Having a training partner, or sometimes even just someone else to train beside, can be incredibly beneficial to making progress in your workouts. One of the greatest aspects of CrossFit is the community. It give you the opportunity to have multiple training partners on any given day. However, the focus of this article is finding those one or two individuals with whom you can train on a regular basis. Here's why that relationship is so important.
If someone else is expecting you to show up somewhere, you are more likely to go. Plain and simple. On those days where you just don't have the internal motivation, that external source (your partner) can make all the difference.
This also means you will tend to rise to the expectation of training. When it would've been easier to give up or scrap that extra set of reps that you don't feel like doing...your partner is right next to you waiting for you to finish the set. Humans inherently don't want to let other people down.
Lastly, having a partner or partners gives you other people to discuss recovery, eating, the next day's workout, or words of encouragement when you aren't IN the gym. It keeps your head in the game.
Training can be a grind. Whether you are looking to compete or just getting a good sweat after work, this shit can be hard. Having a buddy to joke around with and lighten the mood can make all the difference in your attitude and, thus, your progress. A good attitude yields good results. Period.
Instead of dragging your heels to get to the gym, you are more likely to look forward to meeting up with your training buddy and getting some work done.
We all have those days when we need a push. Your partner is there to push you when you can't to do it yourself. After all, everyone loves to win. Having a buddy or two creates that competitive atmosphere in which there is a winner and a loser, so to speak. If it was just you, you'd never know which place you took.
Teaming up with someone who is as skilled/strong as you, or even more so, makes for a great push/pull relationship. You will likely have a balance of strengths and weaknesses between you, which allows the opportunity to help each other improve on those weak spots and bolster the strengths.
Go find that person who will compliment your training and let the gains begin!
-Taylor Race, co-owner and trainer at SPSC Crossfit / St. Pete Strength and Conditioning