Love is in the…Gym? A Couple’s Guide to Training Together

When you think of February , the first thing that comes to mind is Valentine’s Day.  Love is in the air, but does that apply in the gym?  The saying goes…couples who train together stay together. I was torn on which way to go with this article.  My first thought was couples should train separate, but then I felt guilty because my hubby is a great workout partner.  I decided to ask some sources and posted a poll on Facebook.  80% of the comments were in favor of couples training together. With that in mind, follow these couples’ workout do’s and don’ts to get the most out of training with your Valentine!

1. Do try something totally new.  Guys, don’t be afraid to teach your significant other how to lift heavy things (but make sure you do it safely). Whether you are going to teach her how to bench press or deadlift, make her feel like she is just as capable as you are when it comes to lifting weights. As for the ladies, don’t be intimidated to teach your partner a little something too, whether it’s a unique treadmill work out that you found on Pinterest or even a few yoga poses that you have mastered. Teaching each other new things keeps both partners open minded and on their feet.

2. Do have a common goal. Find something that’s specific,measurable, time-bound, attainable and relevant to your situation. Signing up to run a race like a Spartan Sprint can give you both something to train for together, and on race day, you’ll have something to conquer as a team.

3. Do Recognize that your goals may be different.   It’s very important to remember that you and your significant other are at completely different fitness levels. There will be certain workouts that will be extremely hard for one person and maybe easier for the other. Don’t make anyone do something they are not comfortable doing. Though being uncomfortable during workouts is expected, I am talking about a guy expecting his girlfriend to squat 300 pounds. Sorry bro, it’s just not going to happen. Always respect each other’s limits and abilities.

4. Do leave arguments at home.  The gym is never the place for shouting matches. If you can’t leave your disagreement at the door, skip the joint workout until the problem has been resolved. No one wants to come to the gym for a live version of the Jerry Springer show.

5. Do Have your own style. You really don’t have to wear matching outfits. Enough said.

6. Do be adaptable. To keep things even and fun, forgo your normal routine. Dragging your partner through a routine that they aren’t interested in could be discouraging and counterproductive. Instead of staying in the gym, for instance, you could head out on the trail for the day and get creative—use stumps for box jumps, or branches for pull-ups. The key is to feel tied to “traditional exercise.”

7. Do stay focused.  While it is perfectly okay to exchange a few words while you workout, remember why you are there.  To workout and not socialize. Keep extended conversations to a minimum and be aware of how your behavior is impacting others.  You can feel connected as a couple without disrupting others.

8. Don’t be afraid to add some friendly competition! Don’t deny it, we have all been in a certain relationship where we get a little too competitive, whether it’s who can make it to the car the fastest or who can hang the longest.  Whatever type of competition, bring it to the gym. It can be something as simple as moving up 10 pounds each time during squats and see who can get the most reps. It can be anything, and the goal is to push one another – but don’t forget, it’s all about having fun.

9. Don’t push too far. Of course, trying a new fitness activity together—and maybe even sharing a little embarrassment over little failures or slip-ups—could be a fun bonding experience, but it can also go too far. If you or your partner feels incapable or wholly uncomfortable, they could resent the activity. (And you for making them do it.)Don’t be overly competitive. Not everyone responds to competition well. And even if they enjoy it from time to time, the key is leveling the playing field. If you’re stronger or faster than your partner, they aren’t going to enjoy working out with you, and the entire experience could end up being disheartening.

10. Don’t preach. Don’t guilt your partner into working out with you if they just don’t want to. You should also avoid being overly critical of their form or their overall performance in the gym. Instead, take the time to teach and help your partner. Just make sure that they’re open to the assistance, otherwise it could make things worse.

11. Don’t display overly amount of public affection.  Getting hot and heavy at the gym should refer to your workout only. Work up a sweat on your routine, not your sweetie. If you think your significant other looks sexy while lifting or getting in some squats – that’s great. Savor the feeling and wait until you are in a more appropriate setting to act on it.

12. Don’t get bummed out by your partners results. There’s nothing worse than putting in the effort and not getting the results you’re after, especially if the one you love is following the same program and seeing positive changes. Everyone’s body responds differently to exercise, so when one partner is getting amazing results and losing more weight than the other, resentment can build, leading to an argument.  Men tend to have a higher percentage of muscle, while women naturally carry a little more body fat. This means that guys tend to burn more calories during exercise, as well as when they’re sitting on the couch.

13. Working out as a couple is about balance. The trick is to find something that you both enjoy so that this becomes a positive and shared experience. Working out with your spouse or partner can be a great way to add closeness and get in a little friendly competition. Going this route may help you avoid the pounds couples often pack on when a few too many dinners out and T.V. nights in on the couch add up. Keep each other motivated and have fun without being a nuisance to others.

14. Don’t guilt your partner into working out with you if they just don’t want to. You should also avoid being overly critical of their form or their overall performance in the gym. Instead, take the time to teach and help your partner. Just make sure that they’re open to the assistance, otherwise it could make things worse.

Working out as a couple is about balance. The trick is to find something that you both enjoy so that this becomes a positive and shared experience. Working out with your spouse or partner can be a great way to add closeness and get in a little friendly competition. Going this route may help you avoid the pounds couples often pack on when a few too many dinners out and T.V. nights in on the couch add up. Keep each other motivated and have fun without being a nuisance to others.

Live Life Fitter Together.

-Evonne

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