There's always the saying: 'The couple who train together, stay together' but is this really the case? And should you even be training with your partner?
First things first..
Determine what your individual goals are, and what approach you want to use in order to achieve them. This is the easiest way to determine if you should be training with your partner. Why? It's simple, if one person wants to be a bodybuilder and the other needs to lose weight, you may need to alter what you're training to fit those goals. Would a heavy chest day be beneficial for someone who's aiming to burn as much calories as possible during their gym session? Not in my opinion.
Next, do you enjoy training with each other? Personally, I like the being in the gym and having my own time and space listening to music, and being in my own zone. Not to say it's not good to train with someone, but sometimes you want space to focus on what you need to do. Training with your partner can sometimes be fine, but what if you have an argument? Do you both not go to the gym then? There needs to be some sort of flexibility.
Too intense or too easy?
Confidence levels and experience plays a big part of what you train and how you train, and you both people may be on completely different levels! It can be intimidating working out with someone who's way more advanced with their training than you are, regardless if it's your partner. Some couples will be fine and be able to use their partners experience and gain confidence from that, but if someone prefers to do their own thing, then that's probably going to give that person psychologically a better workout.
What's the persons ability? If you've been training 8 years and your partner is fairly new to training, is making them do advanced exercises which takes ages to perfect with yourself a smart move? Teaching them or not, some things need to be learnt and improved gradually to increase someone's ability, and if you're not used to training individuals, it can actually be very frustrating as you find it so easy to understand and perform. It can test patience and cause unnecessary friction and therefore you'll lose focus and the other persons confidence will only get worse. Take this into account before choosing to train together!
This brings me on to a common occurrence I see. So you're probably thinking, what is a bodyguard boyfriend? This term can be used for girlfriends too, but often with boys. This is when someone trains with their partner, simply because they don't want them to train by themselves due to attention they'll revive from other gym users. You'll see that person who's doing a bum workout when everyone is doing back day, simply to keep an eye on his partner. Now is this a bad thing? In my opinion it isn't bad and I do understand it, however, it's obviously showing that persons focus is elsewhere whilst in the gym. Their focus should be on what outcome they want from their workout on what they want to work. Not to focus on scaring off gym members looking at their partner...
It's inevitable, people will look and you can't stop it, so it's probably best to hop off the adductor machine and carry on with the workout you genuinely want to do. Also I've seen many females training with their boyfriends, looking extremely bored and frustrated in the fact they're doing Arnold Schwarzenegger's leg day madness, when they just want to do the Instagram workout they saw that day. Allow each other to do what they want, don't make anyone train with you because of others, and in the long run, focus will continue to decrease and will only go downhill.
On the other-hand...
Some couples have the same goals and train the same, with similar weights and same exercises and it works out great! And if that's the case, good one you both! It's always great to see couples smashing a workout and getting motivation from each other. Just because you may be same or different genders, you don't always have to train different! There's no two ways a male or female should train, this again depends on goals and ability. Plus, a couple could have completely different goals, but still train together, this could be by changing the sets or reps, or even the training system and you can both still train and help aim towards your individual goals!
Take into account your individual goals, if they require different styles of training, or if they are compatible. Know if you'll keep focus whilst training together to enable a productive training session, if you're on completely different levels, either take time to teach and learn to help each other out, if it's taking too much time and making someone lose focus, maybe it's best to train apart. Don't make your partner train with you because of your insecurity of others around you looking or talking to them, if a line is crossed then great, but it's going to happen so trust your partner to crack on, focus, and give them the right message if approached. If you can train together great! Have fun, set goals, push each other and motivate each other so you both become fitter, healthier and reach your goals!
All articles are written by Luke Teuma, Founder of Lean With Luke.