If you want to improve your workout performance, enhance motivation, and reach the next level of your physical appearance, a gym buddy might just be the thing you need.
While going at your workouts alone does give you a certain level of focus and concentration, having someone there to share your sessions with offers a number of great benefits as well.
A good gym buddy can help to:
- Ensure you are utilizing proper form
- Offer words of encouragement when you’re lacking motivation
- Help get you mentally prepared for your max set
- Give you the security of going for that higher weight thanks to the spot you get
- Celebrate the triumphs and successes that come as you train hard
This is quite the list of benefits, but make no mistake, not every gym buddy can offer these things. While your requirement list for a gym buddy may not be quite as long as that for your husband or wife, you shouldn’t make the mistake of choosing just anyone.
Let’s look at five steps for finding your perfect gym-buddy match.
Match Point #1: Skill Level
The first thing you’ll want to check for is a similar skill level. While you don’t need to be matching your gym buddy plate for plate on every lift, it does help if you’re at around the same level.
If you’re too far miss-matched, chances are you won’t be doing similar training programs, which can make training together more challenging.
Furthermore, it may mean having to constantly rack and un-wrack plate weight, which can drag rest between sets much longer than it should be.
Match Point #2: Schedule
It will do you no good to have a training partner who wants to train first thing in the morning before the sun comes up if you perform your best in the early evening.
Or, if schedule conflicts constantly arise, making it challenging to find a day where you both can actually train together, this too can limit the benefits you stand to gain.
Check with any potential gym partner that you both are committed to keeping a similar and regular workout schedule.
Match Point #3: Training Style
Training styles and preferences can differ significantly between two people and this too can create a point of tension between training partners.
If one of you is very serious in the gym and prefers to get the work done without much chit-chat between sets while the other partner prefers a socialized session, the two of you are far from a match made in heaven.
You want to be on a similar wavelength as your partner in terms of how you plan to train and the mood of the sessions you maintain.
If you aren’t, despite being at the same skill level, you simply may not work all that well together.
Match Point #4: Goals
The fourth thing to look at when seeking a gym buddy is the goals you both have. If one of you is focusing on building lean muscle and the other is focused on cutting, you’ll simply be experiencing two very different things while you train.
While you may be doing similar lifts, the mental challenges you face will differ and this could reduce how much of a connection and support system they are for you.
This may not always be a complete deal breaker, but generally speaking you stand to gain most when your gym buddy is training for the same goal you are.
This also increases the chance that you can do a similar program as them. Someone who’s cutting for instance isn’t going to be able to tolerate the same amount of total workout volume as someone who’s in a calorie surplus.
Match Point #5: Your Attitudes
Finally, the last factor to look for when choosing a gym buddy is the attitudes you both have with regards to your workouts themselves.
Some individuals are a little less intense overall and think no big deal if they miss a session here or there. Others wouldn’t miss a gym session unless they couldn’t get out of bed.
If one of you is very intense and serious and the other is more relaxed about everything, it’ll only be a matter of time before one person is rapidly growing on the others nerves.
Getting a gym buddy who shares the same attitude as you, whatever that may be, is critical for your partnership success.
So keep these points in mind. Don’t feel bad if at first you partner with a gym buddy only to find it isn’t quite working out as you had hoped. It can take some trial and error to find someone you really mesh with well, so keep looking until you find that perfect person.