There’s a famous adage in the fitness world, commonly used by one partner into gaslighting the other into an oft-unwanted workout; ‘couples that train together stay together’. And although couple’s workouts have been around for centuries, thanks to social media [looking at you TikTok], they’re the latest fitness craze in the spotlight. While I personally couldn’t imagine anything worse than having the object of my affections seeing me gasping for air in a sweaty mess on the floor, the phenomenon clearly has its benefits. However it’s perhaps for this very reason that couple’s workouts are so effective in strengthening the bond between romantic partners. After all, if your partner can’t handle you at your exhausted worst, do they really deserve you at your well-rested best?
You don’t have to look much further than the Hemsworths, the Robards, the Beckhams or the Spears to realise that working out as a couple can turn in impressive results. But the real benefits go beyond the physical.
In studies conducted on the subject, it seems that couples that sweat together, really do stay together. Apparently working out together drives romantic attraction - deepening the bond between a duo - thanks to an increased physiologic arousal.
The increased attraction can also likely be explained by a study published in the Journal of Social Sciences1, which suggests that individuals gravitate towards the physical behaviours of those they surround themselves with, cementing their bond in fitness.
And if love isn’t enough to motivate you, working out together will apparently improve your sex life too. New research released this year suggests that couples that trained together frequently were 20 per cent more likely to have regular sex – meaning sex more than once a week.
“If we look more closely at the mental effects that fitness has, we can even see that those who exercise regularly were also more likely to rate their own happiness level a 10 out of 10 than those who don’t exercise. This truly underlines the fact that the positive effects of exercise go far beyond the purely physical aspects many focus on,” says Daniel Sobhani, Freeletics CEO, the business behind the recent survey.
Mental and emotional benefits aside, why exactly do couples who train together see such great results? A 2016 study published in the journal Obesity2 suggests that weight loss is faster when training with a fitter partner. The study goes on to explain that the more time spent with the fitter individual, the more weight that’s lost. Seems like a bit of a one-way street if you’re the fitter half of the partnership, however a great way to those competitive juices flowing.