The things you thought were most important in a training partner might not be important at all – bodybuilding is different from any other type of sport or fitness routine, different from any other partnership you’ll form in life. This guide will give you a solid starting point.
The Primary Qualifications
Reliability is at the top of the list. Yes, training partners are supposed to motivate each other but if a person isn’t reliable enough to put training first then no amount of motivation will make them a good partner.
A busy schedule is no excuse, which is why you should agree on a schedule before committing to anything. Reliability and trustworthiness go hand in hand, after all, and if your partner consistently shows up ten minutes late to training then you never know where his or her mind will be when they’re supposed to be spotting you.
You should never have to feel like your partner is holding you back. If you’re consistently correcting his or her spotting techniques, then you’re not going to feel very motivated to keep tabs on cardio training or weight gain or any of the other important factors – a bad partner will make you feel like the trainer, a good partner will make you feel like the trainee that needs to step up to impress.
This does not mean that your partner has to be the same size, shape, sex, age, or weight as you are though. You don’t have to be lifting the same weights or even working toward the same goals. It’s great if each member of the partnership has strengths that compliment the others weaknesses as long as both are dedicated to meeting their own individual goals while encouraging the other toward theirs.
Don’t forget – and this is the most important part – you need to be everything you expect in a training partner. Anything short of equal input will result in an unsatisfactory partnership. This is all part of the fun though and it’s what builds motivation. If you have a great partner, you’ll want to work as hard as you can to be even better.
Never be afraid to shake things up and hit the gym with somebody new to get a taste for something different (just make sure to schedule the event with your partner first). Sometimes a little contrast in your routine is the best way to reignite the appreciation you have for your current training buddy.
Bodybuilding is competitive by nature. Your goals may be different, but measure progress in terms of progress and you’ll be fine – in fact, you’ll be the best training partner at the gym.
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