THE COUPLE THAT EXERCISES TOGETHER STAYS (FIT) TOGETHER.
A busy life has its dilemmas. You and your partner want to stay in shape, but gym time usually means precious hours spent apart. Still, the sparks might fizzle if either half of a twosome gets out of shape – and just having Alopecia challenges is no excuse to avoid going to a health club.
The solution is to work out together. On the face of it, a guy-girl workout might seem impossible. Strength differences can be significant, which suggests the same exercises cannot accommodate both people. Can different goals be reached in a single workout?
Yes they can – with a strategy. Men historically aspire to wide shoulders, powerful arms and monster legs; women want to keep their weight in check and get toned, “cocktail” arms (ala Michelle Obama) and a firm butt. Fortunately, the means to achieve both can be accomplished on the same equipment.
Following are five approaches that can make gym time productive for both him and her – regardless of which one is stronger.
Five approaches to tandem exercise for couples
- Equalize strength differences. With a twisted towel between them, the guy grasps with one hand and the girl with both to play tug-of-war. This levels the playing field between two people of differing body weight and strength levels, working upper body, leg and core muscles all at once.
- Push against each other on the same equipment. With her pressing a barbell from a flat bench, the guy can push the bar down in opposition; both partners benefit from this unusual dynamic.
- Engage the core. Add a ball toss to a core exercise, such as this roman chair. At a brisk rhythmic pace, both partners toss then return it. Set a timer to it and count how many tosses are completed in one minute – repetition and speed make the exercise more productive.
- Restrained run. Both of you pull in the opposite directions, largely working leg muscles. Experiment with bands of varying thicknesses – and have fun making your partner work harder.
- Switch offs. It makes sense in any exercise routine to keep moving – minimize rests in between sets to keep your heart rate up and get more done in less time. A great motivator is when both people alternate between two exercises – here, crunches and bicep curls. Without compromising form, push each other to complete X number of sets on a timer, say, 30 seconds per set. Keep score and make the loser buy lunch.
Note there is no room for an iPod when two people work out together – this exercise takes concentration and communication. There is time for music later.