Do you work out alone or a partner? Still haven’t found the best way of training and tottering in between the two? In this article I’m going to touch on what I consider the pros and cons of each. And at the end of the article, I’ll tell you the way I train—my answer might surprise you.
Having a partner definitely has its benefits. You’re able to motivate and push each other verbally. Having that “ride or die” training partner just automatically gives you that extra confidence boost. Also having that partner, you will always have that person to rely on and have your back when you go super heavy on a lift to spot you and encourage you. It’s also a nice way to time your work out, easily splitting your rest time with your partners working set and visa versa. When I was powerlifting, didn’t just work with a partner, but a group of 3-4 of us would train with one another.
The downside of having a partner is the exact reciprocal of its benefits—having to always rely on someone isn’t always a good thing. If your training partner gets sick or if you’re always waiting on them to get to the gym, your own training might get thrown off. Having a training partner, most of the time, will increase the time you’re working out as well, due to the natural tendency of having another set, another rep, and the occasional chit chatting.
Some people fall into the category of working out by themselves. The benefits, as said in the cons of having a training partner, are never having to rely on anybody. When you’re in the gym, it’s go time—no need to wait on anyone, no need to wait for someone to warm up and split the workout with you. You’re on your own time and you can lift when you’re ready. You can put your headphones in, jack up the music, and keep the intensity through the roof.
The cons of working out alone is that you must learn how to be self motivated and self driven, which can turn out to become a good thing, but it’s a tough thing to learn. If you’re not feeling it that day, you don’t have the encouragement from a partner to get that extra push and drive, which might be a detriment to your workout. You also run risk of going too heavy without a spot, which could lead to injury.
Me personally? I actually do both
. Right now, during my off-season when I need the intensity to be high, I workout alone. I need my music loud and no outside distractions, no body working in with me, and nothing to take my mind of what I need to be accomplished. I don’t need to wait on anyone, and just focus on the iron and me. And if I lift heavy and prefer a spot, I’ll grab one of the workers at our gym to spot me. During my on-season, I like to have that good friend of mine working out with me. Having someone encouraging me and pushing me when I’m low on calories and drained on carbs is a good thing to have, especially on leg day!
So which one is your cup of tea? Do you have a training partner or riding solo? And what do you consider the pros and cons of your training style? Let me know by leaving a comment below
Danny Quach is a senior at the University of Georgia
and he’s studying Health Promotion and Behavior. He’s a powerlifter at heart and has done it for over six years. He just competed in his first bodybuilding show in Summer of 2011. For powerlifting, he holds some Georgia records. In his first bodybuilding competition, he placed 2nd
in Novice in INBF Southern States. On his spare time he’s a part of the University of Georgia’s cheerleading co-ed squads; his favorite past-time? Throwing girls around and catching them.