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Thread: Working Out with my Boyfriend - advice?

  1. #1
    Gold Member brienoch's Avatar
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    Working Out with my Boyfriend - advice?

    Hi all. I am a 29/F and my boyfriend is a 30/M.

    Background: We have been together for a year now. I started working out maybe one year before I met him. I started with the old school Insanity DVDs, then I got a subscription to BeachBody on Demand and graduated to Insanity Max 30. I got GREAT results with these programs (I was very lean). I was also eating less. Once I completed Insanity Max 30, I wanted to start putting on more muscle.

    My boyfriend likes bodybuilding. His idol is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He did not do much cardio or HIIT (if any) and didn't really need to. He also eats giant meals and requires a lot of carbs. He LOVES to cook. He used to work out at the gym and we used to live separately.

    When COVID-19 hit, the gyms closed and a lot changed. While we still lived separately, I got some free weights right about when the pandemic started and I started some weightlifting programs on BeachBody (The Prep & The Work), which he did with me since the gyms are closed. Somewhere in the middle, we moved in together. When we finished the programs on BB, we agreed that we did not necessarily like the style of the programs, but we liked the results. Since he has been into weightlifting and was excited that I liked it too, he offered to create a workout calendar for us. I obliged. The program focuses on weightlifting and includes some HIIT, and the workouts take 45-60 minutes, which has been fine for now because we both had relatively open schedules for the summer. I've definitely made some muscle gains, but I gained a lot of belly weight back and lost my visible abs I got doing Insanity. I have enjoyed working out with him, and he gives great advice on form and everything, but we do not track our progress and we do the same workouts every week without upping the reps or anything. I feel like I've plateaued and I am unhappy with my belly compared to what I used to have. We do almost no cardio and the HIIT exercises he has are really just weightlifting moves that we do on a circuit instead of by reps.

    The problem: I've been wanting to change my diet (he cooks all the meals lately) and my workouts. I want to do more cardio and/or high intensity workouts as well as weightlifting. I do not want to JUST do weightlifting. My endurance has gone way down. Whenever I talk about possibly doing my own thing, he seems to get a little upset, although he tries to make it seem like he is only joking. I love my boyfriend, and this is the best relationship I've ever had. I've never felt more loved and supported. I feel like this is a silly issue to have, but I don't want my diet and fitness journey to be controlled by someone else. I want to be able to change up my workouts if I want to, change up my diet, experiment with things, etc. without someone having their feelings hurt or trying to tell me what is right and wrong. I know it is not his intention to control my workouts and diet, and I know he gets pride from basically having someone to train who has made visible progress and who listens to the advice he gives. But if I speak up about my own fitness ideas or anything, he sort of just dismisses me. When I told him I wanted to eat smaller portions, less carbs, and do some more cardio to make my abs visible again he just says things like "I don't want an 'Instagram' body" and that he thinks my body is super sexy the way it is and he's the only person I need to worry about being sexy to [this is also in response to my diet concerns since he cooks our meals lately and we eat a LOT of sugary sweets, and he says he doesn't want an Instagram body because he wants to be able to keep eating those foods. I never said I wanted to go on a strict diet]. But I told him I am not happy with my own body and I need to feel sexy to myself and not just him. I also don't want an 'Instagram body' -- I just want the body I had last summer with more muscle (lol). I feel like in a roundabout way, by saying those things, he is kind of trying to discourage me from achieving my own fitness goals and instead to just adopt his. I could be totally overthinking this and I do feel like this is a stupid problem to have, since everything else in our relationship is wonderful.

    I kind of want to start a hybrid workout calendar with two BeachBody programs but I also feel a little stunted here, like if I do so, he will be butthurt that I no longer want to do his program. I mentioned the program to him today and he just kind of said he was open to it and then went to sleep (he is starting a job today where he works an over night shift).

    Does anyone have advice on how to approach this? This is also the first relationship I've been in where both my partner and I are physically active. What can I do to compromise? Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
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    I think both of you have unhealthy approaches to food and exercise - way over the top, his need to control, your over-investment in specific types of programs ,etc when neither of you is a professional athlete. I would suggest that you each do your own thing -including in meal prep especially since you don't have kids and that you'll figure out a way to go for a run together or a brisk walk outside a few times a week -or a bike ride, etc. I think you two are feeding off each other in an unhealthy way

  3. #3
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm not seeing how you each can't do your own thing. A few years ago, my wife and I invested in basic equipment for a home gym. I primarily just do free weights with the bar and dumbbells. She does her own weight lifting and then typically yoga. Not a big deal. The only time I've ever said anything is if her form was off to the extent she could hurt herself. But at the end of the day, her body, her goals.

    If you're convinced his intention isn't to control your exercise or diet, then you turn the situation into that which it would be obvious to both you and him that is what he'd be doing. Eat your smaller potions and do the workout you'd like to do. It'd be nice if you two had the exact same ideas and could effectively work out together, but if you don't, you don't. Plenty of other ways to bond. Let him know you respect his style but you're going after your own. Don't make it an argument or a debate. For my situation, it probably helps that my wife doesn't bounce niche workout and dietary plans off me, so I never feel compelled to bust out the bro science. If that's how you feel it's gone down, maybe just stick to implementing the ideas you like rather than making a discussion of them.

    Sometimes less is more when it comes to communicating or seeking approval over these kinds of things.

  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    Yeah I'm not seeing how you each can't do your own thing. A few years ago, my wife and I invested in basic equipment for a home gym. I primarily just do free weights with the bar and dumbbells. She does her own weight lifting and then typically yoga. Not a big deal. The only time I've ever said anything is if her form was off to the extent she could hurt herself. But at the end of the day, her body, her goals.

    If you're convinced his intention isn't to control your exercise or diet, then you turn the situation into that which it would be obvious to both you and him that is what he'd be doing. Eat your smaller potions and do the workout you'd like to do. It'd be nice if you two had the exact same ideas and could effectively work out together, but if you don't, you don't. Plenty of other ways to bond. Let him know you respect his style but you're going after your own. Don't make it an argument or a debate. For my situation, it probably helps that my wife doesn't bounce niche workout and dietary plans off me, so I never feel compelled to bust out the bro science. If that's how you feel it's gone down, maybe just stick to implementing the ideas you like rather than making a discussion of them.

    Sometimes less is more when it comes to communicating or seeking approval over these kinds of things.
    I agree with one minor exception -I think it is bonding when the couple are into exercise/fitness even if they do totally different things -it's a common value, a common love of moving your body, challenging yourself, etc.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I don't see why it's even open for debate, unless you allow it
    Thank him for his input and then do your own thing. You don't need his permission or approval. . Period.
    If he gets 'butt hurt' as you put it. Let him work through it on his own
    You aren't responsible for his feelings. Not where this is concerned.
    Stay upbeat, carry on, eat what you want even if he's cooking it and don't get roped into debating how you want to handle your own health.
    If you were doing something dangerous or bad for your health that would be different.
    Diets and workouts vary from person to person. There isn't a one size fits all. You know what's best for you. Don't second guess that.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, you got sucked in to "I just want to show you some things" trap lol..
    Just tell him you love him, suggest some fun physical things you can do together that aren't your workout routine, and explain to him that you will be doing your own plan from now on. You are totally different body types, have different goals, and have different nutritional needs. Don't feel bad! You aren't committing a crime, I promise:)
    Full disclosure, my SO and I tried working out together when we first got together. Both physically active, but very different styles and motivations. He was keen to try so we could "teach each other", I was not as I've done that dance before. I get weirdly competitive, and he got a glimpse of it. It's perfect with each of us doing our own thing and just sticking to the fun casual activities together.

    I just want to mention too, Beach Body is a mlm. I'm glad you got Kickstarted into finding a passion for fitness, but google it. There's lots of great stuff out there for you to explore that isn't an mlm and isn't your bf's plan, and I hope you explore it!

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    You may be undercutting yourself when you're bringing the topic up. Speak about it seriously and take yourself more seriously when you're discussing what your goals are. Don't dismiss each other. Avoid words like "butthurt" or any other accusatory or anxious talk. I think you need to be a bit more confident and assertive when it comes to your health and what you prefer. Open up the discussion that way and take an interest in his programs also.

    Both of you seem very vested in these activities but you've stopped treating each other or respecting each other as individuals. He may believe he's helping you but you should speak up for yourself.

    If it means that you both work out at different times of the day or aren't in sync all the time that's fine. See whether you can also keep some of the same elements so that you can share some parts of a certain program and still do that together. I think he is trying to connect and bond with you but he's not realizing he's stifling you. Continue to bond but start working on your goals also.

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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    You may be undercutting yourself when you're bringing the topic up. Speak about it seriously and take yourself more seriously when you're discussing what your goals are. Don't dismiss each other. Avoid words like "butthurt" or any other accusatory or anxious talk. I think you need to be a bit more confident and assertive when it comes to your health and what you prefer. Open up the discussion that way and take an interest in his programs also.

    Both of you seem very vested in these activities but you've stopped treating each other or respecting each other as individuals. He may believe he's helping you but you should speak up for yourself.

    If it means that you both work out at different times of the day or aren't in sync all the time that's fine. See whether you can also keep some of the same elements so that you can share some parts of a certain program and still do that together. I think he is trying to connect and bond with you but he's not realizing he's stifling you. Continue to bond but start working on your goals also.
    I completely agree.
    And yes Beachbody is an MLM and I've been contacted by several people who won't take no for an answer so I just shut them down. It's kind of creepy because these are otherwise nice people and this program triggers this heavy handed pressure filled sales approach so who knows what their sales meetings are like.
    Basic stuff works wonders. Cardio can be running or power walking -I love the Leslie Sansome walk from home DVDs/app with exercise band. It's just DVDs if that's all you want - no sales pressure, not an MLM -I do that as a last resort if I cannot get outside - (our fitness room is only partially reopened because of covid otherwise I go there).
    I also agree about the food. You sound like you're over the top and doing things for reasons other than health and fitness.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    If you don't want to look like or weigh as much as Arnold Schwarzenegger, devise your own workout and nutrition plan. Why do you need a BF to tell you what to do and how to eat?

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I would enjoy working out with BF whenever I WANT to, but I'd diverge into my own core and cardio stuff whenever I WANT to.

    I'd also design my own diet the way I WANT to.

    Our own body needs needn't be a democracy in order to bond in other times or ways with a lover.

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