Whilst we here at TDL Fitness champion individual power and self-sufficient training there are times when it might be fun to train with someone else. It can be amazing, fun and could even enhance training for some who really like training with someone else or two other people. As long as one does not rely on training with other people in order to exercise it can be a good thing. Here we explain how it can work effectively and efficiently.
To make this article easier we are going to focus on 2-person training. Whilst group training with more than 2 people can work it can dilute effective training. Putting the argument for 2-man max training is an article in and of itself. I will simply say that with more than 2 people training in a group at the same time can mean longer rest times which can decrease workout efficiently rapidly, can cause you to take longer time on a piece of equipment which can piss off other gym goers and the temptation to talk more than train is great enough to yet again decrease overall efficiency. I hope that's nipped it in the bud for now. Let's get on to 'tag-team training'.
The method of tag-team training isn't very difficult to understand and master. It requires a fair amount of self-discipline (yes, even in a group!). You also need to both be doing exactly the same workout routine, preferably with similar weights used though this is certainly not a must. The main thing is that both of you are working in the same area of exercise e.g. strength and conditioning, muscular hypertrophy or endurance.
Tag-team training is simply the art of one person exercising at a time or both people exercising at the same time but different exercises. Once one or both have completed said exercise they 'tag-out' or 'tag-in' depending on which you are and the other person or the alternate exercise starts immediately. Which ever method you choose depends on what type of exercising you are doing. Typically if it's one exercise where one person is resting and the other is exercising then you are more likely working out with heavy exercises focusing on one or two muscle groups. If you are training two exercises at once then you are typically favouring more endurance-based workout types which are generally lighter and more compound (a few muscles working at a time) exercises.
Why is this effective? It can really help you to be focused on rest times. As soon as the exercise is completed jump into the next phase and repeat. For those who might like to wander or to whip out their phone this might be a good method to limit that behaviour which is all too present in gyms today. Tag-team training can also help with developing an awareness of posture and correct movements. Watching someone else doing the exact same exercise as you will help you both help them get the right posture. This is especially true when it gets to the last set/repetitions as posture can take a hit in order to get those last repetitions done. You can essentially start training, helping and constructively critiquing each other as well as yourselves!
How do you know if this could be for you? Well we have already outlined some elements that tag-team training might address. If you are easily distracted, can't help being sociable and feel motivated when training with someone else then this could work. This can be a really good bridge between personal-trainer reliance to training on your own! Training with someone else can help you feel like you are not alone or if you are worried about feeling/looking stupid whilst training in the gym. This should not mean that you rely on tag-team training in order to exercise. Training should never be dependent on the availability on other people. It should be a bridge if anything or a feature add-on and that's it.
Training with someone else can be fun and it can be effective. We here at TDL Fitness always maintain however that self-sufficient training with a reliance on nothing but your own can-do attitude to train.