Working hard on your head-turning look to please your beloved? Today we’re going to discuss about the pros and cons of working out with your partner.
While some of you may be proud about the way you look and your overall physical abilities and can’t wait to show your significant other what you can do, others may wish to keep it a ‘secret.’ Well, as with everything else, it’s all about communication, right? After all, you’re together because you already have so many things in common, so why not jog together or cycle, swim, pump some iron, you name it! A change in your workout routine can’t harm. However, before you hit the pavement or the treadmill, you need to take into account that you may not have the same fitness level. Here are a few points to carefully consider and discuss with your better half if you’re thinking to start working out with your partner.
Top Points to Touch Base On
Find Out If Your Partner Has Ever Coached Before.The field of activity is not the point here, but if someone has trained anyone before regardless of what they do for a living is a BIG plus. It goes without saying that if your partner has been or is a coach in his job, he will know how to motivate you, give constructive feedback, and let you do your thing. Who said that coaching is limited to the sports world? Not at all, did you get any training when you were new on the job? Most likely, yes. It’s the same here. There are many ways of tutoring, ranging from on-the-job training to mentoring kids or holding a leadership position at an organization. So, go for it!
Be Straight with Each Other. If you can be open with each other without being afraid of hurting each other’s feelings and if you can make the difference between an objective critique coming from your coach who also happens to be your partner and see them as such when it comes to physical training, then it’s a good sign that working out with your partner can help you achieve your fitness goals. Patience is the Name of the Game. The learning process is hardly the easiest and it can take quite some time until you really become good in what you do. Remember, practice makes perfect and it takes patience and time to achieve your fitness goals. For instance, if your partner jogs faster than you and it feels like you’re holding them back while you’re lagging behind, don’t worry, just tell them to go on ahead and jog at their own pace, while you can find the suitable pace for yourself. This way, you will avoid feeling the pressure of not being fast enough and you will both be happy at the end of your training. Plus, finding a routine you both enjoy will help you achieve your goals faster and… easier. Make Sure Your Partner Wants to Share This Experience with You. Some people may prefer to have a few moments with themselves and often exercise is the perfect time, or simply they prefer to do it on their own. Make sure the offer to teach or coach you is genuine. Leave Any ‘Misunderstandings’ Behind. Sometimes being trained by your partner will lead to certain animosity between the two of you. It is always important to communicate and leave any qualms on the tarmac or field. If you feel you are too ‘involved’, then it’s best you find yourself a coach who is not so tuned in to every other aspect of your life.
Despite the benefits that training with your better half may have, there are certain drawbacks you need to consider.
Missing Out on the ‘You’ Time Physical exercise is the best stress reliever, not to mention it is a great opportunity to connect with yourself, clear your mind and attain the long-sought-after ‘inner joy’. But, this is only possible if you’re solo. And your morning or evening may be the only time when you get a few hours for yourself and yourself alone. It’s your ‘You’ time, cherish it!
Different Fitness Levels Although working out together with your dream person may sound like a super idea, think again! He may be able to run 100 meters flat in 12 seconds, while you can’t. Will this be frustrating for you? Are you strong enough to say ‘Go on ahead, I’m right behind you’?
Your Results Are Different Although you’re following the same workout protocol, eating the same foods, he fits into his trendy jeans, while you have to work harder. Don’t panic, bear in mind that men slim down faster in the beginning than women do. That is because they have more lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.
Takeaway:If you can talk through any setback that may arise along the way, working out with your soul mate can have benefits for both of you in the long term. Sweating together is not only beneficial to your health but is also helps keep the spark alive and it strengthens your relationship.
If you and your partner have different fitness levels, or have simply had enough of the same old gym hack, here’s what you can do for a change:
Training with Your Partner Nurtures Healthy Competition Feeling demotivated? Well, if you need a little push to move forward, who else can be more suitable to shake things up if not the person you’re sharing everything with! If you see your partner succeed in something, you will want to succeed in that too, for sure. Couples have been ‘competing’ since the dark ages and if that yields results, why not nurture it?! So, who’s doing most crunches?
Fitness experts suggest that when you work out with someone else, you tend to push yourself more than you normally would on your own. After all, you don’t want to be the moaner because you can’t keep up the pace, do you? However, this tends to work best if you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to physical training. ‘If you're on the same level, you can push each other’ (Stonehouse, personal trainer). Furthermore, if your partner wants to do more squats or pump some more iron, odds are you will do the same for the same amount of time.
It’s Uplifting to See Each Other Succeed Having a great time squashing your ‘competitor’? Fun as that may be, it’s even more fulfilling and amazing to set fitness goals and cheer each other as you reach them. Whether you want to lose weight, keep your blood pressure in check or get stronger and leaner glutes and abs, you can help each other achieve your health and fitness goals. After all, you’re a team!
The Satisfaction You Get When You’re Doing Something Active Together Yes, enjoying a glass of wine in the evening lazing on the couch while watching your favorite TV show, discussing a book you both read, or visiting an art gallery together is an enriching experience, but if you add some ‘power’ to the mix your bond will become even stronger. So, get off that couch and hit the pavement after dinner! You don’t need to run a mile, just about enough to burn those calories and have fun feeling your partner watching you while you do your squats. Everybody’s happy!
Turn the ‘Me’ Time into ‘Us’ Time De-stressing from a rough day at the office while you both hit the treadmill, jog, cycle or swim side by side is amazingly cathartic. You can chit-chat (if you’re not swimming) about bad bosses, coworkers who think they know it all and all the stuff that gave you a hard time at work. So, instead of bonding with your inner self, you bond with each other!
You Will Be Healthier According to a study conducted by Harvard University, obesity, just like smoking or any other habits, seems to spreading like a disease. So you can ‘catch’ it socially. Working out regularly will automatically throw you into different social circles and instead of looking for the best burger place in town, you’ll go out for a run. Not to mention that chances are pretty high that you meet (in case you haven’t already) THE ONE at the gym or jogging in the park. Long story short, working out with someone leads to emotionally healthier relationships, better health and a stronger connection.
Feel Like Your Relationship Needs a Boost? Zumba Together! Trying something new always reignites interest in both partners and brings back the love, experts say. Take a Zumba class together for a change! Well, if that’s not like you, perhaps salsa or tango will bring back the fire in your home. After all, what’s more pleasurable and sensual than dancing? You’ve got physical exercise, gracefulness and bonding, all in one! Want more? How about yoga? Maybe all? Signing up for all these activities will keep you busy enough to realize you’re actually working out. After all, that’s the whole point and… bonding with your better half.
You’ll Finally Get Your Personal Trainer Yes, you won’t need to count your reps anymore, you can take turns counting. Plus, if you choose to register with a personal trainer, it will cost you almost half the price as a couple than it normally does one-on-one.
It Can Be Super Funny What can be more amusing than a hip-hop dance class with your partner who has two left feet and stumbles upon every step he/she makes. It’s both adorable and funny to watch! But what if you’re the clumsy one? If you’re falling over with every box step you’re trying to make, it’s still good exercise and you should make the best of it.
It Will Be Impossible to Quit When you’re on your own you may often hear that voice in your head whispering ‘Not today, today you can stay a bit more in bed’ or even worse, spend more time in the kitchen working on your favorite pizza. Things are quite different when you have a partner to kick-ass you and you won’t want to let them down, especially if your very special someone is more a fitness addict.
Find Motivation in Everything Pretend you’re the two main characters in Jurassic Park and you’re in a run-or-get-eaten-by-T-Rex situation or whatever imaginary episode you can concoct to make you hit the treadmill faster and better.
Increased Sex Drive Well, that will probably make you work out harder. With all that sweat, your body also releases endorphins during workout. That’s why you’re pumped up after your training session and ready to face whatever may come your way with a smile on your face. The best part is that physical activity also increases sex drive, experts say. Not to mention that if you exercise with your partner, you’ll have one reason more to do it right.
How to Do it Right •A good way to start working out with your partner is to look for classes or gigs that neither of you have tried before. Have you done trapeze? How about trampoline, aerial yoga or kayaking? If you haven’t, now is your chance to break the routine. •If you really want to do something out of the ordinary, join a coed sports league with your partner and enjoy your new routine while others are playing tennis, soccer or having a go at Ultimate Frisbee. While these tips may be useful, there are yet a few secrets that psychologists and fitness experts reveal. Here’s what to keep in mind if you want to share your gym experience with your partner and gather most benefits from it.
Rule #1: Whatever You Do, Do It Together Remember that you and your partner may not have the same anabolic capacity (fitness level) and hence, your performance will differ. Don’t be the show-off, it won’t do anyone any good! Everything you do, do it together. It may be difficult in the beginning to adjust your pace to the other, but it’ll prove its worth in the long run. Once you both get to do it right, your self-confidence will increase and you will no longer be bothered by other people at the gym looking at you while you’re doing your thing.
Rule #2: Let Your Partner Lead the Way Even if you’re more gym-seasoned than your partner is, if you’re in it together and you want to help them achieve their goals, let them lead the way. If you like stretching while your partner enjoys strength training or cardio exercises more, try to find a way to allocate equal time to all aspects. After all, sticking to one routine only can be boring. Seize the opportunity to throw something new into the mix and make the most of your gym experience!
Rule #3: Communication As with everything else, communication is essential here too. Whether you’re training on your own or attending a couple training class, it’s best to give your partner both verbal and physical feedback. Sometimes showing is the best lesson.
Rule #4: Tune In To Each Other Pace is important if you want your partner not to feel intimidated by you (plus, they may already be aware you’re a master of cardio, strength or resistance training compared to them). Take it slow and let them catch up with you. To avoid overtraining and increase your risk for injury, it’s best to devise (or follow) a training program that includes 60-second breaks between sets. As your fitness levels may be different and to balance the routine, while your partner does one set, you watch, then switch. This way, you will have a perfectly timed rest period and you keep rolling the ball. Win/win!
Exercises to Do Together
Acro Yoga Yoga never gets old. A particular style of yoga known as Acro Yoga is unique in that it encourages partner-exercising. Promoting trust in the person you’re training with, whether it be your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or a complete stranger you’re paired up with in the yoga class, it stimulates you to think outside the box. With the support of your partner’s body you can stretch, bend, twist, and strengthen your body in ways you cannot do on your own.
Strength Exercise Lie down in semi-plank position, while your partner adds extra resistance with their body weight by placing their feet atop your lower back while doing push-ups.
Resistance Exercise We all love resistance bands! This exercise requires that you both sit into a squat position and hold each end of the resistance band. Now work on your back and arms by doing rows. To benefit from this exercise, you will have to tune in to your partner and find a pace that works for both of you. Additionally, because you will be both rowing at the same time, the tension on the band will be double (you will feel it!).
Weight Training Get hold of a medicine ball and get those core muscles to work with some extra weight. Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and as you rise in sit-up position, your partner will throw the ball your way. Stretch your body by extending your hands and lift the ball above your head as you go back to initial position. When you come up again, throw the ball to your partner.
Cardio Training See, how much you can do with your partner? When you feel like your jogging routine simply doesn’t cut in anymore, perhaps it’s time to try something new. If jumping jacks and burpees are not fun enough for you, how about jump roping? Challenge your partner and get your heart pumping! Rhythm is essential. Coordinate with your partner and push each other to jump higher and faster using a longer rope. Frog jumps are also a good exercise, requiring that you both bounce at the same time, and afterwards switch to a straddle swing to do a side swing. The partner in front will squat under your legs with the following skip, doing the straddle and side swings and swapping sides back and forth.
These are but a few ideas you can use to work out with your partner. Not only is it motivational to work out with your significant other but it can also help you get over any animosities that may arise. Whether it is or isn’t a catalyst that keeps two people together or a holistic approach to solving any relationship problems, working out with your partner can be fun. So, are you ready for a run?