9 Reasons Why Exercising With Your Partner Is a Terrible Idea
It isn’t a surprise that couples want to integrate each other into their exercise routines. The fitness world has partner workouts galore, after all, and every CrossFit board on Pinterest features at least one totally ripped duo with #couplegoals below their photo. Plus, most of your usually solo activities can easily incorporate another person, whether it’s running errands or even having someone to hold your feet in place while you do crunches.
So it probably comes as a bit of shock that working out with your partner isn’t always a good call. But truthfully, there are plenty of reasons why adding your boo to your exercise regimen is a downright bad idea. Here are 10 things to consider before deciding whether you should — more like, should not — exercise with your significant other.
1. You are less likely to lose weight
If shedding pounds is at the top of your fitness goals list, adding your partner to your exercise regimen is one of the worst things you can do. For starters, the subject of weight loss in general is a tricky one in a relationship and can often carry negative connotation. “You are with somebody who you love unconditionally, yet they enable your unhealthy behavior and push back when you say you want to make changes,” NerdFitness says. “In fact, when you tell your loved one that you want to lose weight or start eating better, they say something like ‘but I like you just the way you are.'”
This negative reaction from your partner can seep into your exercise regimen, particularly if you are working out together. It can put a hold on your weight-loss regimen due to the lack of support (more on that later) and can alter the intensity of your workouts to fit your partner’s less-intense exercise goals (more on that, as well).
2. You get distracted mid-workout
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be social at the gym. But gabbing mid-workout becomes a no-no for two reasons: It is poor gym etiquette and breaks the flow of your exercise session. So, naturally, having your honey at your side can make it harder to focus on your workout. “If you’re at the gym to make progress, cut down on the talking and focus on your workout,” MuscleMagFitness.com says.
There’s a simple solution if you have no choice but to work out at the same time as your partner: Wait until after your session to chat up your honey. That way, the same article explains, “your workouts will be more intense, you will make better gains and you’ll spend less time at the gym.”
3. You end up competing instead of supporting each other
One of the most obvious downfalls to working out with your significant other is you can lose your support system — and gain an exercise rival. “It is common for feelings of tension to arise when one partner has a higher fitness level than the other,” fitness expert Shana Verstegen writes for the American Council on Exercise. “Further stress can be created if one member of the relationship tries to control the workout session, assigning the exercises and potentially criticizing the form and ability of the other.”
Being too competitive with your better half isn’t just bad for your relationship. It’s bad for your mental state. “Consistently tying your workouts to your outcome in relation to other exercisers can negatively affect your mood and set you up for injuries,” Justine Reel, Ph.D., told Shape.
Speaking of injuries…
4. You can push yourself to the point of injury
If you and your partner begin competing, one of you will end up over-exerting themselves. And doing a workout above your ability level is a surefire way to hurt yourself. “Quite often, this leads to injury — sometimes very serious injury –and the number of injuries is often substantial,” trainer Ryan Hoover told STACK. This can obviously translate to working out with your partner.
5. You miss out on ‘me’ time
It’s great that you and your partner are willing to engage in so many activities together. But too much togetherness takes away from the personal time you need to decompress. And everyone knows exercise is one of the top ways that people have their “me” time. Research done by professor Thomas Plante, Ph.D., and a team at Santa Clara University revealed there are many benefits to sweating solo. “In a nutshell, our results show that exercising alone is likely best for stress management, contemplation, and to relax,” Plante writes.
So, while venting to your partner after a long day, keeping that separate from your exercise regimen is probably best.
6. You lose the ability to personalize your workout
There is a reason personal trainers piece together different workouts for different clients. Getting the most out of your workout — and avoiding those injuries — means having an exercise regimen tailored specifically to you. Adding another person to that equation makes it more difficult to personalize an exercise routine, though. “Everyone has his or her own goals and experience level, and each person is at a different ‘place’ physically, mentally and emotionally,” STACK says. Livestrong also chimes in, saying a “personalized plan typically gives you better results than a general workout plan.”
Even if both you and your partner have similar fitness goals, keeping your regimens separate and personalized will be better for both of you.
7. Your workouts can be too easy
It is possible to experience the polar opposite of becoming too competitive with your sweetie in the fitness realm. You can potentially choose an exercise plan that is easy for both of you, then never see any real results. “A less fit partner can also force the more experienced half to decrease the intensity of his or her workout because of the other’s physical limitations, diminishing the benefits to the more-fit partner,” Prevention explains.
8. You choose a comfortable exercise, then plateau
Working out with your partner can prompt you to choose a more comfortable exercise plan for the two of you. Sadly, this habit can speed up how soon your fitness level plateaus. “We all tend to repeat the things we like doing, so it’s no wonder that once we find a workout that suits us we stick to it,” MuscleMagFitness.com says. “The best way to not make improvements in the gym is to not change your workout.”
9. You get distracted from your long-term goals
Mapping out exercise goals for yourself can be challenging enough. Add another person to that mix, and reaching those goals becomes even more unlikely. The reason? While you and your partner probably share many common interests, it’s less likely you are at the exact same fitness level.
“Couples training together always start as a positive, motivating experience,” trainer Hannah Williams told Prevention. “Then, the pair is forced to accept their differences and things can quickly turn sour.” And the last thing you want is for a tiff with your partner to start up in the middle of an exercise session, right?
You can be healthy together in other ways
You and your honey have loads of activities you can do together. So why not leave exercising together out of the equation and find other ways to be a healthy couple? This means making lifestyle changes as opposed to getting short-term gym memberships and not seeing results. “To successfully achieve your goals, it is best to get your significant other on-board,” HealthGreatness says. “It is critical to have support from loved ones because they play a pivotal role, whether you like it or not, as to whether you will achieve your goals.”