If you’re new to the Crossfit community you may have asked yourself, “What the heck is a partner WOD?” 

You’re not alone. 

The Partner Workout is one of the many ways we create community at the gym. These workouts are designed to be done with two or more athletes. Sometimes that can look like completing a 1 mile run together, accumulating 100 wall-balls or alternating between box jumps. The beauty of the Partner WOD is that you don’t necessarily have to be evenly matched when it comes to skill level. If your partner is a cardio queen, you can let her pump out the calories on the rower while you muscle your way through some pull-ups. It’s all about strategy. 

Other times we specific ask that you split the work evenly and you and your partner decide how to best to accomplish the work without over- or under-whelming either of you.

If you’ve been hesitant to hit the gym when you see “Partner Workout” on the whiteboard, here are three reasons why you should show up (and join in the workout!)  

Partner WODs are a great way to meet new people

If you’re typically a “back of the class” kind of athlete, partner workouts are a great opportunity to pair up with someone new and make a friend. It’s hard not to naturally bond with someone while you’re trying to get through 15-20 minutes of hard work! Even if you’re a social butterfly, try partnering with someone you don’t know or someone who might edge on the shy side. Chances are by the end of the workout you’ll both feel a shared sense of accomplishment—is there any better feeling than that?

The competition makes you “level up” 

When you have someone else counting on you, you naturally push a little harder than normal. Partner workouts force us to work a little harder because someone else is depending on us! Also, if you have any ounce of a competitive spirit, you know you’ll be checking out other partner groups in the class to make sure you’re staying on track or ahead of the competition. 

You’ll likely push yourself hard in a movement that’s usually not your jam

Along with added competition, partner workouts encourage us to master a skill we might not be well-versed in. Since you’re “sharing the load” with someone else, you’ll be more likely to tackle that pull-up bar or run with a little more gusto than normal. If you usually shy away from a workout that has a specific movement, try tackling it in a partner workout. Because you’ll have someone else “suffering” right alongside you, that dreaded movement won’t seem as bad. Plus you have a supportive buddy cheering you on the entire time!

As a final note, perhaps the best part of partner workouts is the added encouragement they bring. Like anything else in life, if you’re doing something tough alongside someone else (your spouse, your coworkers, your kids), the victory is that much sweeter. We’re thankful for a group of awesome members who are always willing to team up in the name of fitness!