When I was a teenager I trained with at least one partner regularly, for 1 or 2 years. We were a group of 3-4 youngsters that trained together all the time. Now on the other hand I have been training by myself for over 1 year and I would like to talk a little bit of the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Before we start here is one important advice. If you are an absolute beginner and you never been in a gym before, I recommend training with a partner that has a little bit of experience with weight lifting. In fact I think that most beginners go to the gym ‘because’ they have a friend that works out. This is how I got into lifting – some of my high school mates drag me into it.
On top of that you will have a much faster learning curve this way, you will avoid many mistakes and possibly injuries.
Advantages of training with a partner
I don’t know about you, but training with partners that are at about the same level as myself always motivated me to push harder in the gym. We even had small competitions on the bench press or the bicep curls. So, this is definitively an advantage that I now miss.
Training with a spotter is a big advantage especially on exercises where you have the risk of missing a rep and injure yourself, such as the bench press or the squats. Having a spotter will also allow you to train past failure if you want to.
Of course you can ask somebody in the gym to help you with this, you don’t need to have a friend with you, but it would help.
You can get a lot of help and advice from someone else that observes you exercise. Even if you feel and see in the mirror that your form is good, a training partner can observe much better your form and make suggestions or corrections to it.
Also, if the person you are training with is more experienced you can benefit from advices on technique, nutrition, form and so on.
It was a though call whether to put this one under advantages or disadvantages of training with someone, but eventually I see the fun factor in the gym as an advantage as long as it doesn’t interfere with the effectiveness of the training.
Having someone to make a joke or have a laugh in between the sets is a good thing and it is something that I miss. Man we had a lot of fun in the gym when I was in high school, in fact we had too much LOL.
Disadvantages of training with a partner
For me, one of the biggest drawbacks of working out with someone else was time because I always increased my rest periods or whatever reason. This will result in a less effective workout and in losing time. The more training partners you have the more time you will waste in the gym, in my opinion.
Messing up routine
One other thing that I didn’t like about training with a partner was that it affected my training routine. And this can happen in two ways. One – you can’t always match the training days, you might be on your legs day while your partner might be on his chest day. Somebody will have to make a compromise.
The second way in which training with a partner might mess up your routine is by increasing the resting periods between your sets – or at least this was my experience with it. We always had a little bit too much to talk and laugh.
These are the advantages and disadvantages of training with a partner as I see it guys. From these you can determine the advantages and disadvantages of training alone. Right now, I like training alone because I am more focused on my training and more time efficient, but I don’t mind training with someone else from time to time.
Do you train alone or with a partner? Which one do you like best?