Balanced Living | Feb. 12, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Working Out with Your Significant Other

By Nate Whitten, Feb. 12, 2015. 

WalkersWe’ve all seen those unsettling videos on YouTube or Facebook that highlight a ridiculously in love couple incorporating PDA into their workouts. You know, the ones who must perform their pull-ups face to face with a kiss at the top of the bar. Cute, right? I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.

Depending on your mood this Valentine’s Day, working out with your significant other can be a great way to connect in your relationship – it can also reveal a ticking time-bomb.

Working out with your man or woman can have beneficial effects on your relationship. Incorporating fitness and exercise into your “boo time” could be just what you need to enhance your relationship. And if you’d like to consider becoming “that” couple at the gym, or running down Central Avenue nearly naked, you are encouraged to do so.

As you gear up and help each other pick out your matching gym styles, take these pros and cons into account before entering the arena of the “couple’s workout.”

Competitiveness

Pros: If the two of you are living on the healthy side of competitive natures, working out together can bring out the best in both of you. A friendly and encouraging competition of weight lifting or distance running can be a fun way to push each other to reach fitness goals. And fellas, that competitive nudge can release a little testosterone, which will provide a little boost to your sexual energy when you get those sweaty bodies home.

Cons: If you use competition as a driver in your gym or personal relationship, it is important that neither party is left feeling less than adequate. Pushing one to do more or perform in a way that they are physically or emotionally not ready to do, may result in injury.

Gym Eye Candy

Pros: Some couples enjoy checking out the gym scenery together. For those who are secure enough to see, acknowledge and admire the beauty of the human form as well as the work it takes to acquire Adonis-like muscularity, this can be a fun way to connect on a light-hearted level. Enjoying time at the gym like this can be a great distraction from the mundane conversations and serious decision-making that are a part of coupled living. When this type of observation and appreciation works for a couple, they often find an increased positive sexual tension that can be acted upon, once you get those sweaty bodies home.

Cons: However, if you are in a relationship that does not appreciate that stolen glance at unavoidable gym-short protrusion belonging to the guy at the bench press, you may want to rethink taking your other half to the gym with you. Even though you may only be “noticing,” your partner may feel threatened or frustrated if they don’t think they measure up or if they have body image issues. Be careful where your eyes wander, even if you’re just noticing what is hard not to notice.

Shared Goals

Pros: Successful relationships, just like successful fitness routines, require a specific and measurable goal. When working out with your SO, the two of you can create a common goal and hold each other accountable. When the two of you can find a common element within a fitness goal, such as losing a percentage of body fat (where you both have the opportunity to reach your individual results), you will find more success. Having a common goal and working together to reach it can be instrumental in increasing attraction for each other through your success. And, don’t forget to celebrate together when your goal is reached.

Cons: Patterns of enabling can arise if you agree to fail together as easily as succeed together. It’s important to agree upon a method of accountability that will not result in frustration and resentment. The shared goal is possibly the most challenging thing for couple workouts. If the goal is not reached, it can be easy to blame one another (which never ends well). So, be aware and know your limits – both relationally and physically – and don’t set unrealistic goals.

Several studies indicate that couples that work out together have more frequent and more satisfying sexual relationships. I’ll just leave that tidbit of information there for you to contemplate as you plan your next workout, whether it’s together or separate.


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