Be On Time
We all have things to do before and after our gym time. But no one wants to spend that time waiting on a partner to show up. Being punctual not only demonstrates respect for the other person but also shows that you are reliable. When I first began working out with one of my friends four years ago he had a little problem with the idea of time. I told him 4:00 and he showed at 4:15. The second time he was late I was already 15 minutes into my program. This was enough of a hint to let him know that I was serious. He was never late again, not for over a year. It was important for me to know that he would be there for me.
Another ingredient in becoming the perfect training partner is consistency. Show up every day. Most people will have a three-on, one-off; two-on type schedule or a five or six consecutive day schedule. It is of utmost importance to be there if you are scheduled to work out. If you do not show you can assume your partner will not get the most out of their workout. This is another way to show both respect and reliability.
In every relationship, whether it is a marriage or business, one person must assume the role of leader. The leader is the one who arrives early to the gym and makes sure everything is ideal. The leader is the one who spends all day thinking of the best exercises to get the most of out your workouts. They are also the one that ensures the workout keeps a good pace and that attention does not wane. The leader is the one who has the best background in training ideas, supplementation, and should be the most dedicated of the group.
Leadership shows that you care about the results of your training and that you care about your partner. Good leaders will develop a strong relationship with their partner.
The sport of bodybuilding is nothing if not dynamic. Every Flex magazine I read there are different supplements that are "the best". Training ideas and principles also change quickly. It is good to seek out new information and, if it is logical, include it in your program. Not all information or ideas are good. But you must weigh each idea equally as it may prove significant in becoming a better bodybuilder.
Being open-minded also means that you take the advice of professionals or from persons that are more experienced than yourself. This shows both interest and an ability to take in information.
As I have said before, I meet most of my friends at the gym. These are, hopefully, people that share the same interest in becoming a leaner, meaner machine. Friendship helps to keep a workout relationship honest, fair, and productive. Friends are more likely to correct you on your form or tell you that you are too fat and need to lose more weight before the show. The friendship you develop in the gym is one that helps to inspire and push you. These are the people that will do whatever it takes to help you through both physical difficulties and emotional difficulties.
Good workout partners should think alike. That is not to say that you should blindly accept everything the other person does, but it helps to have similar goals. Training partners should follow the same rules in the gym. If one person keeps a journal, the other should as well. If one partner keeps a towel to wipe off their sweat, the other should too. I am not saying you should dress like twins or share underwear. You should simply think alike. I had one partner that, on numerous occasions, would have on the same tank top as myself. You would think that men don't worry about these kinds of things but we do. It was almost scary that we developed similar tastes in clothes, music, and people.
Assimilation also demonstrates your respect and interest in your partner. It shows that you are paying attention to every detail of the person and what they are doing.
Pay attention to what your partner is doing. You should always keep a hand on the weight or cable that your partner is using. This is especially critical towards the end of grueling workouts when your muscles might quit contracting. Inattentiveness is a good way to injure yourself or your partner. It is not even a good idea to stare at the woman that just walked in if your buddy is doing 300 pound bench-presses.
Being attentive shows that you know what is going on and that you can react quickly to any adverse situations.
If you are a good training partner you should push your compadre to the limit. Ever heard of forced reps? This is where a partner comes into play. Your partner should help you get those extra two or three repetitions to really make your muscles grow. It is also good to help lift your partner up if he/she is not feeling like they are having a good workout. Say something like "you couldn't do that two weeks ago" or "you are starting to look bigger". Everyone likes to hear an encouraging work when they are at the bottom.
One limitation to this would be screaming at your partner. Most times this proves to be more of a distraction that motivation.
These are just a few of the things I have learned over my experience in weight training and bodybuilding. I feel that it is of utmost importance to either have these attributes or obtain them throughout your own everyday dealings.