How to Get a Training Buddy
A training buddy has more to do with support and accountability than it does helping you finish a rep. How does one get a training partner?
First there are the obvious ways, like asking around the office, or among your friends. What if that doesn’t work?
1. Become a “resident” at your gym. As in, train there a lot. Or at least go at the same times. You’ll start to see the same people and that familiarity is the beginning of a relationship.
2. Be a good gym member. I mean work hard, be conscientious, and put your weights away, clean your sweat off of things. Limit grunts to a few per hour. The hardcore exercisers will respect you and be more likely to want to train with you.
3. You may have to initiate a conversation. I’ve exercised all over Canada and in few other countries and despite being strangers, there is a common bond among serious exercises that allows conversation.
Pick someone with whom you want to exercise. They should be there consistently and ideally are ahead of you in strength, form, or body composition, but that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Look for clues that they are open to chatting (like they don’t have headphones, they are doing what you are doing, or they make eye contact with you).
Strike up a conversation you can approach someone with, “Nice set.” or “Do you need a spot?” or “Wow good work on that deadlift!”
Don’t strike up conversation at these times:
- When one or both of you is naked in the change-room
- When they are lifting weights or about to lift
- When they are laying on the ground catching their breath
- In the parking lot
- Guys — do not approach women. They will think you are hitting on them, and you probably are, so leave them alone.
4. Instead of the gym, maybe you see someone in your building or neighbourhood who would be a good training partner. I approach these people all the time. I say, “Hey, you train right?” They say, “Ya.”
“Cool me too. What/where do you train?” Volia! Conversation! The bond amongst exercisers trumps the social awkwardness of talking with strangers.
At university, I approached a football player, who I had never spoken with before. I simply said I needed a serious training partner. He said, “Come by my room at 2.” . After four months together I had to change my program, thus ending our partnership, and HE was upset! Who knew he was benefiting from me!
5. Group fitness classes is a sure way to make training buddies. Join smaller gym like Fuel Training Club, a cardio facility like CYKL, or a martial arts gym like TKMT.
The point is, if you put the vibe out there, it will attract a similar vibe. If you have a training buddy you are much more likely to succeed at your goals.
I got my new training buddy by asking if I could try the exercise he was doing (tricep bench press — very body-builder-esque, and I am more of a functional guy). I humbly asked if I was doing it right and let him correct me. He was impressed that I was doing this after my 90 min total body workout. I thanked him and then he invited me to train. I’ve been riding his coat-tails ever since.
But the cool thing is, now he’s the one texting me to train. He told me he has benefited from me being there. Humbling. Awesome. Reassuring. Better results for both of us.
Watch for my next blog in two weeks, “How to Train with a Younger and Fitter Training Partner.”