Having someone who is going to be there to support you throughout your highs and lows can prove to be very motivating. Here are some examples of successful partnerships and a few useful tips for finding the right workout partner for you.

Looking to get the most out of your time in the gym? It might be worth taking a friend along with you. A 2011 study in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology showed that those who exercised with a partner performed better in a number of physical tests and were more motivated than those who exercised alone.

Legendary partnership

The results are hardly surprising. Some of the most successful bodybuilders of all time have developed their impressive physiques with the help of a training partner. Way back in 1970, the legend Arnold Schwarzenegger began training with bodybuilder and wrestler Ric Drasin. As Drasin recalls of his first session with Arnold:

Arnold was ok in the strength department, but not as strong as I was. That workout became somewhat competitive and we pushed each other pretty hard. I think he was a bit upset that I could outlift him, but it also motivated him at the same time.

That year Arnold went on to win the first of his seven Mr. Olympia titles.

Blood and guts brothers

More recently, we saw the unstoppable partnership between six times Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, and his training partner Leroy Davis. Competing in the 1990s at a competition weight of around 260lb, Yates brought a level of muscle mass to the stage that the sport had never before seen.

He was famous for his ‘Blood and Guts’ style training and the sheer intensity of his workouts. Leroy Davis was an integral part of this training style, and is widely acclaimed to be the best training partner in the history of bodybuilding.

Top tip

To get the most out of your session, choose a training partner who is stronger than you. The study showed that those who were paired with subjects stronger than they were, performed the best and displayed the greatest increase in motivation.

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