Working Out Together
- Give Your Body a Little Extra Love -
Most women put themselves into one of two categories as far as their fitness personalities; they’re either loners or group-oriented. Some women are a combination of the two. They may prefer to do weight-training solo but like classes such as a Bootcamp, Zumba or some type of high-intensity interval training for their cardio.
But even if you like working out alone, having a workout partner at least part of the time can reap huge benefits and breathe new life, fun and motivation into your workout routine. There are two great ways to do this; you can work out with a friend or work out with your significant other. They share several common benefits, but each has some advantages that are all their own.
Friends with Benefits….of a Different Kind
Bringing a friend into your workout program has a number of benefits. It can help make you more motivated, give you more accountability, help you to be more consistent, give you a new perspective on your specific fitness goals and methods and so much more.
Motivation: All of us need a little refreshing of our motivation levels now and then. No matter how self-motivated we are, boredom or a slowdown in results or any kind of setback can result in flagging enthusiasm for our fitness programs. Bringing a friend into the workout mix can breathe new life into our program and get us excited about working out again.
Sometimes it’s just the fun of having someone with us who makes us laugh, cheers us on and is fun to be with. Sometimes it’s a little friendly competition that gets us going again. Whatever the case, as with many small changes, adding a friend to the mix can be just what we need to start looking forward to our workouts again.
Accountability and Consistency: Having a workout partner can be an effective way of ensuring you follow your workout plan (or make a plan to begin with), especially if you have a little trouble doing what you need to do to reach your goals. Even those of us who are fairly disciplined have times when we’re just too tired, too stressed, too overscheduled or too lazy to make it to the gym. Knowing that your friend will be there waiting and that you have a responsibility to her to show up can be a great failsafe.
Having a partner can also keep you on track as far as being accountable to the goals and guidelines you’ve set for yourself. A friend who knows the details of your fitness and/or weight loss plans can help you stay honest about your diet, measurements, weight loss progress and so on. Understanding that someone will know that you gained a pound or ate some chocolate cake is a great way to avoid these setbacks altogether.
A Fresh Perspective or Input: A workout partner can also be a great way to get some fresh input on your workouts and your goals and is something that you can do for them as well. This is especially true if your friend is more knowledgeable about weight-training while you’re the HIIT guru and vice versa. Just having someone who is a little more advanced can be a great help.
This type of partnership allows you to get some fresh insight into what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. You may find that your friend has some ideas and experience that can really help you further your fitness goals, whether it’s incorporating unilateral moves, changing the way you track your progress (for example, from pounds to inches) or sharing recipes for healthy, delicious meals.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Full-time
When I talk about partnering with a friend, I’m not necessarily advocating a full-time partnership. If you’re typically a loner when it comes to working out, you don’t need to share your workout space 24/7. You might choose to do one class together that meets a couple of times a week, only do weight-training with your partner or just meet up once a week for a HIIT session or some other type of workout.
Even meeting once a week to work out together, track each other’s progress, check in on how each of you is feeling/doing and give each other a pep talk can be enough to do the trick. Others may want to go the whole nine yards together for a specified period of time, performing all of their workouts together for a few weeks or a few months to build new habits or get back into a regular routine. In fact, that’s a great approach for new moms who haven’t worked out in a while and need someone to partner with who will actually understand their schedule, their goals and their challenges.
Working Out With Your Man – A Whole New Dimension to Your Workout and Your Relationship
Another partner you may want to consider is your boyfriend or husband.
As long as your relationship is one of mutual respect, kindness and concern, your man can bring all the same benefits as a good friend, and add a few more to the mix as well. Working out together can bring you closer, strengthen your relationship and also add quite a bit of romance and sexiness to your workouts.
Again, this doesn’t need to be a fulltime thing and really shouldn’t be. But you can reap plenty of benefits by getting together for one or two workouts a week, by doing your weight training or your cardio together or by investigating new forms of exercise together.
Share the Knowledge: Because men and women tend to focus on different aspects of fitness or different methodologies, they can help each other learn something new to shake up their routines. Maybe you’ve been focused on weight machines and he has a lot to share about free weights. Maybe he completely ignores cardio and you’re practically an expert in interval cardio or cycling. You get the idea. Sharing your knowledge with each other is a very healthy thing for both your bodies and your relationship. It breeds a new level of respect for each other that will seep into every aspect of your relationship.
Accomplish Two Goals at Once: One of the really great things about working out with your mate is that you automatically overcome one of the biggest obstacles to both your relationship and fitness goals, a lack of time. By working out together even once a week, you can accomplish two things at once. You get some time with your man during which you can be focused on each other and still get a great workout in.
A New Level of Intimacy: If you’ve never worked out with a boyfriend or husband, let me tell you something, it can be very intimate, both emotionally and physically.
Doing something together to help each other get healthy and fit is very intimate. You know that feeling of mutual caring you get when you prepare a meal for your man or when he takes care of you while you’re sick? Working out together brings about those same feelings.
Being completely focused on each other’s bodies, how they look and how they function, is also very intimate. One of the reasons that sex is so fulfilling is that for a short time, you are completely focused on each other physically. The same is true when you’re working out.
Working out together can be physically and visually stimulating as well. Checking out your guy’s arms while you’re spotting him is fun. So is catching him checking out your butt while you’re doing squats. Lots of couples say that working out together on a regular basis gives them a new level of appreciation and desire for each other that has definite benefits outside the gym.
Making it Fun: You don’t necessarily have to do your workouts together to be partnered with each other in your fitness goals. If the idea of lifting weights or running sprints together doesn’t excite you, how about a fitness date? You can start a weekly basketball game with other couples, go hiking together every Saturday or take classes in surfing, Latin dance or martial arts. You get some extra exercise that doesn’t really feel like it and you also get some great couple time; something that might be hard to grab otherwise.
Your workout partner can be your best friend, your man or just someone at the gym with whom you’ve built a rapport with. No matter who you choose, you’ll have a little extra motivation, accountability, insight and fun. It could be just what you need to get excited about working out again and get back on track.If you are looking for a great starting point with your workout partner, take a look at these programs that you can start with: Flavia’s Workout Programs