New Study: Find Yourself a Training Partner

Let’s face it, motivation is a key factor in maintaining consistency in most areas of life. This is especially true when it comes to our fitness or bodybuilding regimens. While we usually understand the benefits and envision meeting our goals, there are days when our enthusiasm decreases or other factors distract us. At those times, it’s easy to rationalize and give in to excuses about why it’s NOT a good time to go to the gym and exercise.

This is exactly why it’s important to have a training partner. Finding someone who shares your vision and wants to help you succeed can make all the difference between success and failure. That training partner can also nudge you into action on days you might feel sluggish, or you may fulfill that same role for him.

The “secret” here is feedback. Any time we perform a task, it is always helpful to receive feedback about what we did and how well we did it – or not. A national fitness organization performed a test about the feedback theory on a group of athletes performing upper body workouts. Each strength resistance training session included four sets of three repetitions using designated exercises.

The selected group of athletes performed four sessions of these exercises, following the four sets-three reps format. During two of these sessions, they received verbal feedback about their performance. In the other two sessions, they received no verbal feedback. Each session was separated by a period of seven days. The results were revealing.

This group of trained athletes demonstrated sharp improvements during the sessions in which they received feedback, compared to the sessions with no feedback. Their improvement manifested in greater upper body power output during each successive set during the feedback sessions.

Feedback, of course, represents the way you can benefit from having a training partner. You can benefit not only by encouraging each other to complete your workouts, but to strive for your peak performance. You can offer each other suggestions for improvement, as well as throw each other props when you perform well.

Can’t find a training partner with a schedule that fits? Social media and forums can be a great alternative for this sort of positive feedback engagement (twitter + the bodybuilding.com forums are my favorites – shoot me a tweet [@androsform] next time you hit a personal best or need some inspiration). There’s some great smartphone apps out there as well…search your favorite application market, search fitness and sort by rating…you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.

 

Works Cited:
http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/publishahead/Acute_effects_of_verbal_feedback_on_upper_body.98548.aspx

Comments

  1. I completely agree with you, without my pal Matt, I don't think I'd ever have had the motivation to work on my body. A training partner does a lot more than just watching your bench press, he gives you competition, motivates you, keeps the atmosphere light (since you can talk)…. and most important you have something to look forward to while going to gym, more than just more pain… you know what I mean!

  2. I'd like to tell you that I absolutely love this website. It's a lot more than the other fitness advice blogs, which generally are just too workout heavy. Here you guys actually talk about real issues like motivation during heavy exercise. And how to maintain the routine. I will suggest this website to anybody who's looking for some real advice in fitness training!

  3. Ya man, you get me… making an excuse and not going to the gym. I have been a body building enthusiast for a long long time. But lacked motivation and routine. Have a training buddy is a great idea. But I guess, that training buddy needs to be a lot more motivated than me, else we may just end being drinking buddies… lol… still great advice, will follow it for sure!

  4. I completely agree with you here.. In fact, in my experience, my training mate helped me even more than my instructor. Instructors, no matter how involved, will still be more transactional and result oriented. But a training partner is somebody who constantly motivates you and most importantly, gives you that little competition, which makes you go beyond your regular…. great post, adding you to my Google Reader!

  5. dave berros says:

    It's funny as I like lifting weights and running because they are solitary pursuits, while I know other people that can't hit the gym unless they have a workout partner or a personal trainer. I think it's up to the person but on the other hand the facts don't lie.

  6. This is so true. When I was on track with going to the gym three times a week is when I had someone to go with and we kept each other on track. Now that I moved I have to find that again!

  7. Jennifer D. says:

    The power of motivation! So very true. I would also add writing down your goals. A personal trainer can be great to help get you off to a great workout regimen start, help motivate you to reach a goal, or refocus if you have fallen off track. If you cant afford or find one, join a class, or find a workout buddy for accountability, or use a great smartphone app 🙂 Its just like they say….21 days to form a new habit. Commit to it and you WILL see a change!

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