Workout partners are meant to motivate. Their sole purpose is to lift a person, literally and figuratively, in the gym.
But problems arise when people don’t really put thought into their workout partner. “Oh, you can be at the gym at 7pm? Want to work out together?” That’s about the extent of the research. A workout partner is as important as a sexual partner. Is that how you’d choose a sexual partner? “Oh, you can screw at 11pm tonight? Want to have sex with me?” Well, maybe that’s not so bad, but it’s not the best way to find a workout buddy.
“As a loner with trust issues, the only workout partner I have had for the past five years is my iPod,” explained Andrew Ginsburg, a stand-up and champion bodybuilder. “That said, in over twenty years in the iron game, I’ve had workout partners that have both added to my workouts and destroyed them.”
Ginsburg is an accomplished comedian, his new album Eat the Yolk comes out on Pink Room Records April 1st, and a fitness expert. Because Ginsburg is such a fitness freak, we asked Andrew for some signs that we’ve picked the wrong workout partner.
Here are his tips on the people to ditch at the gym.
The Selfish Pig
In the gym, there is no such thing as “fashionably late.” If a person keeps you waiting, they are selfish and clearly not focused on their workout. A training partner should save the quickie with his girlfriend until after the workout. Being cancelled on last minute for a workout is far worse they being stood up for a date. You don’t save money and you begin your workout angry. If a workout partner cancels on you once, give him a pass. If he does it again, cut him loose and put on your headphones.
This guy does not shut up from the time he enters the gym and just wants to gab with everyone around him. He knows all the trainers and members names and even has a secret handshake with some of them. He’s overly friendly to the point of disappearing for five minutes in between sets. Besides being annoying as hell, he’s screwing up your workout and doesn’t deserve you.
This guy has opposite goals. If you’re looking to gain muscle and he’s looking to lose 200 pounds, chances are that your workouts with conflict and nobody will make progress. While you’re lifting heavy weights with good form, he should be on the treadmill.
The Steroid Freak
If you are all natural and your workout partner is on the “juice,” you will not be able to train the same way. The steroids speed up muscle recovery and are conducive to high volume workouts. A natural trainer cannot do 30 sets for chest without overtraining or far worse, getting injured. Let steroid freaks workout with steroid freaks.
As a trainer, I’ve had girlfriends ask me to train them or workout together and I’ve always refused to do so. The trainer is an authority figure and the key to a good relationship is balance. A good workout partner motivates and may even provide some healthy competition. As soon as a couple starts to compete with one another, they are headed for a downward spiral. Go to the gym together and then part ways once you are past the front desk.