Gym partners, swolemates, “buddies”; call them what you will, there can be some serious benefits to having a fellow lifter on hand for workouts.
And of course, there can be drawbacks.
So should you find yourself a gym buddy or should you be like our resident Dom, and always go alone?
Let us help you decide.
Pros of having a gym buddy
Maybe a bit OTT on the buddy front there pal…
It’s a Monday evening, you have just got back home from work. The bus was late, your boss was a giant arse all day, and all you want to do is watch Netflix. But at your door, is your gym buddy. He makes sure you don’t skip your workout. And when you’re there, he makes sure you get as much out of every exercise as possible.
If you’re old school and hardcore, then skip this one. But if you appreciate your life and want to lift big then make sure you have a gym friend to spot you. This will mean you can try bigger weights, without worrying about crushing your ribs or [place body part here]. Likewise, if you work heavy on legs, and clutch control is a bit tricky, then at least you have a lift…and on that subject…
Preferably your method of getting to a workout is something gives you a bit of a cardiovascular exercise, but the likelihood is that a combustion engine is involved somewhere. If you don’t have a car, that is fine, but you might have a gym friend with a car, and that is grand. You might also need someone to carry your stuff from time to time, as a gym bag full of discount supplements is going to be hard to lift, especially after a hardcore chest session.
Not only will a good gym buddy motivate you, and make you go in the first place, but they will also make sure you do your workouts properly. That means they’ll make sure you don’t swing on bicep curls, do the full X miles you want to do on the treadmill and squat as deep as you should. No corner cutting with a good gym buddy.
If, like me, your only friend is your cat, then getting out of the house is a big event. Turning the gym into a time where you catch up with a mate is a great idea. Connect with them, work hard, and then talk about how things are going before, after, or during, as long as you do it politely.
Cons of having a gym buddy
Not one for gym buddies…
Yep, it’s also a bit of a drawback. No one wants to be that person who spends the entire time talking in the gym, so if your mate likes a chat, then it’s hard not to chat back. You have gone to the gym to lift stuff and make your heart go boom boom, not to discuss the next mating target of your pal.
“Sorry mate, can’t make it, I’m ill” or “running late” or “my gym shorts were eaten by my pet goat, can’t come.” You might hear any, or all of these. Yes you can go by yourself, but what if that person is your lift, or makes you so late you can’t go? Problems.
Imagine that you are able to run 5 miles without really breaking into a severe sweat, but your mate is only able to do 2. Do they wait for you or do you stop early? This works both ways. The same applies to weights. Want to try German Volume Training? Perhaps you can’t because your mate has only just started lifting. They hold you back, you hold them back, someone is holding someone for sure.
If things are going well with you and your gym buddy then the chances are that you don’t want to workout without them. Like going on a date without your girlfriend, it would just feel wrong. So, if on a Saturday morning you feel especially pumped, you won’t want to just head down the gym. You need to plan, and planning is boring.
No alone time
Some people like the gym because it is a good opportunity to clear their head, to put aside all the crap from work and the disappointing Man United performance, and to lift some stuff. If you have a mate pushing you on, talking to you, engaging with you, then forgetting the argument you had that morning is rather tricky.