T Nation

Do You Train Alone or With a Partner?


#1

Just curious to see what everyone does. I have always trained alone and kind of prefer it that way. The only pain is when it comes to flat and incline barbell pressing, I usually have to put myself out and ask someone for a spot. I always feel kind of sheepish doing that. Guys will always oblige, but I will occassionally get the "I wish you wouldn't bother me vibe". Too bad I can't hire someone to come in and spot for that short period of time.


#2

Alone, otherwise I end up talking too long in between sets. Even if a friend is there at the same time, I’ll only ask him for spots or to talk for less than a min at a time.


#3

I almost exclusively train alone, I’m trying to show a buddy the ropes right now so I’ve had a “partner” the last couple of weeks… I prefer training alone though. I dont know why but having a partner around messes with my intensity and focus. I guess if he was a “serious” lifter maybe that would be different… I wouldnt mind having Dave Tate or Big Ronnie backing my ass up.


#4

Always alone. I don’t like people. :wink:


#5

Definitely with a partner. I used to train alone and kinda spun my wheels. I didn’t have a spotter so I wouldn’t push myself to the brink of unconsciousness. My brother and I are going on a year and half since I moved up here. I put on 15 lbs (before I leaned up) and he’s put on 25. Always have a spot on heavy days and you never have the opportunity to feel guilty about missing a workout since the onus/pressure is on from you or your partner.


#6

dont like to get under a bar without a compotent spotter


#7

Good thread!

I train alone. I’ve run through 3 workout partners - none stuck. Ideally, I’d prefer to have one so I’d have a constant (reliable) spot, but I can usually wrangle up someone who is already at the gym who does a decent job.

Training alone keeps me the most focused though. Next to a workout partner who gets you psyched up (as opposed to chit-chatting), it’s the best thing.


#8

Alone, i found that with a spotter I would get distracted and it also makes the workouts take longer. I like to get into the gym, get my lifts down, and get out. Gym time is lifting time, not socializing time.


#9

I always go with my friend and it’s awesome cause he is much stronger then i am, so i always know i got a solid spot and i have someone to compete against and keep me hungry for progress, otherwise he will start talking shit about what a pussy i am.

It’s also cool cause surprisingly we actually get a lot done really fast and don’t waste time. In and out in less then an hour usually. We also are not one of those guys who you see giving each other high fives for doing a bench press while the spotter guy holds the bar the entire time and the bencher only does a half rep, we actually critique each others form and don’t count half ass reps with bad form.

It’s cool to have someone there to motivate you but they have to be as serious about making progress and not missing a workout as you are otherwise their dead weight.


#10

alone, but I know everyone at my gym.


#11

Alone. Its a bitch fucking kicking up DBs and not having a spotter but I find that if I don’t find someone with an equal if not greater drive to grow I quickly loose focus and intensity. I would basically have to train with another aspiring bodybuilder not some guy training to look sexy for the summer.


#12

Alone.

Heaven is an empty gym.


#13

I always go with my friend. We go there to take care of business and it motivates me when I see him pushing it to the limit each time. It is also good to have someone there that knows how you like to be spotted. Sometimes I ask for a spot and either the guy puts his hands on the bar to help when it is not necessary or the fucker lets me sit there with the bar in a static position for 10 seconds screaming at me that I got it, and waits until I start to let the bar come back down until he decides it would be a good idea to spot me.


#14

Mostly on my own, sometimes with a couple of mates who are trying to lose weight and are not strength/GFH orientated. One got scared when I asked him to spot me on close grip benching, didn’t do my confidence any good.

Would rather train with someone who was motivated and bigger and stronger than me.


#15

Alone. I “go” to the gym with my wife, but she heads over to the “circuit” machines & the cardio bunnie area and I head to the weights. I think the only spot my 109lb. wife could give me is dialling 911…

I train with dumbbells on bench. I have observed that most of the people training at the gym do so alone. Barbell bench is really the only area where someone will ask for a spot and in general there are people in the gym who can help you out.


#16

I had a partner for about 8 weeks. It worked OK - we both put on 12lbs in those 8 weeks. After he stopped calling before pulling a no-show, I cut ties. He was also really stubborn and wanted to do a lot of weird lifts with a lot of weird rep ranges just to get a “pump”, this was even AFTER he had gained 12lbs following my program for 8 weeks.

He wanted to go right back to what didn’t work for him in high school. For example, he was a big fan of going over to the DBs, and doing 10 reps of curls with 5lbs, immediately followed by 10 reps of curls with 10, immediately followed by 10 reps of curls with 15, immediately followed by 10 reps of curls with 20, then to 25, then back to 20, then 15, then 10.

After I caved and did this once with him, I asked “What was the point of that?”

He answered something about getting a good pump, and looked at his arm in the mirror, but I don’t think I’ll ever get a good answer to that question.


#17

I like the feeling of working out alone when it’s just you versus the heavy weights. When flight or fight response kicks in and you know know one is around to save your ass so you better get the damn weight up.


#18

I work out alone only because my time is limited: Wake at 5a, work 6a-2p, lift 3p-4p, work 4p-7p.

Squat in the rack. If you fail, you fail, just set it down on the bars.

Bench with a good bench rack…pins set just so if you fail you can set it down and roll under it. Or just say fuck it and roll it off your chest, down your belly. It happens. It’s a pain, but it’s what you got to do. OR, KNOW if you have another rep in you are not. Sometimes I’ve just said “fuck it” and tried one more only to have to roll it off me. No biggie. It’s a skill worth learning…:slight_smile:

As far as dumbbells go. Poliquin would say something about not being able to kick up heavy dumbbells…maybe you just ain’t strong enough…>:)

Alan


#19

I work with a partner time to time but he isn’t as strong as me which is hard to compete with someone like that. I do like sharing my knowledge (what I have learned so far no means an expert) to people like him. He is on the heavy side but has lost ~75lbs so far. Now I just have to build him back up!

But I overall like training by myself just more focused and intense then training with my friend. All my other friends are lazy and weak. They are bigger than me and I’m stronger than most go figure.


#20

I train alone- I like the idea of having somebody who will get after it like I do, but not as much as I like having the gym to myself.

My gym has dumbbell spot stands, a smith, and a power rack, and the flat benches have safety catches in the neck area you can throw the weight back to if you can’t get it, but I’ve only had to use that once. Those dumbbell stands are awesome, though. They go high enough for shoulder presses and inclines, so you just tilt the weights out of the stand onto your shoulder.