How Workout Partners Hinder and Help
At Gloveworx, having a robust and supportive community is one of the pillars that drive the business. We want every contender who walks through the door to feel welcome, whether their gloves are worn from years of sparring or they've never worn gloves before.
Working with a training partner is one way to relieve gym intimidation and make it easier to create a training routine that sticks. However, having a workout partner isn't without challenges.
In this post, we'll talk about how workout partners hinder and help, and how you and your training buddy can work together to Become Unstoppable.
The Pros of Having a Workout Partner
When it comes to having a designated training buddy, the pros far outweigh the cons. Some of the benefits of working with an accountability buddy are obvious, while others are often overlooked. Here are some of the main reasons why you should work with a workout partner.
At the end of the day, you're only truly accountable to yourself. Skipping training sessions and going off-plan won't affect anyone other than you. Yet, making a promise to oneself sometimes isn't enough to encourage consistency and commitment.
Having a workout partner creates a sense of external commitment and accountability, as though someone else is counting on you to succeed. For many people, it's this slight mindset shift that can make all the difference. In fact, people who have an accountability partner in work, training, and life are 65% more likely to reach their goal. Promising yourself to go to the studio after work is one thing, but telling your workout partner that you'll be there is quite another.
The same theory applies to purchasing a membership or signing up for a race: the financial investment creates a sense of accountability that wouldn't otherwise be there. When you make a financial investment, you don't want to end up wasting your money. When you invest in a training partner, you don't want to end up wasting their time.
One of the most challenging aspects of adult life is figuring out how to balance friendships with the many other responsibilities you have in the run of a day. For many contenders, training time is social time.
Training with a workout partner, especially a friend who you wouldn't otherwise get to see often, is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. The time you spend together training can double as the time you catch up on all the other things happening in your life. Not only is training a great way to burn off stress physically, but having someone to vent to can make the experience that much more effective.
When you're a part of a tribe, you get the opportunity to share experiences with other people. We get it: achieving your goals isn't easy. Some days training will feel harder than others. Some techniques will be harder to master than others. That's just the way it goes sometimes.
When you work out alone, it can sometimes feel as though you're the only one facing this struggle. You might have people you can vent to, but if they aren't familiar with the nuances of your training methods, they won't understand the struggle.
Having a workout partner can help you feel understood through the power of shared experiences. They'll be able to empathize and sympathize at a deeper level because they've been in your shoes.
Motivation comes in many forms, and it can often be fleeting. Sometimes you won't feel motivated to get your training in, which is one of the reasons why it's so important to focus on developing your dedication and self-discipline.
On those days where motivation is missing, your training partner can be the force that propels you forward. You can count on them to remind you why you're doing this and how great you'll feel after a training session. Your workout partner will be the person in your corner, telling you to keep going, push a little harder, and move a little faster. Of course, you'll repay the favor by being that person for them.
Help Working Through Challenges
Sometimes you need a second set of eyes on a situation. When you're in the thick of training, you might not be able to tell when your form is off or what improvements you can make.
Workout partners can observe you as you train and give helpful advice to correct your form or identify a problem area. They can be your sounding board as you work through a problem or challenge you're facing. Sometimes, you just need someone to validate your feelings and agree with you; workout partners are perfect for this purpose.
Safety is an often-overlooked perk of having a training partner. Of course, you should never train in a place that makes you feel unsafe. However, when you're trying something new or challenging, it's a good idea to have someone else around.
For example, say you're cross-training with some strength and conditioning exercises and decide to try a new weight while squatting with a barbell. It's sensible to have a partner there to spot you as you try something new.
Many contenders use running and cycling as their primary form of boxing cross-training. If you're planning on hitting the pavement at night, safety in numbers is always a great idea.
How Workout Partners Hinder You
It might seem hard to believe that having a training partner could be a hindrance rather than a help. However, even the best things in life have a few cons to consider. Here are the challenges that come with having a workout buddy.
As previously mentioned, scheduling time with another person can be a nightmare for adults. If you and your training partner have different work schedules, children, and other responsibilities, finding time to train together can be tough. The downside is that when this happens, the training partners often lose momentum and end up derailing their training plan.
If you have a training partner that always reschedules or cancels at the last minute, don't let that stop you from going and smashing your goals.
Another challenge that training partners often face is feeling rushed. If your partner finishes their workout before you, you might feel pressured to call it off early, especially if you traveled together.
Don't feel guilty for finishing things on your timeline. If your partner consistently finishes before you, look at what ways you might be wasting time. Maybe your recovery periods are a bit too long, or you keep getting distracted by your phone.
Evaluate what changes you're willing to make to get back in sync with your partner, but don't sacrifice yourself. Just because they choose to skip their mobility cool-down doesn't mean you should.
While training together can be a great social outlet, it can also be a hindrance if talking interferes with training.
Make an agreement when you start training together that you'll only catch up at designated times. Consider designating time during your warm-up and cool-down to catch up. Set timers during rest sets to remind you when to get back to work.
While having a friend there to give you feedback on your form and technique can be helpful sometimes, it can also be a hindrance. Simply put, unless your training partner is a professional, they might give you the wrong advice.
Take your training partner's advice with a grain of salt, and advise that they do the same when asking you for input. When in doubt, work with a coach to help you overcome your struggles.
There's a huge difference between healthy and unhealthy competition. If you and your workout partner can push each other in a positive way and celebrate each other's successes as well as your own, that's healthy competition.
Unhealthy competition is when you push yourself beyond your limits in a destructive way to one-up another person or feel angry when your friend does better than you.
If you find yourself enveloped in negative thought patterns, whether about your success or perceived failures, you might need to work on developing a growth mindset before you can be an effective workout partner. The same applies when your workout partner constantly pushes to best you.
Tips for Finding the Right Training Partner
Sometimes it's not the fact of having a training partner that causes issues; it's who you have by your side. To choose a great workout partner, find someone who has:
- goals comparable to yours,
- a similar schedule to yours,
- the same or similar level of experience,
- excellent communication skills and a positive attitude; and
- the ability to provide constructive feedback without criticism.
If your training partner has all these qualities and you're still having a problem, you need to do some soul searching and determine if you are the best workout partner you can be.
Join the Tribe
In most cases, having the ideal training partner can be more of a help than a hindrance. Look for someone whose values and goals are in alignment with yours and work together to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals.
At Gloveworx, you and your workout partner can sign up together for private coaching and group training sessions. With the right training partner by your side, you can both Become Unstoppable.