Training in the gym is a microcosm of society itself. There are people who are loners, those who work best with a partner, and those who flourish in groups. We’ve all seen people train alone, with partners, in groups, and with the assistance of others. All methods have their benefits and drawbacks. When you’re looking to enter what is known as a bulking phase – unbridled gains in terms of muscle mass & strength while at the same time putting on a few pounds, then using a partner is a very good idea. Let’s look at a few reasons why.
First and foremost, you are about to be lifting more weight than you ever have before. For more repetitions, too! You’ll be training to failure. And what does failure mean? Simply put, it means you can’t move that barbell anymore. Failing is no problem if you’re repping out on the leg extension machine, but what happens if your point of failure happens to occur mid-way through repetition #11 of a set of squats with 315 pounds on your back? You quite possibly make “quite an impression” upon those around you, and perhaps the floor as well. Training with a buddy ensures you have someone to remove 10% of the weight from the bar with a simple nudge from a safe angle, allowing you to compete the repetition without hurting yourself, others, or the floor of your very nice gym.
Keepin’ Em Honest
Don’t let the final reps of a tough set turn into some 60% range-of-motion movements because you’re getting tired. And don’t allow yourself to skip that last movement because you don’t feel like waiting for that machine to open up. Having a buddy at the gym will make you stay to complete your planned number of reps & sets, which is imperative for making new muscle gains!
It can be tough to cook as many meals are required to ensure you’re enjoying a 500 to 1000 calories per day surplus, right? Why not assign half of the cooking duties to your training buddy! One of you can prepare a ton of tupperware meals on Monday, and the other can prepare a pile of meals on Thursday. Then you guys can make Sunday into “Buffet Day!” Or, both people can prepare meals and trade half to ensure variety. Either way, take advantage of the comparative efforts of one another, and get cookin’.
Nothing keeps a young man more motivated than competition. Seeing your buddy reach an unexpected 11th repetition will ensure you somehow find the energy and drive to reach a 12th repetition of your own. Compete, but do it safely, and never let the other guy outperform you in the gym. Good luck, and happy bulking!