, period. Now, here’s why this is so effective. If he is just like I am, we will both keep pushing ourselves until we collapse. At the end of the workout, we are either (A) close to the point of vomiting, (B) vomiting, or (C) face first on the ground. Now that’s when you know you’ve gotten in a great workout! You will see the most gains when you are able to push yourself way beyond your comfort zone.
The last benefit of working out with a partner is motivation. When I first started P90X, my best friend did all the workouts with me and ate just as clean as I did. I looked forward to working out with him every day and “reporting” our daily diets to one another. This was especially important during the first few weeks when we were extremely sore. I remember 2 days after the first Chest & Back workout, when we got together to do Shoulders & Arms and were so sore we weren’t sure if we could get the workout in or not. After some name calling and a few choice words, you better believe we both completed that workout. We found that after the warm-up and stretching the soreness wasn’t as bad anyways. Even though him and I can’t work out together anymore because of conflicting schedules, I still workout with my fiancé Melinda for some accountability and support.
If you have the chance to work out with someone on a daily basis, make sure you take full advantage of it! People who work out with others tend to stay motivated longer and push themselves.