Partner Training

Training with a Partner

Whether you’re training to prepare for competition, or merely want to push yourself a little harder at the Box, training with a partner is a great way to elevate motivation, gain perspective and hit some new PBs.


When training with the right partner, you’ll experience greater motivation to push yourself, while having some level of accountability for not pitching up. Often, especially in mixed CrossFit boxes that don’t focus solely on competitive athletes, members are encouraged to compete against themselves rather than worrying about what other athletes are doing. This is a great starting point, and one that should be remembered when you’re trying to double check someone else’s count while simultaneously fluffing your own.

However, there comes a point in every athlete’s training where they feel that they have plateaued. There’s nothing like a little healthy competition, having someone watching to advise where you went wrong if you fail, and having someone there to high five when you nail a movement, to pull you out of your slump.

Partner training also has a psychological effect – when you slog through something challenging with another person, it changes your perspective, takes the focus off of yourself and your own pain, and allows both people to perform at their peak (it makes for great bonding moments too).



There are a few approaches to choosing a partner; each athlete needs to do some introspection and decide which criteria works better for them, in line with their personal goals.

If you want to lift like a beast, partner with someone more experienced that will challenge you to try harder in your 1RM attempt, while having enough knowledge to be able to guide you through a tricky lift. That being said – don’t expect your partner to be your coach, unless they are your coach.

If you feel that you back down when faced with challenging a “stronger” athlete in a WOD, choose someone that is at your experience level to start with. This might encourage a tentative athlete to push harder. After a few wins, they’ll have gained some confidence; which is essential to competition (friendly or not).

If you know you run slower than a turtle on its back, pick a partner that excels at running. There’s nothing more motivating than knowing your partner just ran 250m in 35 seconds, and it’s your turn to step up.

Whichever avenue you choose, be sure not to select a partner that has strengths in all the places that you have weaknesses if your reasoning is that they can take over for you in the WOD.

In team competition, we select the roles that best display our skills – in the Box, our weaknesses are what we need to work on!

By Diane Teles, Co-Founder of CrossFit 360Vida, Coach and Physiotherapist.