Try These Partner Workouts from a Personal Trainer

Fitness is way more fun when you can get your friends and family in on it. Group fitness classes or partner training are two great ways to encourage your loved ones to move, or keep you accountable to your fitness goals.

For 24 Hour Fitness Hawaii master trainer Lisa Martin, who has been with the company for two decades, has trained more than 29,000 sessions, and is a U.S. Olympic Committee certified trainer, partner workouts are a chance to bring joy to her clients.

“When I train partners, I often like to incorporate a medicine ball into their routines. This is a fun way to work out and often leads to smiles and laughter!” says Martin, who incorporates interactive moves like med ball throw downs, chest passes and even ab crunch throws into partner workouts.

If you enjoy a little friendly competition, Martin suggests doing a short AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout, where you go through a series of moves and repeat them for a specified duration of time. Your goal is to get as many reps and sets in the allotted time and beat your partner. But no matter what the workout, for Martin, form is of the utmost importance.

“I always caution my clients to maintain good form and control while doing AMRAP—doing more reps and sets will not help you get stronger if you get hurt in the process,” she cautions.

And while it can be a lot of fun to train with a friend or family member, it’s also important to consider ability levels.

“The challenge is making sure that your workout partner has similar goals and is close to you in physical ability. If you or your partner are not able to complete a movement pattern without compensation, doing so could potentially lead to injury, especially if they are trying to keep up with you or vice versa,” Martin says.

Below, Martin shares three partner workouts to try during your next training session. So grab a friend or loved one, and get moving with these workouts!

Partner workouts

Total-Body AMRAP #1 – Get your heart pumping


Total-Body AMRAP #2 – Total-body strength


Instructions: Pick AMRAP #1 or #2. Do as many rounds as possible in a 10- or 12-minute period of time. Compare your numbers with your partner!

Total-body cardio-strength switch off

Pick three moves like squats, push-ups and pull-ups. These moves will work your total body! Add something for cardio like a jump rope, the rower, the bike or the treadmill.

One partner has to go a specified distance or complete a specified number of jumps (100 single-unders with the jump rope, 500 meters on the rower, one mile on the bike or a half mile on the treadmill) while the other partner has to complete as many squats (or wall balls), pull-ups and push-ups as they can while their partner is completing their cardio portion.

Once the partner doing cardio is finished, tap your partner and switch positions. Repeat this cycle three to five times!

Lisa Martin has been a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness for more than 20 years. She is a U.S. Olympic Certified Trainer and Master Trainer. She has also earned her Sports Performance Specialist, Performance Exercise Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Optimal Performance Certifications through NASM. Additionally, she is a certified TRX instructor and USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach. Lisa has trained more than 29,000 personal training sessions in her time with 24 Hour Fitness, and works at the Windward Active club in Hawaii.

Photo credit: LuckyBusiness, Thinkstock; Courtesy of Lisa Martin