Don’t like training with a partner? You might want to reconsider after reading this…

Working out with a partner during your training session gives you certain advantages not afforded the lone wolf trainee.

Gym buddies

Sure, it gives you the opportunity to tell your less-than-funny jokes to an unfortunate but committed victim. But all kidding aside, there are many valid reasons to call your buddy up and get going!

There is the obvious – safety concerns like spotting squats and bench presses, but there are other pluses as well.

Those desiring increased intensity in their workouts will be able to have a helping hand assist them with completion of an extra rep or two to take a set past failure.

Pure negative training ,where the barbell is lifted to the top by an assistant and lowered by the bodybuilder is best accomplished with a helper.

Ideas and advice

The give-and-take of ideas as to how to improve your form, strategies and goals proves to be invaluable. And don’t forget the priceless advice you can give to your fellow fitness enthusiast.

Let’s get into specifics and give you some very effective workouts to use together.

The first type of workout I’ll give you uses forced reps to increase the intensity.

Use a moderate weight and keep going until you can’t complete a full rep. Have your partner apply just enough assistance to allow you to complete several additional reps.

This allows you to end your working sets past the point of exhaustion, or failure.

training with a partner_2

I’ll use chest training as an example. The bench press is the most popular compound exercise, so I’ll use it as the main movement.

I’ll add some inclined dumbbell flyes to isolate the pecs with a focus on the upper portion. Declined dumbbell flyes could be added if desired. Since I’m a HIT devotee I’ll end the routine with those.

Barbell bench press

Barbell bench press – 1×10+3 forced reps
No rest
Inclined dumbbell flyes – 1×12
No rest
Declined dumbbell flyes – 1×10

Since the intensity is high due to no rest between sets and forced reps, it would be detrimental to add any additional volume.

To switch things up, the next routine will use two exercises with pure negative reps to train back. The other one will be done in typical fashion.

Make sure your training partner is experienced with the use of negatives or you can be injured if he/she doesn’t hand off the weight to you in a smooth motion.


The first exercise is dead-lifts – a great mass builder for the back and most of the body.

Cable lat pull downs are next with stiff-arm dumbbell pullovers completing the routine. Since deadlifts aren’t a practical exercise to use for negatives, they will be done with the pull-downs and stiff-arm pull-downs.

Deadlifts – 1×8
No rest
Lat pull-downs – 1×8 (negative portion only)
No rest
Lat pull-downs – 1×8 (negative portion only)

If the correct amount of weight is used in all exercises to max out the effort, only a total of three sets – one of each exercise – will be needed to stimulate muscle growth.

Experienced partners get the best results

I can’t stress enough the importance of using an experienced partner to get the best results from your training.

I’ve touched on a few examples of effective training with a partner, if you are fortunate to get one with loads of experience, you will avoid the common mistakes most bodybuilders make throughout their career.

David Groscup has over 40 years of training experience in HIT, or High Intensity Weight Training. He is certified as a High Intensity Trainer by the IART/Med-Ex Group and has trained many people successfully in this protocol. He has authored 10 books on the subject of high intensity training. To find out more on high intensity training, connect with him on his WatchFit page.

Connect with Expert David Groscup.

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.


Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans