Training Partners. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Training Partners. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 


I recently watched the film ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ (I know took me awhile to get round to it!) but it gave me an idea? Who are the good, bad and ugly training partners?
Many many many many times I have written or suggested to people that they should find a training partner. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people love having someone to talk to about the next exercise, having someone there to push them hard and work with. Others hate having that person around who just helps them with gear and then texts on their phones.
So I’m here to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of training partners and what YOU should look for in a trainer partner.

 The Ugly. 


One of the most annoying things I see when people train is people on their phone texting. I HATE THIS!. Okay, using your phone because of a great app to help with timings or program? That’s awesome. But sitting down or standing around texting constantly..? I guess your thumbs are getting a good workout! I actually saw someone doing EMAILS in the gym with a laptop….drove me crazy…
This seems to be a new trend or craze entering the training world. I personally, won’t even bring my phone to the gym unless I need a timing app. Even then I’m reluctant. One of my pet hates is seeing training partners who help set up, and then text on their phone when partner is going through the exercise…what is the point?
I call the next one ‘the drill instructor’. It’s the person you normally here screaming at their partner to ‘WORK IT’ or ‘PUSH IT’. Now I’m not saying that a little extra motivation is a bad thing. Of course it can help you go that little bit extra. But sometimes, enough is enough.
Ever seen two people get together to train, and talk? Just sit and talk? or maybe just walk around? hit a treadmill? something like that? I know I have.  Training needs to have a focus, otherwise the session won’t be a good one. Nothing worse than seeing two people meet up for training for a social visit. That’s why coffee shops have seats.

The Bad.


Now I know most people are thinking whats the difference between ‘bad’ and ‘ugly. So let me clarify before discussing bad training partners. ‘Ugly’ partners are the worst of the worst‘Bad’ partners are those partners that are okay. They have moments of brilliance but then fold back into bad habits.
So now we know the difference (for the sake of this article) lets talk about the bad.
So your gym partner has helped you with the gear, they have helped you for most of the exercise. BUT  they then see their friend walk in and leave you alone and struggling. Great for most of the time, but missing when needed. Same thing with texts, they ignore most of them…up until the point when their significant other asks what the plan is for later on.
Not turning up or constantly changing time. (no explanation needed I feel)
Finally the overly competitive partner who always makes you feel like you haven’t done enough or should do more. You don’t want to be feeling crap after your workout.

The Good.

the good the bad and the ugly - 1966 - the good

Okay. So this is the easy bit. The good partner is the none of the above and a little of the above.
A good training partner should be able to push you, while keeping things safe. They know your limit and what you can and can’t do. Similarly they encourage you to keep safe and try new things. It’s good to try new exercises and be pushed, as long as it’s done safely this is fine!
They are there all the time and have similar goals to yourself. Training together to reach similar goals will allow the both of you to go through the same plateaus together and motivate each other to reach those goals.
You get along with your training partner. You can talk about other things besides training. This is great during warm ups and cool downs as it keeps you having fun. The ability to smile and enjoy training is something which is overlooked far too often! But they understand that when it’s time to work, it’s time to work.

In the end, who you want to train with is up to you. If you are unsure who to train with, perhaps this article can help you . Perhaps you already have a few people in mind. Bottom line, everyone looks for something a little different from a training partner, some of the things I mentioned that are bad or ugly, you might like!
Ask people to train, make it fun, train hard and maybe … just maybe, you’ll find a great training partner.


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