Good Training Partners Sharpen Each Other

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Good Training Partners – Much More than Spotters
Question: My latest training partner nearly got me killed last week because he was checking out a girl and forgot about spotting me and left me with the bar laying on my chest. Could you outline what being a good training partner is?
Answer: To have a good training partner you need to be a good one. It’s more that two people who happen to get to the gym at the same time on a regular basis, though, that’s usually the first common factor. Training partners share a common goal which is usually getting into the best shape possible or for the younger guys to put on as much muscle as possible. Trust is a big issue for a good partner. You need to be able to trust your partner for several reasons including to be on time to train, to know that he is aware of what you are doing and the risk you are in. He needs to be able to spot on your lifts, especially the ones that have potential to be hazardous to your health. A good spotter understands that the way to spot is to match the speed of the bar movement. For instance, on bench presses pay attention to the speed of the bar as it descends to the chest and as it drives back up in the first two inches off the chest. Keeping the speed of the bar constant prevents the bar from stopping or slowing to the point that the joints become overloaded causing the lifter to attempt to use accessory muscles to complete the lift instead of the ones intended. A good spot makes the lifter feel like he is receiving no assistance and the spotter feels like he is barely helping. A good training partner knows when to spot, how much to spot and when not to help.
Good training partners inspire and drive each other to attain greater accomplishments than either could have reached individually. Proverbs 27:17 says it best, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” When one has a bad day, the other picks up the slack and motivates the other to make it a good workout. A good partner makes you forget the effects of influences outside the gym like what happened at work or what you have to do when you leave. On the other hand, a bad partner fails to be on time, carries issues from outside the gym into the workout or allows frustrations from influences other than the workout to interfere with training. If your partner falls into the latter group then it may be best for your training to return to solo sessions. Though knowing someone is depending on you at the gym, don’t depend on a training partner to make you train or to get good workouts. The best partners could train on their own if they wanted to but don’t because partner training is more productive.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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