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10 Benefits of Working Out With Your Partner

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In today’s hectic lifestyle, it can be difficult to find time to follow your interests and still make time for your loved one. By combining the two by exercising with your partner you can unlock a number of benefits for you both.

So should you hook up with your partner for some gym time?

In this article we’ll take a look at the top ten benefits of working out together, and how it might improve not only your relationship, but your gym sessions too.


#1. Results

A key barrier to achieving body composition goals is getting to the gym regularly. We all have those days where we just don’t feel like going.

A study published in the Annals of Behavioural Medicine [1] though, found that when a group of women were assigned a training partner, they exercised for longer and improved performance.

Often referred to as the Kohler effect, training with a partner has been found to boost productivity. When the performance of the group is reliant on the performance of the weakest person – for example if two people went for a timed run together – the weaker person pushes themselves to work harder so as not to reduce overall performance.

man-and-woman-running

#2. Accountability

Accountability acknowledges that someone else relies on you – in this case your partner. If you don’t go to the gym then they might not either – and that means not only you, but they are less likely to achieve their goals too.

Organizing training sessions in advance is a great way of being accountable. It makes you less likely to cancel a workout as you don’t want to let your partner down, and it provides you an almost teammate or coach-like role in their progress.

man-and-woman-exercising

#3. Motivation and Support

Not only do you feel more accountable when training with your partner, when you actually get in the gym you’ve got a perfect motivational coach. Your partner becomes your trainer – pushing you to work harder and providing all of the positive feedback you need to boost productivity.

Approaching your session as a team will definitely improve motivation – it’s you two against the gym.

A study in Obesity [2] reported that when you spend time with fit friends you are more likely to lose weight and improve fitness levels. Surrounding yourself with a social support network increases motivation and goal success.

bodybuilder-athletes

#4. Ideas

Even the most knowledgeable of exercisers can get stuck in a rut – you might favor the same exercises or workout, dislike styles of training that you know are beneficial but you just can’t face them, or you’ve just simply run out of ideas.

Getting a different perspective and new ideas is great for training motivation and progression. As long as it’s something you both agree on and the exercises you choose help to meet your goals. You dictate the content of one session, then let your partner dictate the next.

group-exercise-circuit

#5. Feedback

Other than the odd exercise performed in front of the mirror, it’s pretty difficult to properly evaluate your lifting technique. Having a set of eyes that can critique your performance helps to improve your lifting ability as well as safety.

Whilst this might put a slight emphasis on knowledge of technique, you don’t have to be a qualified personal trainer to offer feedback – you just need to understand the technique of the lift, and be honest.

partners-laughing

#6. Increased Attraction

When you exercise you create physical arousal that mirrors sexual arousal quite closely – increased testosterone, elevated body temperature, sweating and a racing heart rate for example. Sharing these physical effects with a partner can increase feelings of attraction and lust.

It’s also a perfect opportunity to show your body off and what it can do.

kissing-in-the-gym

#7. Boost Your Emotional Bond

Exercising releases chemical messengers such as endorphins. These messengers promote feelings of euphoria and relaxation that help you lose your inhibitions. You’ll be much more likely to talk about your feelings and share ideas with your partner. This will help to bring you both closer and better connect with each other.

Regularly training with a partner also increases ‘mimicry’ – the phenomenon of matching body language and non-verbal communication. Those who mimic tend to have stronger emotional bonds.

partner-motivation

#8. Healthy Competition

You or your workout buddy might never mention it but we guarantee there’s a bit of healthy competition between you both – no one wants to be bested by their partner.

Alternatively, you might even plan a competition between you both, agreeing the prize in advance (we’ll leave that to your imagination of course). Competitions need to be fair – you could see who can run the furthest in 30 minutes, burn most calories in 45 minutes, complete a circuit in the fastest time, or even see who can squat the most relative to your body weight.

Competition is great for motivation and progress. You don’t need to be perfectly matched for fitness to work out a fair competition between you – just have fun and use your imagination.

running-competition

#9. Spotting

When you’re ready to up the weight on the bar but can’t find a spotter you either risk your safety, or stay at a less challenging weight. By training together you have a ready made spotter that can support you at the drop of a hat.

This gives you a wider range of exercises you can choose from, which in itself helps you overload the body and progress in your training. Don’t worry if you can’t lift what your partner is bench pressing – a good spotter should only ever offer minimal assistance anyway.

man-spotting-woman-weightlifting

#10. Diet Support

A good diet can make or break a fat loss program. It can provide all of the nutrients and energy you need to train hard, and reigning in the calories can help you find an energy deficit that helps the fat melt away.

It’s not very often you’ll start a new exercise program and not at least try to improve what you eat. If you exercise together you can help each other out by having healthy meals together too. You can banish the sweet treats from the house and ensure that neither of you stray from your diet.

Agree which meals and types of foods you both like,and form a meal plan around it.

couple-cooking-together

Summary

Training with your partner offers unique benefits. Ultimately, in today’s hectic lifestyles the one thing that we do less of, is spending time with our loved one and even when we do, it’s rarely doing something that can be classed as exercise.

When you go to the gym with your partner you get to spend time together whilst participating in healthy, physical activities. It definitely beats an evening on the sofa. You can improve performance whilst giving each other support, feedback and motivation. You may even want to add an element of competition to really push your fitness.


References

  1. Irwin, BC et al. Aerobic exercise is promoted when individual performance affects the group: a test of the Kohler motivation gain effect. Ann Behav Med. 2012; 44(2): 151-9
  2. Andersson, MA et al. Desire for weight loss, weight-related social contact, and body mass outcomes. Obesity. 2016; 24(7): 1434-1437


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