Want to make your relationship better? Want to get amazing gains in the gym for yourself and your partner? It’s time to Train With Your Significant Other!
You already work out with your significant other. You both burn calories when you romp around in the bedroom. In fact, the American Journal of Cardiology published a study in which cardiologists considered sexual activity comparable to a modest workout on a treadmill. So, it’s already been proven that you enjoy working out together. But, in case you need some extra convincing to waltz into the exercise world together, here are 10 reasons to work out with your significant other.
But, in case you need some extra convincing to waltz into the exercise world together, here are 10 reasons to work out with your significant other.
#1 It’s Reliable Motivation
Many of us have experienced the thrill of signing up for the gym and hyping ourselves into the belief that this time we’re committed. But, more often than not, we start out strong and then suddenly, we haven’t gone in three months. Then, we’re pulling our hair out over the bill for the gym we never use.
A great solution to making a true commitment is to go with someone – and not just anyone. “When it comes to physical fitness, the best peer pressure to get moving could be coming from the person who sits across from you at the breakfast table,” says Laura Cobb, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health doctoral student who co-authored research on the subject. Of course, that person across the breakfast table would be your significant other.
In research conducted at the University of Indiana, married couples were studied for their continued gym attendance rate. Half of the participants in the study attended the gym as a couple (with their spouse) and the other half went alone (without their spouse). About 43% of those who attended alone quit going. Of those who went as a couple, only 6.3% quit going.
Having a gym partner means you’re bailing on someone else if you don’t go and that’s much worse than bailing on yourself. It’s total motivation to not be a flake. Also, when the partner is someone you care about and want to impress and care to be impressed by, going to the gym seems more important. Lastly, since being in a relationship means you generally know what the other person is doing on a daily basis, you can call their bluff on skipping. The psychology is there. Attending the gym with your significant other creates a whole new motivation.
#2 It Boosts Your Relationship
Now that you’re doing a routine activity together, the two of you automatically have a newly shared interest. It’s a conversation topic and a challenge. Beyond the everyday uplift of sharing goals and hobbies, exercise releases endorphins. If you’ve heard about the chocolate effect, then you know it’s the same thing. You’ll be releasing endorphins together, so you’ll reach a state of euphoria together.
This is also like the previously mentioned romping around. In an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers examined questionnaires, surveys and experiments. They found that exercise induces the symptoms of physiological arousal. This includes sweaty hands, racing pulses and shortness of breath. These symptoms mirror, in many ways, the thrill of romantic attraction.
Marriage and relationship psychotherapist, Dr. Jane Greer summed this point up in an interview with YouBeauty. She said, “When a couple works out together, the actual exercise itself can physically and emotionally have a positive impact. Both partners come away with feelings of synchronicity, cooperative spirit and shared passion. Then you throw in some spicy endorphins and it can be a real power trip for the relationship.”
While you often do things with your significant other, this one is a bit different. It’ll strengthen your relationship because of the biological and psychological effects that come out of it.
#3 The Rhythmic Pace Works
Whenever you get into the groove of something, you’ll find that you’re working at a certain rhythm. That’s especially true if you’re doing a physical activity. Working while in a groove always seems to yield much more work getting done. When exercising alone, it’s easy to fall out of rhythm and become distracted by your surroundings and extraneous thoughts. Exercising with a partner boosts your chances of falling into a rhythm.
Since you’re less likely to stop paying attention because even during your breaks you are watching someone else, it’s highly likely that you and your partner will create a shared groove. This causes you to mimic each other so much that it creates a continuous rhythm.
In an article published in the British Journal of Psychology, experts said that when you work out together, you coordinate your actions. For example, you might lift weights in rhythm with your partner. You could match your walking or running paces. Or, you could toss medicine ball back and forth. This behavior creates nonverbal matching, or mimicry, which benefits you both.
Often, people in relationships already have a nonverbal connection. This should merely enhance your ability to create synchronicity with each other and will benefit you both when you’re working out.
#4 It Boosts Intensity
When you’re on the treadmill alone, it’s very easy to keep the pace low and manageable. But when you’re running with someone, a new expectation is set. You both came to the gym to workout. Peer pressure is an excellent motivator. That’s also why taking classes can be effective, but training with your significant other makes this pressure more intense because you know this person and care what they think.
“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” said Steve Stonehouse, the Personal Training Manager at Crunch gym in New York City.
The Köhler effect can be applied here as well. The Köhler effect is when someone doesn’t want to be the weakest link in a group and increases effort and performance to avoid this fate. Applied to fitness, when you’re working out, you don’t want to be the one who can’t keep up. In a recent study, even those with an online partner held the plank much longer than those who held the plank alone.
#5 It Improves Performance
While having a personal trainer can target your fitness goals, the trainer generally just stands and watches you do all the work. Depending on their style, they may not say anything. They may even just be scribbling in a notebook or looking around the gym.
When you’re training with someone who is also putting in the work right beside you, you’re more inclined to push the envelope. When you think they’re running faster, you’ll raise your speed. When you know you can do another two reps or push a little bit heavier weight, you will.
Simple. You do so because your partner is watching you. The push your partner gives you and the intensity boost you get from working out together, inherently improves your overall performance.
#6 Variety Is Brought To Your Workouts
Training alone can bring on a routine workout that works at first, but quickly becomes stale. It can even seem to put a wall up to your muscle growth and performance. Working out with someone will help you break through any plateau and keep your workouts diversified.
The other person will want to do other things than you.
When you combine your wishes, you’ll find that every time you hit the gym the two of you are putting together new workout routines. This keeps you motivated to keep going. Variation can also prevent overuse injuries, or “repetitive strain injuries,” says Arnold Lee, MD, a physician at One Medical Group in San Francisco, California. Diversifying your workout is “the key to stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom,” he adds.
Plus, with a partner you can play games for variety. When you train alone, you’re subject to sticking to machines and mats doing exercises that can only be performed by one person. With a partner, you can do mat exercises that require two people, such as ball tosses, and you can include sports. You automatically have a tennis partner, someone to shoot hoops, play racquetball or do some swimming strokes with. And since they’re your significant other, they are going to be more inclined to try out different things with you.
#7 You Get Extra Special Encouragement
While we’ve covered the motivation that your significant other provides in just getting you to commit to the gym, there’s also the moral support element and the angel of encouragement that walks through the gym with you. People in relationships know how to motivate each other.
They know how much the other person can really do and what the other person really wants.
When you’re hitting the gym because you have a certain goal in mind, it’s important that someone remind you of it while you’re working out. Sometimes in classes the instructor fires off generic motivators such as “getting that bikini-ready body.” But, if you aren’t concerned with this, the motivation is lost on you. Your significant other knows you best and knows exactly why you’re working out and what you want out of it.
That’s why they are a very special flavor of motivation for you while you train.
#8 Better Form Is Achieved
When you’re flying solo, you can’t see your positioning. You can’t be sure that your legs are making the right angle. You may not be able to tell if you are bending your back or slumping your shoulders. When you have a partner, you have someone to check you out (yeah, in more ways than one) and ensure you’re sitting properly and doing the workout in the best form possible.
Plus, with your significant other, you can rely on them being honest with you rather than your friend who just wants to be supportive and may shy away from correcting you. The National Academy of Sports Medicine answered the question “Why is good form important during exercise?” on Sharecare. They said that, “for the human body to have the optimal function it requires a harmonious interaction between the nervous, skeletal and muscular system.” They continued to say that not having proper form causes your body to “compensate,” which “can lead to serious injury.”
Proper form also ensures that you’re exercising the precise muscle(s) being targeted. It helps both you and your muscles breath, as your body isn’t working beyond its capacity because of compensation. Also, proper form allows you to lift more weight and get more out of the exercise.
When you do a poor squat in which you don’t actually sit back as if into an invisible chair, but you merely bend your knees so that you are low enough to look like you’re squatting, you are definitely missing out on the full benefits of the exercise. It will take you a lot longer to build muscles without proper form.
#9 You Have A Safety Check
With a partner, you always have a spotter. You always have someone to watch when your hand slips or your muscle cramps. They can lend a hand and stop an embarrassing and possibly dangerous commotion. With them around, you can try heavier weights and longer reps because there is someone there to stop the weight if you can’t handle it.
If your significant other is smaller than you, they can still provide a safety stance because you can’t see all of your body when you do an exercise and they can tell you if something looks like it’s going to fall. And, your significant other loves you and will definitely step in if they think you may get hurt.
#10 They Bring The Fun Factor
Obviously, the two of you have fun together or you wouldn’t be together. Hitting the gym with someone you love adds a fun factor to the experience. With someone to poke fun at the other people with, you can stop taking the gym so seriously. This means that you leave with smiles on your faces instead of sweaty brows and frowns. Misery loves company, especially in moments of endurance and fatigue.
Or, if you truly enjoy the gym, you’ll enjoy it twice as much!
Most people resist the idea of training with their significant other. Some don’t want to be seen struggling with weights or looking sweaty and less than perfect. Others don’t want to let their relationship spoil their efforts in the gym. The truth is that if you and your partner can get on the same page in the gym, both of you will get greater gains in the gym and in their everyday life!
By Alyssa Bright