When training with weights seriously, a good partner is essential. We are not talking about a marriage partner here, although some bodybuilders might say it is an even more important relationship (the lonely ones, anyway.) But, in all seriousness, a good workout partner can be the difference between long term success or failure.
A workout partner should be someone you can trust to spot you, even when they are tired. They should be someone reliable, someone you can count on to show up on time and ready to workout. Your partner should have a schedule similar to yours so you can plan your workouts on a similar schedule. You and your workout partner do not have to agree on everything, but your workout philosophies should be the same. And, most importantly, you should both be dedicated to the same goals.
Anyone who has had more than a couple workout partners has probably experienced a partner who wasn’t right for them. There are some classic signs that a workout partnership is not working out. If your partner is always late for the workout and insists on spending the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the remaining time filling you in on the local gossip, then you might need to look for a new one. A partner who is more focused on the attractive people strutting around the gym than focusing on you during your maximum effort lifts might not be a good fit. And, a partner who really just wants some polished beach muscles, while you are trying to develop the best, most balanced, physique possible, might not be the right partner for you.
The best way to find the right partner is to scope out the gym when you are there. If someone is in the gym, regularly, at the same time you are then their schedule might match yours. Look for someone hoisting similar weights and doing similar exercises, or a similar routine, to yours. Then, put your shyness aside and walk up to them and strike up a conversation about training and nutrition (after your muscle building workouts, not in between sets.) If the initial conversation seems to be going well, you might drop the idea of becoming training partners into the conversation. Give them time to think about it. You might want to try training together for a few workouts to see if it will work out. Remember, this is a commitment you are making to each other.
Once you have a good training partner, it is important to keep them. Make sure you are on time for your workouts and if you have to miss one communicate it with your partner. During the workout, focus on the workout and give an all out effort. When spotting, you focus must be on your partner, no wandering eyes. And, if any problems arise make sure to talk with your partner to work them out instead of letting them fester and ruin your workouts. Actually, it does sound a lot like a successful marriage. A good training relationship does take the same commitment you put into a marriage. So, while a training partner is not meant to replace a life partner (unless they are one in the same), it is important to put the same effort into the relationship to make it work.