While Instagram might tell another story - think photos of buff, young, couples in skimpy gym wear - working out in tandem with your partner won't make or break your relationship. Here are three reasons why it's totally cool to fly solo at the gym.
1. You're not on the same (training) page.
You love pilates. He thrives on CrossFit. He cycles. You'd rather crash a bike into a wall than get anywhere near a spin class. Whatever the scenario, different people gravitate toward different types of exercise - three cheers for having lots of options! While it's great to try something new once in a while, there's no need to force an activity for the sake of spending time together. I think of it this way: I wouldn't drop in on my husband's guitar lesson or tag along on a golf outing, so why would I drag him to yoga or into the weight room? Do your own thing, and commit to teaming up for more relaxed physical activity, like playing at the park with the kids or taking an after-dinner stroll.
2. Your training should be all about YOU.
I savor the pump of a good workout session as much as the deliciousness of being alone. It's my time to be ME - the gym rat, the leg day enthusiast, the aspiring yogi - and devote my full focus to my physical self. My other roles are on hold for the moment (unless there's an emergency).
Inviting your partner into the space of precious "you time" can threaten the sanctity of those moments. Conversation between sets turns toward household issues - someone's homework, what's for dinner, who let the dog out - and away from the task at hand. I've seen it time and time again while training couples. You multitask all day - take off your other "hats" at the gym door and enjoy yourself.
3. Feel, feel, feel, feel the beat.
A proper playlist is a workout essential. It's the one aspect of a gym's ambiance over which you have control, pending you have headphones. Otherwise, you might be subjected to soft rock and Muzac. Not that there's anything wrong with those genres - they're just not particularly motivating. Working out alone allows you to tune in to your tunes and tune out your surroundings - the perfect kind of distraction to help you push through your sets. Keeping one earbud in while trying to listen with a free ear just isn't the same.
Here's to getting and staying fit YOUR way - with or without a live-in workout buddy.