Get Your Partner To Train With You
Turn your guy into the ultimate exercise buddy – no matter how different your fitness mentalities may be.
You love you to workout out he hasn’t broken a sweat since high school
Your best plan of attack: motivation.
“Men are goal-orientated,” says psychologist Dr Eleanor Cole, “So set up rewards for meeting small goals.” (Kind of like when you bought yourself that gorgeous but expensive handbag.) It takes about five weeks–or,say, 15 trips to the gym – for exercise to become a habit. Get him addicted by offering a small incentive after every four workouts, like tickets to a rugby game, or promise to braai all weekend. After he makes it to week five, cement his habit with a new pair of sunnies. If the gym isn’t his thing, look for a sport you can play together and join a club so you have a set play date. If you’re getting him to work out, don’t choose something you’re really good at. For example, if you play tennis Serena-style, he may start to lose motivation when he can’t even return your serves.
You want to tone up he wants to bulk up
To get lean and strong with weights, “choose exercises specific to each muscle group, concentrate on the muscle you are working and use good technique,” says exercise scientist Dr Jill Borresen, clinical wellness manager at Discovery Vitality.
So join your man on days he’s doing the following exercises: squats, leg extensions and leg curls for the lower body; chest presses, flies, lat pull-downs and rows for the chest and back. To tone up and kill kilojoules, do one to three sets of 12 to 15 reps, using enough weight so that your muscles are fatigued (but not completely spent) when you get to the last rep. To build mass, he should do three to five sets of eight to 10 reps, using enough weight so that by the end of the last set, he can’t do one more rep. Sick of standing around, waiting for your turn on the machine? Finish your session with time-saving, kilojoule-busting tandem moves like the three on these pages.
You play to win he plays to annihilate
Okay, so you’re both cut-throat maniacs. No worries. In a 2002 study, researchers at Penn State University found that when women anticipate competition they get a surge of testosterone, which boosts the libido. You do the maths. Use this to your advantage by choosing a workout strategy that plays off your it-doesn’t-matter how-much-I-love-you-I’m-going-to-kick your-sweet-ass nature – without killing each other in the process. If you’re all about the weights, keep his Schwarzenegger-size ego in check with this trick: figure out what percentage of your respective bodyweight each of you is hoisting. Divide the number of kilos you’re lifting relative to your bodyweight and sets of 20 to 30 reps, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets. Voilà: the playing field will suddenly be level. If you’re more about cardio, run or cycle together three times a week. On day one, he chooses the route. On day two, you devise the workout plan. And on day three,play“Simon Says”: do intervals, alternating who gets to set the time, distance and style (here’s your chance to see him make a fool of himself skipping or high-kneeing to the next street light).