Should You Work Out as a Couple?

Couples Workout Ideas, Tips, and Recommendations

should you do a couples workout?
Michael Blann/ Digital Vision/ Getty Images

A couples workout sounds like a fun and romantic idea. After all, who wouldn't want to spend a little extra time with their loved one? But many times exercising together just doesn't work.

If you and your partner have different interests, schedules, or fitness levels, consider making certain adjustments before you begin. Consider all the pros and cons of working out together before you set up an exercise program then find a program that benefits both of you.

Couple Workout Pros and Cons

In a perfect world, you and your sweetie love to do the same activities, work on the same schedule and are perfectly matched in terms of ability. But let's face it, this isn't a perfect world.

It's likely that each of you came into the relationship with a different exercise history, different interests, and varied abilities. The couples workout that makes you feel challenged and energized may make your partner feel defeated and overwhelmed. The workout that he or she enjoys might leave you bored.

Pros

  • Encouragement and motivation

  • Accountability

  • Together time

Cons

  • Power imbalance

  • Too much time together

  • Scheduling conflicts

Pros

Encouragement and Motivation

Your spouse may be the best motivator to get off the couch and exercise, especially when the workout will be completed together. One recent study found that couples who had a sense that they were "in this together" were able to encourage each other more effectively to exercise on a daily basis. In addition, the couple's shared beliefs about exercise influenced the amount of effort they put into sticking to a program. 

Accountability

It's easy to skip a workout if no one knows that you skipped it. But if you exercise with your spouse, that won't happen. Your sweetie will hold you accountable. Your wife or husband can also provide helpful reminders about upcoming workouts and even help you with daily chores if necessary to make the workout happen.

Together Time

If you feel like you don't get enough alone time with your spouse, a couples workout may be the perfect solution. Exercise is a form of intimacy, so a quick jog together or weight loss cycling session may help you to feel more connected—even if the workout is a short one.

Cons

Power Imbalance

If one partner is fit and the other is not, a couple's workout may not be a good idea. One partner may feel inadequate, especially if the fitter spouse takes on an uninvited or harsh coaching role during the workouts.

Too Much Time Together

Many people use their workout as their much-needed time alone. If your workouts are your only chance to get away and if you find that your independent workouts help you to be a better partner, then don't give them up to exercise together. Or consider doing a couples workout just once or twice per week.

Scheduling Conflicts

Finding time to exercise can be much more difficult when there are two schedules to consider. For some couples, this may mean that workouts don't get completed—which isn't healthy for anyone. Be sure to consider the logistics, not just the romance, before you invest in a couples workout program.

Couple Workout Ideas

If you and your partner are at the same (or similar) fitness level, couple workouts will be easier to find. Partner yoga classes, for example, are available in many cities around the country. Bootcamp classes, boxing workouts, and other workouts that include bodyweight exercises often offer opportunities for partner-based activities.

But what if you are an avid exerciser and your partner is sedentary? Or what if you prefer easy exercise and your spouse is a hard-core athlete? There are couple workouts for you as well. Consider some of these options.

Playground Circuit Workout

This do-it-yourself exercise option is perfect for couples who live in a neighborhood with a park nearby. Bring a stopwatch (or your smartphone) and take turns timing each other while you do activities that are appropriate for your fitness level.

For example, during the first interval, your partner might sprint through shuttle runs for 60 seconds. Then during your interval, you might engage in a brisk walk. On the second interval, your partner might do full push-ups and you might do modified push-ups during your interval.

Weight Training

Endurance or cardiovascular activities can be difficult for couples to do together if both parties aren't equally fit. But strength training is different. Either buy a few dumbbells for your home gym or head to the weight room at your local health club. Participate in a total body strength workout using weights that are appropriate for your fitness level. While you might not be able to spot each other, you can offer each other form tips and motivation.

Cycling With an E-bike

Getting outside for a bike ride is a great way to spend time together as a couple. But if one of you is a hard core rider and the other prefers a leisurely pace, it might be hard to pedal side by side. An investment in an e-bike can even the playing field.

Companies like Trek bikes are making beautiful, smartly designed electric bikes that offer pedal-assist technology so that you get just enough power to boost your speed or endurance, but not so much that your workout is easy. You choose the amount of assist that you need. And the best part is that your bike can look just as sleek and stealthy as your partner's. The beautiful Domane+ by Trek makes you look and feel like a serious road cyclist even if you are new to the sport. Not a fan of a road bike? A wide range of designs can help you to feel safe and strong while you ride with your partner.

Home Couple Mini-Workouts

If both of you are busy and can't find time to get away to the gym or go out for a ride, why not take 5 to 15 minutes each day to bond with physical activity? Lay out side by side yoga mats and spend quality time stretching together before you start your work day. Or motivate each other through a 30-Day Squat Challenge that you schedule to complete before dinner each evening. Got less time but more energy? Try a 5-minute workout at lunch each day.

Workout Cruise or Resort Vacation

Ready for a romantic getaway? Consider going on a vacation that helps you to relax and recharge while staying healthy and active.

WOD on the Waves is a private fitness cruise that accommodates fitness enthusiasts of all levels. This luxury cruise to the Bahamas sets sail in January 2019 and allows you to work out with fitness celebrities, coaches, and pros. CrossFit enthusiasts will enjoy targeted sessions with Chyna Cho, Rich Froning, and other well-known athletes. Not a CrossFit junkie? No problem. There are workouts designed for you as well and there are plenty of activities that are not fitness-related.

If you prefer to stay on land, consider visiting a fitness or weight loss resort. Many destinations in the United States and abroad provide programs that include workouts, wellness lectures, and cooking classes to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.

A Word From Verywell

There are certainly many good reasons to work out with your husband or wife. In fact, a recent lifestyle survey found that 85 percent couples who work out together say that it improved their relationship. But just because it works for some people, doesn't mean that it will work for you. Consider all the pros and cons before you scrap your independent program for a couples workout.

Was this page helpful?