Getting sweaty with your sweetie may sound like a good idea, but experts say you may be better off going soloBy: Jenna Bergen
Getting my sweat on with my sweetie has always sounded fun—in theory.
However, after many failed attempts, I've resigned myself to the fact that coupled-up cardio sessions will, most likely, wind up taking one of three very predictable scenarios: 1. The man I love—who promised to join me on a morning run only 8 hours earlier over a cozy dinner of red wine and pasta—is now intent on snoozing the morning away. 2. My darling winds up on the couch with a few bags of frozen peas on his swollen knee for the remainder of the afternoon because he couldn't resist setting a macho, much-faster-than-me pace. 3. I end up missing the workout I'm really in the mood for—say, a sweat-drenched power yoga class—for a scenic, but not very heart-pumping, hike.
Discover the fastest way to a lean, sexy body
A few weeks ago, I might have felt bad that my boyfriend and I are on totally different pages when it comes to our fitness schedules, but not anymore: Many experts believe staying solo when you sweat is actually your best bet for hitting your weight loss and fitness goals. Read on for eight reasons why love doesn't always belong in the weight room.
10 Little Things Connected Couples Do
"Training should be a time for you to connect with yourself," says former Olympic athlete and certified trainer Samantha Clayton. "Sometimes being with your significant other prevents you from truly focusing on yourself." It's also a good time to mentally escape from the negative things that are going on in your life. "A great workout session is like a great meditation," says Jackie Warner, celebrity trainer and star of the Personal Training with Jackie: 30 Day Quick Start DVD. "It's a time when the body and mind truly connect." (Search: How to meditate)
Lose Weight Like a Guy
Think about the way you would each choose to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. (Related: 11 Ways to Lose Weight This Weekend) Most likely your top choice isn’t the same as your partner’s. “You are different people and you may have very different preferences when it comes to exercise,” says personal trainer Jessica Smith, star of the 10 Minute Solution: Ultimate Boot Camp DVD. And the more you enjoy what you’re doing, the more likely you’ll stick with it and push yourself to excel.
“For any workout to be effective, the intensity and motivation have to remain high,” says Hannah Williams, a personal trainer at Reebok Sports Club/NY. “If you hate doing pushups, you’re not going to get as much out of them.” (More: 8 New Ways to Do Pushups)
The New Digital Diet
“I’ve seen women injure themselves from trying to lift weights that are too heavy just in order to keep up with their workout buddy,” says Clayton. “It's human nature to compete.” But that’s exactly why working out together can be a recipe for disaster. Clayton, a former professional athlete and married to a pro athlete for over 10 years, should know: “Now we only exercise together if it’s on a relaxed, non-competitive day,” she says.
The Right Way to Warm Up for Your Workouts
“Couples training together always start as a positive, motivating experience,” says Hannah Williams, a trainer at Reebok Sports Club/NY. “Then, the pair is forced to accept their differences and things can quickly turn sour.” 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, warns Williams.
And if you think nagging at home leads to fights, try the gym: “Couples that are at different fitness levels take on a new type of stress when the one instructing the other loses patience, or the one receiving the instruction loses hope,” says Williams.
9 Exercises You’re Doing Wrong
“The greatest benefit of staying solo for your workouts is that you can tailor a program to fit your current fitness level, while also considering your goals,” says Williams, whether you’re looking to lose weight, increase strength and flexibility, or train for your first 5K. (Free! 5K Training Jumpstart Plan) “On your own, you can focus on the areas most important to you without being forced to spend time on exercises to achieve someone else’s goal, even if that someone is a person you love.” Another added benefit: Being able to move at your own pace, without feeling like you are slowing someone down—or rushing them.
You promised to hit up yoga class, but now you’re craving a hardcore weight session. Making the last-minute switch isn’t as simple if you’ve already made plans with your partner.
“Some days it's nice to be able to change your mind at the last minute,” says Clayton. If you’re only beholden to yourself, it’s easier to make the switch.
7 Workout Excuses to Bury
There’s nothing worse than putting in the effort and not getting the results you’re after, especially if the one you love is following the same program and seeing positive changes. “Everyone’s body responds differently to exercise, so when one partner is getting amazing results and losing more weight than the other, resentment can build, leading to an argument,” says Clayton, noting that men tend to have a higher percentage of muscle, while women naturally carry a little more body fat.
This means that guys tend to burn more calories during exercise, as well as when they’re sitting on the couch. If you’re part of a same-sex couple, you’ll be on a more even playing field, but don’t expect identical results, says Warner, as everyone’s body is unique.
Get Started with Kettlebells
Copyright© 2013 Rodale Inc. "Fitbie" is a registered trademark of Rodale, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permission of Rodale, Inc.