Partner Drills

Heavy Bag DrillsI am the kind of person that works well training alone. I am pretty dynamic in how I train and find it is difficult to find a partner who can be the same. Quite often timing or even goals conflict and it just doesn’t work. It is rare that I do train with anyone because of those reasons and in the main I can achieve everything I want going it alone.

However there are times when having a partner can be a huge benefit. Times when a bit of competition can push you further than you have before and makes us give everything in the session, hell sometimes it is good to have company!

Even though the following drills can be performed alone, it gives you a change in emphasis when you perform them with a training partner.

Heavy Bag Drills

I am a big fan of the heavy bag, however when you use it with a partner it adds another dimension to it.

The premise is simple, 6 x 1 minute rounds each, your partner holds the bag or moves it to add to the difficulty and you hit it all out for a minute. You will have to dig deep for this one as fatigue will definitely set in as the end of the minute draws near. I usually pick a combination of punches, or one type of punch for speed or for power. You can even split the minute and do 30 seconds speed then 30 seconds power. When the minute is over, swap over with your partner.  Encouragement is key here, as you begin to tire you partner drives you on to the end. A gymboss interval timer is an excellent addition here so you can concentrate on the training and let it worry about timing you.

Wind Sprints

These are a great exercise and can be performed inside or outside. Here are a few examples:Sprints

  1. Outside, put markers at 10 metres, 20 metres and 30 metres. The idea being that you go against your partner and sprint to the 10 metre marker and do 10 push ups and sprint back. Immediately sprint to the 20 metre marker and do 10 squats, return to the start and finally sprint to the 30 metre marker and do 10 burpees and sprint back. This offers a massive competitive goal and really tests your mental resolve, especially when you rest and repeat 2 more times!
  2. Another drill works well indoors. I use my local gym, which has a 20 metre long room, but it would work in a smaller room. The idea is to sprint from one end of the room and back and on your return, punch a heavy bag 10 times. Now at this point you can switch to your partners set or, do this for 30 seconds, then your partner goes. This is draining if you put the effort in and a partner serves as a good motivator.

Hill Carry’s

This definitely adds difficulty to a normal hill sprint. Your partner is on your back and you set off up a reasonably steep slope over a measured distance. Due to intensity of this drill it is recommended that you make the distance relatively short (around 30 metres). At the the top, both come down and repeat this drill as soon as you reach the bottom. After two repetitions, swap over. Do this for four sets and I guarantee you you will have had enough.

Remember in this exercise the intensity is governed by how steep the hill is, how far you go and how fast you travel.


Sprint chases

This is a great drill and will create a real adrenaline rush with everyone trying to get to the finish line first. Because every one has different abilities and fitness, it is better to have the fastest sprinter at the back and stagger the race so that no one has an unfair advantage. The reason for this is simple, to make it a competitive sprint, staggering the start will allow for a more even race and will push all involved.

These are only a very small selection of examples of training with a partner, of course there are lots of ways to utilise a partner when one is available. When there is one or more around, make use of them.

– Dean Coulson

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