3 tips on getting the most out of your partner workouts

Partner workouts advice from Muddy Plimsolls

Effective partner workouts are about balance and making best use of your time

A partner workout (also called dual training) is when two clients attend a training session, sharing a personal trainer. This approach has grown in popularity amongst our clients and its easy to see why. Training with your partner, friend, family member or work colleague means having a familiar face with you. It’s encouraging and fun. Plus, partner training is more cost effective per person than one-to-one personal training, too.

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If you’re thinking of trying out one of our partner workouts, here’s our advice on what to expect and what to look for in an effective partner training personal trainer.

Find a trainer that knows how to balance the session between two clients

The skill set required from a fitpro to seamlessly balance two clients with mixed abilities is far greater than it looks. Not every trainer can do it. At Muddy Plimsolls, we try to keep the personalised approach as much as possible rather than allowing the session to become a kind of two-person bootcamp.

Our trainers have an arsenal of tips and tricks that keep the work flow of the session at a high volume without sacrificing quality instruction for both clients. For example, as one client performs an exercise, the trainer can instruct the ‘resting’ client on their partner’s exercise technique.

Allow the personal trainer time with your training partner

A good trainer needs time within a session to focus on each client separately. Usually this is done when the other client is resting or performing a low grade exercise that requires less attention or cueing from the coach. Whilst you should not feel that you’ve been left waiting, you should understand that extra time might be needed to coach your partner with an exercise he isn’t getting right.

Accept differences in abilities

If you’re an ex-Olympian rower and your partner hasn’t done any exercise since school, there’s going to be a disparity in your performance. Not just in strength or stamina but in performing good exercise technique, self-monitoring levels of discomfort and recovery times.

To identify disparities, at Muddy Plimsolls, each of our clients client completes a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) before they start training. The trainer takes time to construct an exercise programme that will stretch both clients. And the programme must accommodate different levels of fitness and ability, strength, stamina, plus natural ability and old or ongoing injuries.

Some clients can do burpees, some cannot. Some are good at pad work, some are turned off by the idea. The PT has to consider what to programme for the one client so they get the same benefits or results as the ‘burpee’ client.

Clients who may consider themselves of a similar level (same age, experience, or goals) will react differently to the same exercise programme. Accept this and you can benefit from our next piece of advice.

Compete with yourself, not your partner

Many partner-training exercises pit clients against each other. It’s all in good fun, gets clients laughing and also clients tend to exert themselves more in this scenario. However, to achieve consistent, safe and effective results, you should mostly be competing with yourself. Your trainer should know this. Plus, some clients may not want to compete with their husband, wife or buddy. Just let your trainer know.

Read how two Client(s) of the Month did, following a partner training programme with Muddy Plimsolls.

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