Want to Work Out With Your Partner? Here Are Some Tips to Get Healthier Together.
Getting fit together isn’t always easy. Trainer Austin Malleolo shares his tips on how to partner up and have fun doing it.
Working out with your partner usually starts off as a great idea: find time to spend with each other to work toward a common goal, make each other better and have fun while doing it. Then reality sets in, and the time comes to do the work…
You might have the kind of partner that will allow you to do whatever, whenever and however you want when it comes to working out together. If that is the case, many will envy you. Most of us will struggle to even get on the same schedules, so figure out a workout that you can do if not together, at the same time. But beware of the ultimate tension point: giving any type of feedback on the workout or how you can be doing “better” is bumpy territory, and not much good comes from this… So, when “You + Me = Fitness” is not so easy, here are some tips and tricks to make it happen.
Communication is Key
Like many things in a relationship, communication is the cornerstone to success. Make sure to have an open dialogue about your goals and what you want to achieve and why. This might mean you need to start with a simple goal-setting drill for yourself and partner, then share with one another. Be sure NOT to give feedback on someone’s goals. Goals can be very personal and leave people feeling vulnerable, so be sure to respect that. But, having some guidance is helpful. So start here.
Understand that a goal is a specifically desired end state with the purpose of providing motivation to inspire you when you need it and to give you direction when you have lost your way.
• Goals should be written expressing the desired adaptation (i.e., in the positive).
• Keep them short and to the point, so they are easy to reference later on!
• Balance is the key, the goal should be achievable, but not too far out of reach, and the timeframe you put on it can make your break you when it comes to motivation! Think baby steps as mini goals that will lead to a bigger more audacious goal!
Once you have your goals finalized, you both now have direction and a purpose to your workouts! And, perhaps more importantly, you also know more about each other, which can allow for more empathy when your partner is struggling.
Scheduling and Workout Planning
The next step is to set a schedule and then program your workouts to fit into that framework. It will be hard to find time to make a workout happen daily, so even if it is three days a week to start, the most important thing is that you’ve started. When you set a time of day and duration of your workout, make sure the entire session is completed: from set up, warm up, workout, and cool down to stretching.
Picking a workout can be the make or break variable in your paired session. Here are some “rules”, but like all rules, they are made to be broken. Be sure to adhere to them a few times before you start breaking them!
1. Do not start out with a partner workout, start by workout out next to each other, so your workouts are not dependent on the others performance. (Partner workouts are also harder to come up with.)
2. Make the workouts time based, so you start and finish at the same time, this will make it more fun and allow you to feel like you both are staying with each other, which is important in the beginning to feel good about your performances.
3. This will be a good progression into doing partner workouts eventually where you can have stations and switch back and forth. Allowing for limited gear needs and to not worry about how fast or how many reps your partner is getting.
An Example of an Effective Partner Workout*:
1:00Min of work at each station
*Partner 1 starts on the bike, partner 2 starts on the Push Ups
Best advice: don’t give any feedback. Do not try to coach or give tips after the fact. Just be supportive and be there for your partner as a pillar of consistency for them. If they ask, then give them what they are asking for. Remember you are not their coach; you are their peer.
Working out with your partner is an opportunity to have some fun, work toward your goals and spend time with each other. Don’t feel pressure to lace up or hit those box jumps together every day – it’s okay to skip quality workout time together once in a while. Instead of making the goal all about working out together, make it about being fun, healthy, and doing something that pushes you toward improving your quality of life…together.