In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I decided to offer some tips on sprucing up your relationship in the gym. Partner training can be a great tool to improve your motivation and adherence to a fitness program by making your workouts more fun and competitive. When looking for a good partner to train with, consider your schedules, motivation, training styles and goal compatibility. Set yourselves some partner goals (number of work outs in a month, cardio hours/week, weight loss etc) along with a reward system for each goal achieved to add to your enjoyment.
Here are some ideas you and your friend/partner can incorporate into your workouts. Make sure you do not feel any discomfort with your exercises and see your doctor if you have any concerns.
Push-up and clap. Starting either on your knees or toes, both perform a push up and then give each other a high five while maintaining a plank position. Have a competition to see who collapses last. If the push-ups are too much, per same exercise while just holding plank position.
Ball crunch and toss. Start sitting with your feet touching. One partner takes a medicine ball and does a sit up (to make it harder bring your ball overhead and touch the floor during your sit up) and then tosses the ball to their partner. Do as many as possible.
Shadow shuffle. Start with your knees slightly bent and hands in the air facing each other. Set the timer for 30 seconds with one partner shuffling left to right, changing directions frequently. The other partner tries to shadow the movements. Switch after 30 seconds.
Timed wall squats. Place your backs on a wall and bend your knees to 90 degrees. Keep your head and hips against the wall, holding your hands and elbows on the wall as well. See who can hold their position the longest.
Cardio. Even if you have completely different weight training programs, you can still do cardio together by sitting next to each other on a bike/treadmill/elliptical. Chatting while doing cardio is encouraged, an ideal intensity for cardio is to go as hard as you can while being able to maintain conversation.
Like any relationship, it is important to stay accountable to yourself as well as your partner. Be aware to not sabotage your partner’s success if you start to lose motivation, which can be one of the downfalls of partner training. Remember to keep individual goals as well as partner goals. Don’t forget to clink and drink water when you are done!