Partner Workouts / by India Choquette

I was coaching a partner workout the other day that included synchronized push ups. I usually make an effort to pair up members with comparable fitness levels, but in the case of this class, it just wasn't happening. I can't control who comes to what class, and sometimes, the members are just different. Just to be clear, not all the movements were synchronized, but partners did have to bookend each round with the synchronized pushups. I think trainers sometimes avoid partner workouts because we worry that clients will be frustrated with their perhaps less fit partner holding them back, or, on the flip side, less fit clients will feel insecure as they are forced to compare themselves to their partner. But that's not really why we do partner workouts and that's actually rarely what happens. I'm lucky enough to train at gyms that value community. We grow together regardless of where we are on the fitness spectrum. Partner workouts are about rising to the occasion and appreciating your partner's work. It's a way of putting your current state in perspective--maybe it reminds you of the hundreds of hours you had to put in to be where you are now. Maybe it's a chance for you to see, if you can commit and stick with it, where your work will lead you. I think partner workouts are a chance to see ourselves in another person, and therefore garner a deeper appreciation for the work. Use it as a chance to look back and look forward. Training, in my opinion, is not always about "crushing" or "winning" every session, it's about finding joy in work and finding inspiration to keep with it. And not every workout needs to be a partner workout, but when you work with a partner, it's not because we are trying to hold you back or shame you, it's because we want to give you a depth of appreciation for your journey and the journey of those around you.