5 Reasons Why It’s Important To Have A Training Partner

Most people who are new to the gym start out alone. I know I did. Soon after working out for a couple of months and gaining more knowledge about training principles, I realized that I felt lonely in my pursuit to sculpt my body. I had discussed weightlifting many times with a coworker of mine, who also happens to be one of my best friends, but never worked out with him.

My friend was once a wrestler at his high school. As some of you may know, high school wrestling has a brutal training process. He told me that he was told to wear trash bags and run in order to get all the sweat out before weighing in. He also told me that during their training, all of the team members had to find their one rep max in various exercises to measure their progress. After all that hard work, my friend had a really cut physique due to the rigorous training.


I remember hearing these stories he was telling me and I thought, “Wow, that must have taken a lot of hard work to stay in something like that.” Then I found myself thinking, “Why am I not working out with him?”

Getting back into it

My friend had not worked out seriously in over two years. After receiving some motivation from watching the movie Pumping Iron, I had asked him to work out with me one day and he agreed. At the time, I was still new to weightlifting and did not have much experience with free weights, as I went to an apartment complex gym that only had machines.

But now I was at a popular gym with free weights and a plethora of equipment. I mainly asked my friend to work out with me in order to help me with my form on free weights, especially bench. I had used the smith machine in order to avoid any accidents, but never trained with the regular bench.

Our first training session was very informative. He taught me the form on bench press. Then we did flyes. He was on-point with telling me what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. Soon after we exercised, we realized that training together was very motivational. My friend actually thanked me for asking to work out, because now he was determined to look as ripped as he did when he was in wrestling.

Long story short, we still exercise every week together. Sometimes it’s once a week and sometimes its two or three. Even though our schedules are somewhat demanding, (both of us are in college, I have two jobs, he has a 40-hour work week) we still find time to work out together.

So what can you get from this?

1. Training with someone else pushes you harder

During our training sessions, my friend and I always went all out, pushing each other to our max number of reps until failure. This was critical for me, as it shocked my body into creating and strengthening my muscle fibers. When training, it is always important to go all out. Going all out drains you and creates the best environment for your body to grow and develop.

2. You have a spotter


By having a training partner for my workouts, I was able to do free weight bench press without worrying of the weights falling on me. With this constraint lifted, I was able to go heavier on sets and do more reps. If I were to do some reps with the same weight without a spotter, I would have to do less reps because it requires more energy to rack the weight alone.

3. Your form will improve over time

My friend was experienced in lifting weights. He knew the proper form for many lifts. Having a training partner that is already somewhat experienced in lifting will tell you if you are doing something wrong. This is especially helpful because correct form will prevent you from injury.

4. It’s great bonding time


My friend and I already had a great friendship. By working out more, we bonded more together as friends. I felt that each time we exercised it help us build a more successful friendship.

5. You will stay dedicated

This is probably one of the most important reasons why you should have a training partner. By working out together, my friend and I helped each other stay motivated towards our goal. Motivation is key to staying focused and concentrating on accomplishing your goals.


Having a training partner is truly indispensable. Many opportunities open up once you can train with someone that you know and who is dedicated just like you. Find someone who is focused, determined, and energetic.

Your training partner doesn’t always have to be your friend. I know a couple of people train with their brother or father. The point is that you should always find someone to help you train, because you will always need the extra 1% that is produced from training together. Every rep counts.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide To Breaking Bodybuilding Plateaus

80 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why It’s Important To Have A Training Partner”

  1. Positives:
    Someone to spot you meaning you can push it harder
    Conflicting busy schedules
    Competition goes bad
    Differing goals and outlook
    I’ve worked out alone for 7 years now. I often muse I could use a partner to push and spot me. But now, after so long my workout is niche and maybe not befitting anyone else

    1. Completely agree. A GOOD training partner is the ideal situation. But they have been very hard to come by, at least for me. More often times than not, I find myself with guys who yak too much, whine about over-training, and/ or miss workouts because the wife is cracking her whip again or his bratty kids have a game, a recital, blah blah blah. A steady training partner with the same training goals increases your training ten fold, but unfortunately they have been rare, at least in my case. 🙁 I agree with the basic point of the article though. Training partner is best- if you can find one.

    1. Yeah. I’d much rather be a skinny metro-sexual, borrowing my kid sister’s jeans.
      They’re so cool. That’s what our Grandfathers fought to enable

    2. Why would you waste your time making hateful comments on a site that specifically caters to men? I would never comment on sites like Elite Daily or Jezebel because I never go to those sites. Why do women always want to invade men’s spaces for?
      Your presence here proves everything that’s ever been said about women on here. Congrats on proving that AWALT

      1. What kind of a fuckwit criticizes other people for Improving themselves? A feminist of course.

    3. Nothing wrong with wanting to gain muscle and no, not all of us want to necessarily look like GI Joes. I just want to be fit and muscular and that does not mean I want bulk up a lot and end up like Arnold.

      1. Her perverted logic goes like this…..
        Man wants to be stronger and look better. Must be bad. I can mock them. I must mock them.
        She is utterly ignorant of what a man is.

        1. You have to ask why some women don’t like male self-improvement.
          Because they want an inexhaustible army of passive drones

    1. Best chest day I’ve had in ages was mid-December last year. Had a big black dude in my face spotting me, drill sergeant style. Big thanks to my man for pushing me beyond my limits.

  2. If motivation is so heavy a burden that it requires two people to carry, neither of you will last very long.

    1. I don’t think the idea is that you won’t have enough motivation to succeed going solo, but having a partner can be helpful when motivation is lacking…mutual reinforcement can be surprisingly effective, albeit not necessary.
      I don’t understand what wisdom you want to impart to readers; “If you are having trouble motivating yourself, then lose hope and give up?” or “How to sound wise without being helpful?”

      1. If you need a partner to motivate yourself, something is wrong. Short-term yes get that partner but you should be asking yourself some searching questions to determine what the problem is.
        Btw, don’t be disingenuous:

        “If you are having trouble motivating yourself, then lose hope and give up?”

        Nowhere did Antares say this.

        1. If it is intended to be motivation that’s cool, but it’s not clear enough. From my perspective it sounds like unproductive negativity.
          My interpretation:”If you aren’t motivated enough to workout solo, then you’re a pussy, and you will fail”, as if there is no potential for change. Just pointing out that there is still hope for those fitting the description. When dealing with the low-self-esteemed men, it is only helpful to point out the problem if you also point out a solution. Otherwise it is too easy for them to lose hope. Which leads to poor decision-making.

        2. I have to be honest: I have worked with unmotivated men and it’s a nightmare. You wind up sacrificing your own work out trying to help someone who cannot be helped.

        3. That’s why it’s important to find someone who is energetic and dedicated as you are. It would be too much of a burden to workout with someone who doesn’t share the same passion or goals as you.

        4. That’s a great way to put it. A good lifting partner can bring you up just as a bad one can hold you back.

    2. Agreed. The motivation that drives you towards any goal must come from within.
      Short-term assistance from a knowledgeable person is valuable but by and large you should be spending most of your time working by yourself.
      And who wants to have to organize their work-outs around someone else?

    3. I agree. However, I wasn’t trying to say that you need someone else to be motivated. Your main source of motivation should certainly come from within, but it always helps to have someone who has similar goals to give you that extra boost.

  3. The only reason why we don’t feel like our true masculine selves is because the fellowship of men is broken. The lion represents the strength, courage, and power that all men possess but can only truly be actualized with the fellowship of other men. Which means that when the men are united together and the bonds of trust are strong, the presence of the true masculine man will rise up. This is why the illuminati are doing everything they can to divide us amongst ourselves because it is a threat to their power. Because we live in a feminist society, adultery runs rampant and men can no longer trust one another because they have disobeyed God’s law with the sexual revolution of the 1960s which caused the degradation of male authority. When one man sins, it causes the decline of the authority of all men. The first world made the mistake of being too relaxed with adultery, when it is a grave sin. The third world made the mistake of punishing adultery by breaking the first commandment not to kill another. If we wish to truly unite with our divine masculine selves, we must maintain high moral and ethical standards to rebuild the fellowship of men for the higher cause of attaining our freedom. When a man commits adultery, the only one he cuckolds is himself because he is insecure and not grounded in something far greater than himself. Be in love with your highest purpose and mission in life and maintain the fellowship of men, and then a woman will be able to discover your authentic self. Chasing women over your highest purpose is a copout and is just masking your insecurity because you feel like you have to prove your manliness by sleeping with a bunch of women because you lack something inside of yourself.

    1. “The third world made the mistake of punishing adultery by breaking the first commandment not to kill another”
      Thou shall not murder. Killing is not necessarily murder, especially when it the execution/killing of those who God’s commanded killed. The Pharisees brought a woman *supposedly* caught in adultery before the Lord, they wanted Him to either say, “Ignore the Law, set her free,” or, “Ok, lets stone her,” either of which would have been against the Law. The male and female who committed the adultery are tried and executed together not just the woman. So, the Lord wrote the relevant Scriptures on the ground, that’s why the crowd, realizing they themselves were caught in sinful situation, dropped the stones and walked away.
      Deuteronomy 22:22
      “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, BOTH of them
      shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall
      purge the evil from Israel.”

    1. yes, i have the kind of personality where i prefer to work out alone and am also able to motivate myself (i.e. i measure my performance and feel bad about myself if it’s declining instead of improving). i could see a partner being great for some people, though.

    2. I generally do because my gym time varies, and I’m respectful of buddies I work out around who’re in the middle of their own routine.

    3. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Looking at the comments, I can tell that the point I was trying to make in the article was taken into a different perspective.
      These are all reasons why it’s “important” to have a training partner, not necessarily saying “Stop what you’re doing and get a training partner”, if that makes sense. I think if working out alone works for you, then do it!

  4. I see the benefits of having a training partner, but as an anti-social guy, I always trained alone. I don’t bench enough weight for it to be dangerous without a spotter. As for the squats, I don’t push myself to the max and I don’t go too low, because I am too scared of being stuck on the bottom. I still get a good leg workout out of them. Other than that, I don’t need a training partner for anything else.
    Personally, I am the kind of guy that goes to the same gym since years yet I never talk to anybody there. I am not very jacked compared to the big guys and the roiders that train there and I don’t really feel accepted in their circle so I never talk to them.
    When I was in high school years ago, football players and other athletic guys sometimes made fun of me, so I think I have developed a hate of “jocks” that will probably last for life. These guys were successful with girls and made fun of unsuccessful guys like me. As soon as someone is big I become suspicious of them and it is basically impossible for me to relate to these people or socialize with them.
    The only friend I ever made in the gym was like 15 years ago. We were both big fans of WWE wrestling. Also the guy was sometimes teased by the gym douches. They called him a “retard”. I was the only person siding with him. This is like the only time I ever made a friend in a gym. I just have a hard time to relate to people who hang there.

    1. Same here. I’m not a big guy at all but I still workout whether I’m in the gym or not. I mostly resort to body weight exercises at home such as pull ups and push ups. If I need weights, I have a dip belt and some weight plates. Working out at home is much better because it saves money.

    2. You ought to look for squat racks and benches that give you safety bars. They’re not hard to find. Especially squats. Getting stuck in the hole like you mention shouldn’t be on your mind at all. Set the bars on a squat rack a few inches below your target depth. Easy dumpoff when you need it.

      1. we had a great rack like that at the company gym of a previous employer. i was able to move a bench into it and do all-out bench presses too. it was great. when i get the funds i might try to install something like that in my condo.

  5. A training partner would help me stay motivated. I went to the gym alone for a while, but then I got lazy and there was nobody to tell me to get off my butt and lift some weights.

  6. This article has some legitimate points, but I and many others just prefer to train alone.
    For me lifting weights is a time of meditation and reflection. Having a partner is not a bad thing at all (in fact I wouldn’t be working out the same way I do now if it wasn’t for a friend who introduced me and guided me through the whole process during my first months of training), but having someone else exercise with me takes away the instrospective part of working out that I enjoy so much.
    It’s my me-time…

    1. I actually hate “gym partners” unless I am paying them for advice. They are a distraction.

  7. I find working out alone allows me to be more productive in the gym. Although some do benefit more working out in pairs. My preferred method in the gym is to be somewhat social. Briefly (emphasis on the brief part, no one wants their workout interrupted) introduce myself and offer to spot other people in the gym and they will, most of the time, return the favor. As a result, you get the benefits of working out alone ( less rest time between sets, don’t have to worry about your partner bailing etc) along with some of the benefits of having a partner such as receiving spots on heavy lifts. In addition, I have made many good friends in the gym. By combining lone workouts,with occasional partnered workouts, and meeting new people in the gym you can guarantee you’ll never bench or squat without a spot again.

  8. I’ve lifted for the majority of seven years. I’ve lifted with my father and my best friend and I will attest that a large portion in motivation, at least for me, was competition. Exercise is boring, but when you are competing and there is camaderie–it becomes an activity to look forward to. I’ve gotten my best results from this method. Alas, my best friend is no longer in the area and that has greatly affected my desire to go to the gym. You do rep less when you go solo.

  9. I prefer training alone. Way back when I first seriously got into lifting I had a partner, but eventually we got tired of that and just started doing our own thing. To be totally honest in a dickish way, the author kind of comes off like a needy bitch in this article.

  10. To each their own but I think the “ONE MORE BRO!!! DIG DEEP!! ALL YOU!!!” drama-fest is way overemphasized. Going to extreme Rocky movie levels of awesomeness on each set has been debunked by many physiologists. Be patient, record your lifts, get stronger steadily and see that you’ve added 70-150 pounds (or wherever you’re at, whatever is reasonable) to your main lifts (squat and deadlift) by the end of the year. Let the frat boy blow out his colon on one of his preacher curl reps with his bros hopping around like they’re being filmed, ready to give him a forearm bash when he’s done. You don’t see olympic lifters with some dude trying to spot their clean and jerk, not even their squats.

  11. Thanks for the article man.
    While I generally train alone, I have periodically trained with a few partners over the years and it has been great fun while providing some of the other benefits that you mentioned (forced reps through spotting, motivation, check on lifting form, and sharing of training experiences, philosophies and other ideas).
    If you can believe it, WWE wrestling and Pumping Iron actually brought me together with a prior training partner/co-worker. We regularly explored new techniques, lifts, and splits together and observed and critiqued each other’s form and inevitably brought some new ideas to the gym each time so that we could get some direct feedback from one another. It was a great time for learning and experimentation in the gym; it also caused us to become friends in addition to being mere co-workers.
    Currently my training partners are more ad hoc than routine. I help a few guys with spots here and there when they need to grind out some low-rep work and we bounce ideas/philosophies/experiments around in between sets. Recently I’ve been following the progress of a young man experimenting with ‘occlusion training’ as a means to break through a plateau in the training of his biceps.
    Discussing preferred methods with people who actually show results has been invaluable to my own development by giving me new and better ideas to experiment with in my programming… for me, this has been the greatest benefit of training with a partner. Kirk, Shawn, Chris–thank you.

    1. No problem. Critiquing each other is definitely educational. Form is something that has to be developed over time and you can only develop it if someone tells you you’re doing it right or wrong.

  12. the most swole guys at my gym work out in pairs. it’s cool to see them psych each other up and have flex fights in the mirror. I’ve built a pretty athletic build working out solo for the past 10 years. but i do think a partner would take me to the next level.

      1. I cant stop laughing….reminds me of the dude at my gym with a fanny pack and a leather belt…he keeps them on while hes on the stair master…

  13. When i need motivation i listen to inspirational speech compilations to enhance my workout. It’s like a coach in your head while you run, box or lift. Just YouTube “i am a champion” or “dreams” speech for a boost. Makes you wanna run 10 miles with a baby camel attached to your back.

  14. I find a gym buddy helps, I usually go with my best mate. I find it good coz they can assist with spotting an help keep you stable if you’re upping the weights your lifting an can push you to go harder. As long as your don’t have a problem working out solo which i don’t if you’re friend is unavailable then I find it benifical.

  15. 1. Reason Why It’s Okay Not To Have A Training Partner:
    You can go to the gym whenever it suits and don’t rely on the availability of an external entity to be able to progress each week.

    1. That’s a great reason. However, that wasn’t what I was trying to say. The entire point of the article was to explain the benefits of having a training partner, not necessarily saying you can’t workout without one.

  16. I had a synchronized swimmer partner once. Prick still owes me forty bucks.

  17. For a beginner in the weights room, i can see a lot of positives with having a competent & encouraging training partner.
    Once you have greater mastery of the technique & safety aspects, get more comfortable going solo. Your fitness goals may differ after awhile. Also, i wouldn’t want the comfort zone of having a good buddy there ALL the time be my motivational crutch.
    Very Solid article overall.

      1. OK.
        What I meant was, these are all very reasonable ideas, but they apply to a guy who is either mildly retarded (I don’t judge), or gay.
        I lift. My buddies lift. We don’t lift together. I would never want to lift with a buddy. I don’t like the smell of man pits and man sweat. I don’t like the vision of men’s bodies, it’s not appealing to me. I don’t need any of the things the guy says in the article except a spotter, whom I ask of random dudes, because to have your own personal spotter lifting buddy is GAY AS HELL.
        I like to lift alone and then I like to look at my woman.
        Does that make sense?

        1. Haha, I can’t believe we’re randomly revisiting this article within a few days of each other.
          Right. And not too long afterwards… poor Anton Chigurh was banned (I remember smirking when Winston dropped the hammer). Good riddance I say; arrogant teenagers posing as experienced know-it-alls need a swift kick in the pants.
          For the record, I’m seeking out this link provided by some Swede who linked to a scientific article that studied soy’s effect on estrogen levels in men. I know it was “Tommy Vestergren,” but his profile is private so I can’t just scroll down his past comments.
          Egh, the things we do to stay informed and to pass on information. I’ll keep trying through the archives…

  18. A steady training partner is unquestionably better than training alone. But sooner or later, real life will get in the way. In my experience, training parters come and go, no matter what. I’ve had several training partners and lost them all sooner or later. One partner’s work schedule changed, one had a baby, one went into the military, etc. I prefer to train with a partner, but in today’s world, a partner can be very hard to find and when you do find one, sooner or later, they’re gone. Finding a replacement is easier said than done. At some point, you’ll probably find yourself training alone no matter what. So at the end of the day, motivation has to come from within and not from a training partner. Having said that, the basic point of the article is correct. Having a training partner is the ideal situation, but unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.

  19. I always put up just a little more weight, and get that help on the last rep or two when goin heavy with a partner. Men helping one another to get huge is how it was meant to be. Unfortunately, it’s also something I haven’t pushed for and just snag someone who’d be willing to spot, that I know and are around during peak sets.
    The greatest gainers of muscle mass I’ve seen in the gym did it with a partner or in a group of 3. Nothing’s more imposing than a group of bad mother fuckers crushing iron.

  20. Better to get a few sessions from a qualified trainer. You don’t want to pick up shit habits.

    1. And not from those “trainers” in the budget gyms but a reputable one instead. The first group seems to think they’re special, however, I have noticed few of them are any good.

  21. Agree with the article 100%.
    Most of the men at every gym I’ve ever been to in my city, I ever see talking to each other. There’s a lack of brotherhood, loyalty and comradery with the large of majority of us here, as most are tied down in relationships getting pussywhipped, so hoes before bros is the norm in this town. I’ve tried to find training partners, even online, but no luck. Most people here lack the motivation or are too busy with commitments with the high cost of living here. I live in Melbourne, Australia.

  22. I’ve seen a few interviews/quotes where Arnold states that his training partner/s were without a doubt one of the biggest reason he was able to achieve the physique he did.
    I’ve had a few shitty training partners though… ensure your training partner is:
    a) around the same strength level as you so you’re not constantly changing plates etc. between sets
    b) at least as dedicated as you. if not more.
    You don’t want them to be holding you back, chatting, delaying or missing workouts. You’re being off alone in case of the above.

  23. I agree that having a workout partner can be really beneficial. I didn’t realize it until trying it. Getting out 1 or 2 more reps is helpful, and after doing a variety of sets with a friend helping me complete the last reps on each, I definitely noticed it the next day.
    Sadly, it’s hard to find anyone worth a @#^$% for even so much as spotting, let alone a serious workout partner! So many guys I see just go there, go through a few motions, then leave. Or have to constantly use their iPhone and headphones. Not dedicated to getting bigger & stronger like some of us are.

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