Two is better than one. Sure, there are times when you want to be all by your lonesome but for the most part, humans, by nature, are social creatures.
When it comes to working out it’s the same.
Studies show that working out with a partner is more beneficial because it not only holds you accountable to actually workout, often times you work harder, aiming to go rep for rep with your partner.
It is also a great way to grow closer, whether it’s a friend or your spouse. Something about sweating and struggling through a tough workout together brings you closer.
But do you know how to workout with a partner? Trust me, it can be much more fun than just spotting each other on the bench or counting reps for your training partner while you rest. This style of workout leads to too many opportunities to waste time and effect.
Dan and I have mastered partner workouts. Over the years we learned to appreciate each other’s workout preferences and have been able to take parts of what I love and parts of what he loves to create partner workouts that are anything but boring.
A partner workout from the summer. KILLER
Marriage is about compromise and so is a good workout!
Below you’ll find the program design templates that we often use when we want to workout together. All you have to do is use the template and fill it in with exercises that you love.
These are also perfect for boot camps and small group training.
A few of my beautiful boot campers post partner workout. Love these ladies!
If you’re a trainer and haven’t already tried one of these, then give it a go! It’s a great way to spice things up.
5 Ways To Design A Partner Workout
Bumb-N-Gos are awesome on the days you want to do your workout outside and implement elements of both intense cardio and strength training in one.
Combines those are key for us. I love to run but Dan, not so much… so we make sure to include cardio into our structured workout so he can get his heart pounding and lungs burning!
The Overview: One person performs an exercise while the other runs a certain distance. Normally we do a distance of around 75 yards out (so one of us runs 150 yards) while the other has to do the exercise. Then we switch.
The hard part comes because the person doing the strength move can’t stop until their partner has returned. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, but it’s so much fun!
Here’s an example that we did a while back… wow, my squats were SLOW.
This is a crazy high rep workout, and by the end both you and your partner feel like complete rock starts (or beasts) for completing it. Because you’ll be doing it together, one person will likely end up doing more reps than the other… that’s okay!
The Overview: Create a workout with high reps… see the example below.
From there both of you work together to complete the reps of each move. So you both do Mt Climbers, writing down each time you do 50 (or however many) until combined you hit 500. Then you move to the next. Keep going until you’re done!
Ahh, it’s killer! What I love about this is that both of you work so hard in order to be strong for your partner, to be as equal as possible.
Things just got serious. Tabatas are one of my favorites when it comes to an easy to put together workout. There is never any confusion which is great when you are training with a friend/spouse.
The Overview: Tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest. With partner tabata, there are two exercises per 8-round session. Partner “A” will do one exercise while “B” does the other. And then you’ll switch (so you end up with 4 rounds of each exercise).
Make sure you write down your reps for each!
Here’s where it gets crazy… set up rules. I.e. you must stay within 3 reps of your original sets for the entire time. If you don’t, your partner has to do 2 burpees for each rep you’re off. Motivation at it’s finest.
Adding partner exercises into your workouts make it fun and challenging. One piece of advice however is to make sure your training partner is close to the same level of fitness.
The Overview: Partner exercises are moves that requires two people to perform. For for time or a certain amount of reps of each one. A few examples include:
I want to thank my friends Sarahbeth and Lisa for helping me out with the examples above! They’re the best.
Wheelbarrow (like when you were a kid)
Plank claps: Each partner does a plank, shoulder to shoulder. Take the outside hand and clap your partner’s. Reach that hand out towards the outside and repeat. Complete all reps on one side before switching. This can also be done doing planks head to head and clapping forward.
Medicine Ball Throws: Grab a soft medicine ball and stand ~10 feet from your partner. Squat together at the same time, as you stand toss the ball to your partner. As they catch it, squat together again and repeat.
Leg Throws. One person lays down and holds on to their partners feet (the partner is standing at their head with one foot on each side of the ears). The partner on the ground, brings their legs up and the other partner throws them down. Using strong abs, the grounded partner aims to stop their feet just shy from hitting the ground and brings them back to start.
You don’t have to do partner exercises for the entire workout, but adding them in makes it fun and makes you feel like a kid again!
The Race Is On
This is the workout format that Dan and I tend to follow most often! It’s easy to do inside or outside and because we’re so competitive, it helps us to really push each other as hard as possible.
The Overview: Have a circuit set up and make sure each person has a complete understanding of all the exercises. Then race to see who can finish the workout the fastest.
Now if you’ll excuse me… I have a workout date. No, seriously I do! How convenient. Feel free to try any of these workouts, and of course they can be done by yourself too. No partner required.
Do you ever workout with a partner? What’s your favorite workout design?