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

Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

A couple's workout is a fun and romantic idea that can add some flair to your usual workout routine. You get to spend more time with your loved one while boosting endorphins and working toward your health goals. However, couple's workouts don't suit everyone all the time.

Consider all the pros and cons of working out together before setting up an exercise program, then find a program that benefits both of you. If you and your partner have different interests, schedules, or fitness levels, consider making certain adjustments before you begin. Here are tips on how to make the most of couples' workouts.

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.

Each of you likely came into the relationship with a different exercise history, different interests, and varied abilities. The couple's workout that makes you feel challenged and energized may make your partner feel defeated and overwhelmed. The activity that they enjoy might leave you bored.

Pros
  • Encouragement and motivation

  • Accountability

  • Together time

Cons
  • Power imbalance

  • Too much time together

  • Scheduling conflicts

Pros

There are many upsides to working out with your partner. You can keep each other motivated and accountable while spending quality time together.

Encouragement and Motivation

Your partner may be the best motivator to get off the couch and exercise, especially when the workouts are completed together. Research has found that couples who had a sense that they were "in this together" could encourage each other more effectively to exercise daily. 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 significant other, that won't happen. Your sweetie will hold you accountable. Your partner can also provide helpful reminders about upcoming workouts, keeping you on task.

On the flip side, if you are feeling overtrained or unwell, your partner may be able to alleviate any potential guilt by being a voice of reason. Instead, you could take a rest day and get active by walking or doing some less intense activity than your typical training session may entail.

Together Time

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

Many people have busy lives and balancing work, meals, chores, errands, caregiving, workouts, and time with your other half can be challenging. Combining some of your together time while working out might make these commitments more manageable.

Cons

Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you may wish to consider the downsides of a couple's workout plan.

Power Imbalance

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

Depending on each of your personalities, this may cause some feelings of inadequacy or create conflict. Remember to be patient and kind, but also that some people work better on their own when they are at different levels.

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 be a better partner, don't give them up on exercising together. Or consider doing a couple's 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. Consider the logistics, not just the romance, before investing in a couples workout program.

For instance, one of you may be more of a morning person while the other may prefer evening workouts. Or you may have children and working out separately is the only way you can balance parenting and your fitness goals.

Couple Workout Ideas

Couple's workouts will be easier to find if you and your partner are at the same (or similar) fitness level. 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. Consider some of these options.

Playground Circuit Workout

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

For example, your partner might sprint through shuttle runs for 60 seconds during the first interval. 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 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 hardcore 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 assistance 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. A wide range of designs can help you feel safe and strong while riding 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, try taking 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 workday.

Or motivate each other through a 30-Day Squat Challenge that you schedule to complete before dinner each evening. Or consider a 5-minute workout at lunch each day.

Workout Cruise or Resort Vacation

Consider going on a vacation that helps you relax and recharge while staying healthy and active. There are some cruises available that cater to active couples. 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. And there are also sport-specific active vacations such as running camps, biking excursions, or multisport vacations that help you stay active while you see the sights.

A Word From Verywell

There are certainly many good reasons to work out with your partner. You can motivate each other and help each other learn more about fitness. It's a great way to bond, and spend time together, while also pursuing a balanced, active life. Keep in mind that some couples may find it more challenging to work out together. Experiment to see what suits your relationship and goals.

2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sackett-Fox K, Gere J, Updegraff JA. Better together: The impact of exercising with a romantic partner. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2021;38(11):3078-3096. doi:10.1177%2F02654075211012086

  2. Perry B, Ciciurkaite G, Brady CF, Garcia J. Partner influence in diet and exercise behaviors: testing behavior modeling, social control, and normative body size. van Wouwe JP, ed. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(12):e0169193. doi:10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0169193

By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.