This is a post for all the lifters out there.
You know how when you are single and everyone else seems to be in a relationship is it hard not to feel a little jealous? Well something I have been mulling over lately is training partners….or my lack thereof.
Seriously, it seems that one must make a sacrifice to the Gods, pay a bribe to some shady dude AND get the planets to align just to find someone who is willing to become your weights area partner in crime.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not simply a case of turning up and meeting a friend for an hour of bicep curls and gossip. Oh no…there are many factors to consider.
1. Matching Timetables
Firstly, do not underestimate the difficulty of finding a mutually agreeable time to train. Obviously my first pick for a training partner would be Beck ('cause she is awesome) but between us we have 2 husbands, 5 kids, 3 dogs, 3 businesses, 3 other part-time jobs and a blog. Do you think we can get our shit together and find an hour a day where we are both free at the same time? Not on your Nelly.
2. Matching Goals
Secondly, it is difficult to find someone with similar goals. If you want to bench your body weight (or more) it is pretty tricky to team up with someone who is afraid of lifting heavy lest they get bulky (a whole other blog post…..don't worry it is coming).
3. Similar beliefs about training
Thirdly, it helps to have similar beliefs about training. I love The Machine and I also love training with him, but our beliefs about training are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Machine rates compound, cross fit type workouts where you smash yourself and puke on a regular basis. Being slightly inclined to obsessive attention to detail, I prefer to train one body part at a time (i.e. legs on Monday, chest on Tuesday etc). When I tell The Machine it is abs bis and tris day he just looks at me with a bewildered expression….he is not a fan of isolation exercises (google it).
4. Similar weights
Now this isn't strictly necessary but if the person you are lifting with lifts two or three times the weight that you do you tend to spend an awful lot of time taking plates on and off. A 1st world problem I know, but we are looking for the perfect partner here so I'm just saying.
5. Some spotting ability
It's great to have a partner who 1) knows what spotting is and 2) knows how to do it. Not only does this allow you to lift heavier but it is necessary for physical safety. I have been in the very unfortunate position of almost dropping a dumbbell on my face while my training partner perved on a dude in the squat rack and crapped on about last nights episode of Offspring…It's not a position I wish to be in again. Totally avoidable with good spotting. And for those of you out there who are formulating a comment related to the perils of lifting heavy you can just Shut. Right. Up. You have failed point 3 and we are not compatible training partners.
So for anyone who thought it was as simple as meeting a friend at the gym, I hope I have opened your eyes to the complexities of finding a training partner. I, for one, wish there was a gym equivalent to an online dating agency where you could enter all your stats on the points above and get a list of suitable training partner matches. A girl can dream………
(Oh and BTW…although I spent an hour looking, I couldn't find one suitable image of two females weight training together……)