It has been proven in numerous studies that the performance of man is affected by his environment. Put a person in poor working conditions and their productivity will suffer. Provide someone with adequate light and comfort and they will flourish. This same simple concept directly applies to training as well. The location in which you train and the people with whom you train can and do directly impact your results. You may prefer a certain style of gym over the other, but if you are with a good group of dedicated people, you are at a good starting point. That is why I believe training partners are very important.
First off, let me say, there are plenty of people who have had and do have tremendous success training alone. I am not saying that this does not work or is not possible - of course it is. Many people with the "lone wolf" mentality will go it alone and do very well in their training journey. I have trained alone for stretches of time and made progress. But, if I was to honestly look back and reflect on my training history, the most progress was made while I was training with good training partners.
Training partners are, in my opinion, one of the most important factors in the success of a training plan. However, good training partners are usually few and far between. In my experience, I have had less than 5 solid training partners over the course of almost 10 years of consistent training.
What makes a good training partner? A good training partner should have a few key qualities that will help create an environment for success:
1. Consistency - showing up on time for a long time.
2. Committed - dedicated to helping the group (or each other) reach their goals.
3. Good Communicator - willing and able to honestly provide feedback about training and workouts.
4. Helpful - help set up and break down plates, etc. for others in the group.
5. Focused - has a clear goal and a plan to reach it.
If you are able to assemble a small group of people who share these qualitites, you are on your way to creating an environment for success.
Remember, we are a product of our environment. Good training partners are the main component in fostering a culture of hard work and success. When you have the support of others in pursuit of your goals, your perceived limit rises. When one training partner breaks a new record, everyone's potential increases. Working towards and achieving goals alongside your training partners breeds an environment of consistent, long-term success.
Hopefully this article helps if you are in pursuit of a good training partner. If you already have one or are one, maybe this will reinforce your beliefs or cause you to double down on your focus and commitment. Thanks for reading.