Do you want to learn an easy way to get in better shape AND improve your relationship? Of course, you do!
Let's talk about couples' fitness.
Normally, you head to the gym to lift some weights. In the back corner of the facility, you and a bunch of other dudes lifting weights grunt and groan while trying to do “one more rep bro!”
Meanwhile, your significant other is taking a spinning class at another health and fitness facility across town.
Fitness is important to both of you, but you just don't know how to exercise as a couple when you both have different fitness interests.
In this article you will learn a great couple workout plan that you and your significant other can do together.
When you get home, you both feel good from your respective workouts. But you wonder...
Why should you work out as a couple?
There have been numerous studies that show couples who exercise together find they stick to a workout program longer and maintain a healthier relationship. One study, from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate over the course of a year. Those who go to the gym together, regardless of whether they focused on the same type of exercise, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.”
Everyone knows that having a gym buddy is a great tool that helps a lot of people stay accountable and dedicated to their fitness goals. So, it makes sense that more couples are looking to become each other’s fitness partner. Besides, who knows you better or spends more time with you than your significant other?
So maybe you are intrigued but you have a problem. You don't enjoy spinning classes and your lady has no interest in joining the cavemen in the free weight room.
Is there another way the two of you can exercise together in a way that makes everyone happy?
There is a workout for couples, and you're about to find out what it looks like.
Top 5 rules for working out as a couple:
- No expectations: Remember that you and your significant other have different fitness levels and abilities. What she can do is great, but you may not be at her level, and vice versa.
- Learn to enjoy the workout without expectations about how it will go.
- Have fun!
- When you let go of all expectations you can enjoy the time together. The workout can be fun in a way that you never experience when training alone.
- Laugh, encourage your partner, and take a moment to enjoy reaching a higher level of fitness as a couple.
The couples workout: You Go, I Go
This workout is one of my all-time favorites for couples or partners. It's called you go-I go because the structure is just like it sounds; you do one set of an exercise, then your partner does a set.
It's simple to follow, and an ideal setup for two people who have different fitness levels. For example, you can do twenty push-ups in a set, but your partner can only do seven. No problem. As you perform your set, your partner rests. Then you rest while your partner does her set.
It may seem unfair that one of you rests for longer, but it works itself out during the training session. Each person is challenged relative to his/her own fitness level.
Let's dive into the workout here. This example will require no equipment or fitness trainer. Just your body weight.
Best Couples Workout Plan (without equipment)
- Warm-up for five minutes with calisthenics. (Jumping jacks, high knees, run in place, mountain climbers, planks...)
- Push-ups- 5 sets (however many reps you can do that is challenging, but not until failure)
- Squats- 5 sets (same as push-ups)
- Reverse crunches- 4 sets (do reps until you feel the burn but not until total failure)
- Burpees- 4 sets (same as reverse crunches)
- Cooldown & stretching- five minutes
Remember- you go, I go. When your set is complete, your partner begins her set, and vice versa, until all sets are finished.
Best Couples Workout (with equipment)
- This workout starts with a five-minute warm-up, as always. Then you start the intervals on whatever equipment you have available. Your partner will be on another piece of equipment, OR you can swap out if you only have one machine.
- 15 seconds of fast cycling/rowing followed by 45 seconds of easy exercise. If you are sharing one piece of home fitness equipment, your partner will run in place/hold a plank until you are finished with the first interval. Then you switch.
- Repeat the intervals for a total of 15 minutes each.
- Finish with a five-minute cool-down.
HIIT (High-intensity interval training) is discussed in detail in "From Fad to Fact: HIIT Training Just Plain Works."
For this workout, you will still be following the “you go, I go” structure but instead of body-weight exercises, you'll be using one of my favorite pieces of equipment for interval training- an Airdyne bike or rower.
Check out the Airdyne Bike:
Now you've experienced a great workout with your partner.
Does this mean that you have to exercise together all the time? Not at all! You can still hit the weights as your partner goes spinning. But if you want to experience the benefits of working out together, schedule a day or two each month. Get sweaty and have fun!
It's not only good for your body but also great for your long-term relationship goals.
About the Author
Jim White is a freelance contributor for G&G fitness. He's also a personal trainer and owner of Strength Essentials716. He loves helping people build Strength for Life. When he's not writing or training clients, he loves hiking and howling at the moon. He has a natural ability to see great potential in you, even if you can't see it in yourself. Jim also enjoys long walks on the beach and classic novels. Find out more at strengthessentials716.com