To have a training partner or not having a training partner, that is the question…
Jesse asks, “Do you think having a training partner helps? I’m seeking a training partner for outdoors bodyweight exercises but it is hard to find people who are up to speed. Do you have any ideas for finding workout partners and ideas for motivation? (or is this just an excuse I’m creating for myself?)”
Like all things the answer depends.
I will sum it up to say this. Having a training partner can be great but relying on a training partner (i.e. being unable to train effectively alone) will hold you back.
Over the years I have primarily trained alone.
But not always. In fact, earlier on I did have a training partner for much of my training.
The possible benefits of a training partner include:
• Friendly competition
• Outside motivation (aka cheering or jeering you on)
• Practice coaching and/or getting coached (depending on ability levels)
• More fun
I’m sure there are more benefits but that covers the main ones.
The possible drawbacks of training partners include:
• Relying on someone else
• Often times, it’s hard to schedule and travel by one party or another is necessary
• Might detract from focus as it becomes “social hour”
As for motivation, I would take some time to understand the difference between internal and external motivation. Depending on if you are primarily motivated one way or another a training partner may be more or less useful to you.
Check out this video and blog for more details.
In addition, it also depends on what you’re trying to get out of training beyond fitness. If it’s about belonging and some of the other social needs, which training can become a big part of, that is also important to know. Although there are some problems with this model, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs gives some insight into it.
In all my years, I’ve never really sought out training partners. They were either available or they were not. When they were not, I simply trained alone.
And now that is almost 100% of my training. (After all, who is going to make the trip up to my mountain home at 5 or 6 in the morning? I’m certainly not going anywhere at that time!)
Self-responsibility is a necessity when it comes to fitness. If you rely on other people, going to a gym, to a class, you’re going to have a much harder time of it then if you can simply train alone inside your own home by yourself.
Again, it’s not to say those other things aren’t great. But training at home by yourself with something like bodyweight training removes 90% of the excuses.
Learn how to motivate yourself to do that and you’re golden!