10 Signs You’ve Found Your Perfect Lifting Partner

Swolemate, gym bro, lifting partner, metal compadre, and iron brother/sister, all terms we use when describing our best gym friend. This person could be our significant other (swolemate), or best friend we lift with. Either way, these are the people who will attend our funerals not to say kind words, but to tell everyone about our recent maxes.

  • Jimmy’s Father: “Here lies Jimmy, may he rest in peace.”
  • Jimmy’s Lifting Partner: “Yeah, me and Jim were crushing 455 lb squats for 3s last week, they were easy, especially for Jim.”
  • Jimmy’s Family: *All nodding in approval while wiping tears.*

Let’s cut to the chase, it ain’t easy finding that perfect someone (who lifts). When you factor in the plethora of lifting styles and fitness activities, then it becomes even tougher.

But every once in a while, we stumble upon someone truly great, someone who, you know, just gets us. Below are the ten tell-tale signs you’ve found the perfect lifting partner.

1. Instagram and Facebook Tags

Your days are spent tagging your partner, swolemate, or even gym crush in multiple Instagram and Facebook lifting videos. There’s no explanation, just the simple tag. The perfect lifting partner will naturally get why you’re tagging them.

2. Lifting Conversations Over Everything

Whether you’re at the gym, out and about, or just simply relaxing together, more than 80% of your conversations are spent talking about training and other strength athletes. Obsession? No, mutual understanding.

3. Sending Pictures of Your Meals Is Your Form of Dirty Texting

Chances are you’ve sent a provocative text, maybe Snapchat to your lifting partner, and you do it all the time. Only these pictures involve your groceries, meals, and foods you’re currently eating. The perfect lifting partner will know how you eat, and respect what you share.

  • Jimmy: *Receives picture message.*
  • Lifting Partner: “Two In-N-Out Double Cheeseburgers, legs later, let’s go!”

4. Favorite Training Day and Lifts

If they made a gym game show that required you to know your lifting partner’s favorite lifts and training day, you’d pass with flying colors. The perfect lifting partner will know which days you like and dislike, and will knowingly work harder to help you get through the bad ones. At the end of the day, you’re in it together.

5. Similar Mindsets and Goals

Whether it’s training philosophy, training goals, or general thought processes, your lifting partner is eerily similar to you. In fact, multiple people at the gym have asked you if you’re related, or if you’ve known each other your whole lives.

6. Mutual Trust

There’s trust in and out of the gym, but especially under the bar. This is a fundamental characteristic to any successful relationship, but even more so when you have your max on your back.

7. Ability to Motivate

They motivate you to be better. A great lifting partner will have the innate ability to drive you to be better, and understand how to do so. It seems like they can motivate you without even trying. You look forward to your heavy days, because you know they’re bringing the same amount of energy, knowledge, and sometimes even more.

8. They Have the Spotting Third Eye

This point truly separates the great partners from the random gym-goers. When hitting heavy lifts, or max weight, your perfect gym partner knows when to spot and when to back off. Premature spotting is one of the biggest causes for lifting partners to break up.

  • Jimmy: “Dude, why did you touch the bar? I told you I was slow off the chest.”
  • Ex Lifting Parter: “Ugh, I didn’t mean to, I just thought you might miss.”
  • Jimmy: “No, you didn’t think.” *never calls back*

9. They’re Honest

Whether it’s using less weight, critiquing your form, or calling out BS, you and your gym partner have no problem doing so with each other. The best part, there’s never hard feelings after because you know it’s all done with the best intentions.

10. You Don’t Even Have to Ask

“Want to lift later?” This question is about as useful as, “Do you breathe oxygen?” Of course they want to lift later, same time as always.

Feature image screenshot from @great_white_north_juggernaut Instagram page. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.