Working Out as a Couple

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Hi, I’m Emily from NewlyWife.com. I’m so thrilled to be sharing today on Carrots ‘n’ Cake — nice to “meet” all of you. Tina and Mal have been an inspiration to me, particularly when it comes to working out as a couple. My husband, Matt, and I will celebrate four years of marriage in July. Even when dating, we have always enjoyed being active together, whether it’s playing Ultimate Frisbee across the country or doing CrossFit at our friend’s home gym. It helps us stay fit and keep our “team of two” going strong.

matt_emily_engagement (504x336)

For our engagement photos we went to a field where we played with a disc and some cleats. We even had regulation size discs as our wedding favors.

Yet, the road to working out together started off a little rocky. Everyone goes into working out with sensitivities and insecurities. In the beginning, our Frisbee practices would be a few hours late at night in the cold a few times a week. After a while, it wasn’t as much fun anymore. My people-pleasing nature would lead me to feel guilty for not wanting to go and that Matt would be disappointed or mad about it. (It sounds silly, but it was true!) My resentment and frustration bottled up until I couldn’t take it anymore. As it turns out, Matt totally understood and just wanted me to be happy. Being on the same page allowed me the freedom to workout on my terms. Since then, we’ve learned some things about what works for us when it comes to staying fit together.

Be clear and honest about your workout goals. What do you want out of doing this activity? What will your time commitment be? Are you willing to change your diet? Being honest with your goals and communicating them to your spouse is the best way to start. It will save you from arguments and hurt feelings down the road.

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Doing a metcon in our garage with double-unders, airsquats, burpees and pushups.

Do things you both enjoy. We obviously both enjoy Ultimate Frisbee and were also really drawn to CrossFit. Yet, while I enjoy hiking for the scenery and camaraderie, he prefers rock climbing or snowboarding. We try to keep our activities balanced and varied to make up for the preferences, or sometimes we just do our own thing which is OK, too.

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Me with my gold medal after my team won the mixed division national championship in Ultimate Frisbee in 2010.

Coach and be coached. It may take a lot of patience, but one of the most fun things is to learn a new skill from your spouse. Matt taught me how to throw a Frisbee and to wakeboard. There were plenty of frustrating moments, but with clear and kind instruction it can be one of the best ways to bond. Practice in these situations has carried over to our relationship, too, and has helped us when things get tough.

home gym crossfit (612x612)

Learning to clean from our CrossFit pro friend in his garage.

Encouragement is key. In your actions, but just as importantly your words, be the best support you can be. It may take some time to know when to challenge and when to compliment. You may even have to give pointers on what helps you most (preferably discussed before the workout!). Overall, be their biggest fan. Days can be long and stressful, isn’t it the best knowing that your partner has your back? You feel like you can tackle the world … or at least get a new push press PR!

Thanks, Tina, for having me over at CNC today!

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18 Comments

  1. My boyfriend isn’t a runner, which I love because that’s sort of “my thing”…but he does love to be active, which means we get to have fun bike rides together and take walks exploring our city! That’s our version of working out together, but we’re also encouraging of the other’s individual workout accomplishments…even though we don’t always understand the ins and outs of the activity!

  2. I think it’s great when your significant other is on board with being healthy! I think couples have such a huge impact on each other’s behavior so it’s important to channel it positively!

    You guys are such a cute couple!

  3. Love this post. My husband and I struggled a bit when we were first together, especially with running. We tried running together but he’s super fast and eventually we realized we’re better if we don’t run together. Now, we plan a route and I start out about 10 min before him. He pushes himself to try and catch me and I push myself not to get caught!

  4. Working out with my husband has been an integral part of our marriage. Between working at our demanding careers, taking care of our 60 acre blueberry farm, and raising our energetic two year old daughter, we often had limited time for “date nights”. So we often use our date nights to hit the gym for a weight lifting session, take walks after dinner, or run races together. Not only do we make our bodies stronger but our bond as a couple grows stronger.

  5. I absolutely love working out with my husband (we are both personal trainers and he is a mentor to me since he’s been in the game way longer than I have). We’re trying to figure out a way that we can train together more…gonna start with once a week! 🙂

  6. Great tips for working out with the hubs! I am trying to get into running, and since my hubby already runs long distances, I feel like I’m slowing him down if we run together. However, he wears a weight vest when we run, so we both get a workout. Then neither of us feels guilty and we are able to enjoy working out together!

  7. My boyfriend is not big into working out and, though I sometimes wish he was, right now I’m ok with him being my “leisurely stroll” buddy instead of my running buddy! Maybe sometime in the future he’ll get on board!

  8. I work out with my hubby almost every day. We’ve lost almost 400 pounds combined and we’re just itching to get another 40-50 lbs off to get to that weight were a lot more activities will open up to use that have weight limits like kayaking (without paying a HUGE upcharge for higher weight capacity), ziplining, stand up paddle board, etc. I think it’ll bring us even closer, which seems impossible! Yay for exercising couples!! 🙂

  9. My husband has never been into typical “exercise” but we just got bikes and have started riding together! It’s a great way to catch up and get in some activity at the end of the day or on a weekend!

  10. Great post! My husband and I have both always been active but we usually worked out by ourselves until 2 years ago when we started running together. We have followed a lot of these tips, especially being honest about our goals. He runs more often than me because that is his main form of cardio. My knee doesn’t like that so we plan on Sundays what days we will run together and then we fill in the other days with our own goals. The only time we struggle is on the weekends because I wake up early and he doesn’t- and it’s hard to match up our schedules 🙂

  11. I try very hard to find things for my fiance and I to do together but I just can’t find something that keeps him interested for long enough. He enjoys working out solo, I’d love to find something more active to do together than walking our Puggle.

  12. GREAT post! I understand the “setting of the terms”. My husband is a Marine, so he likes his workouts very boot-camp style. I am a ballet/jazz dancer~ so hefting up crazy weights or trying to bulk up like he is just didn’t work for me (to be fair, he DID come to ballroom dance classes for me!) but we kept trying….and found that we do love the outdoors, hiking, biking, simple walks and ENCOURAGING each other to keep in shape, no matter how we do it. Now he’s learned to plie and I’ve learned to squat in the none-ballet-way:)

  13. I have always been jealous of couples that run together. I love running, but Im more driven and competitive if I have a running partner. When I started dating my husband we were both in the PC Guatemala and he would run with me, we even did a half marathon together. I thought I had a running buddy for life, but unfortunately my husband had been a competive track star through high school and college and he was burnt out. Also he works long hard physical hours at work so by the time he gets home he doesn’t want to move. We found a comprimise though, on the weekends I will do a longish run, 5-7miles, and he will bike along side me and push me, give me water when its hot, and give me running tips. It works out great and I love having him along side me!

  14. (oops, sorry about that last comment, trying to submit comments via Iphone is not easy!)

    Hah, it’s great how different everyone is!

    There’s no chance of me and my fiance doing exercise together, not that I don’t want to, but she finds herself feeling a bit crap about how much easier I tend to find doing exercise (I’m thinking primarily of running here) or doesn’t like the change in the power balance of our relationship when it comes to learning new gym exercises.

    That being said, we can go hill walking together, go snowboarding together and play the occasional game of badminton. But we’d never consider each other workout partners…

    Either way,
    Enjoy

    George

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