The gym is rarely a pleasure for most gym-goers, and Dragos and I know this because back when we first started going regularly, I was the one who tried to skip it the most, or maybe even convince him that we should both skip the gym and just have a nap.
Or, when we’d go to the gym, I’d sometimes have zero motivation to do anything other than just walk on the treadmill. So on those days it fell upon my boyfriend to help me shake off the laziness, and start putting in more effort.
What you’ll read here are things that we’ve tried ourselves, and they might just work in your case as well.
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So what can you do if your loved one is lazy at the gym ?
Here’s 7 ideas you could try:
1. Being very honest with yourself about why you want to change this.
As in, is this about your attraction towards them and you’d like them to lose some weight or get into shape, or is it about their health ? Is this a couple’s activity you REALLY want to do together ? Is there another reason ?
Your talk with your spouse will go way better if you already know what your side of the issue is. Whatever conclusion you draw, be sure to fully accept it and think it through, before presenting it to your partner.
2. Having a nice long, serious talk with your spouse about the conclusion you’ve just drawn.
Explain your point and why you think of it this way, and what you’d like to do together. Remember that they are their own person and they might just disagree with you.
It might be an easy talk, or it might not, depending on your relationship. It might lead to some hurt feelings if done wrong, but it’s a necessary talk. Always be gentle but very clear about the issue.
Wouldn’t it be awkward and kind of disturbing if your partner just suddenly started making changes to bring you one way or another, without letting you know that ”hey look, this is a problem for me and I’d like to fix this together” ?
3. Being a good role model.
Your spouse is bound to at least try going to the gym more often, or lifting heavier weights, or doing more cardio, once they see you doing this regularly.
If they see this is very important to you, they’ll come around or at least make an extra effort, just for you.
Be sure to let them know that you appreciate them coming with you to the gym, and you’ll see them put in even more effort. Always remember that your partner is human, too, and needs a bit of encouragement and validation, too.
4. Using gentle encouragement, never nag.
Even when you’d love to throw them off the couch. Just think about how you’d like it if you were lazing about in bed and they suddenly yelled at you to take the trash out. Not very cozy, huh ?
Your partner is no different. And besides, a large part of a relationship is learning that it’s not all about you, and you can’t force someone to do something without some serious consequences.
Kind words are always more pleasant to hear than a nagging voice following you around, and way more potent when trying to bring your loved one around.
Another thing to try here is a bit of negotiation. Ask them to put more effort at the gym tomorrow, and you’ll agree to something of equal value to them, like maybe visiting their parents more often.
5. Having patience, this will take some time.
It is, after all, a habit you’re trying to teach them. So it will need a few weeks of steady practice to make it stick.
Imagine expecting your spouse to put in as much effort as you at the gym, from the very moment you brought the issue to them. If the difference between the two of you is fairly large, then it will take your spouse some time to reach your level.
If you want to have better results with your partner when working out, then you must check out our article on working out as a couple. We wrote that article from our experience as a couple learning to exercise together, so you’ll get some insider tips as well.
Again, always remember that you are both human, and require some time to adjust and change. So give your partner the time they need.
6. Making it fun.
Make part of the workout a game for both of you, or come up with a nice reward to show how much you appreciate the effort they made.
You’ll see how your spouse lights up when pull-ups go from regular, to kisses-once-you’re-at-the-top ! Or a combo of leg press and ab workouts, where you use each other’s body weights.
Lay on your back, raise your legs as you would for a leg press, and have your partner place their hips on your feet, facing you. Hold their hands and help them balance their feet off the ground.
It looks a lot like the ‘airplane’ game parents would play with their children, and you can always see the fun in their eyes.
Positive reinforcement !
7. Make your dates and quality time more active.
Alright, they won’t put much effort into those sit-ups but do they like nature ? Go on hiking dates, even if you’re back home in 2 hours.
Or start even smaller, with a niiiice long walk around town, on foot, just exploring and enjoying each other’s company.
Maybe your next lunch date could be a picnic, in a spot where you have a hour’s worth of uphill trekking to do, but has the most amazing view of that nearby lake your spouse likes.
Mix in some physical activity with your dates, like even just rollerblading or going dancing.
The point is to get your spouse used to sweating and making more physical effort, so that the gym won’t seem like something out of the ordinary.
Now these all work, there’s no doubt about it. But every situation is different, and it’s important to know the WHY so you can know HOW. In other words, you need to understand why you partner is lazy at the gym, so you will know WHAT to do, and HOW to go about it.
Why doesn’t your spouse like the gym so much ?
This is what matters the most, honestly. You need to figure out, and you can even talk to your significant other to figure this out, why they don’t like the gym all that much.
Do keep in mind that they might keep some info from you, possibly because they’d feel embarrassed, or because they think it’s inappropriate to talk about that topic, or whatever reason.
So try and observe them as well, and draw your own conclusions.
Your spouse doesn’t see the need to work out more
It could be that your partner doesn’t feel like they’re not fit enough, maybe their standards are lower than yours. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You need to look at your own standards, like do you keep yourself super-fit and have a flat stomach ? Do you expect your partner to do the same ?
Keep in mind that they might be alright with a little bit of extra belly fat, or they might not see having a strong cardio workout as being sexy. Maybe they like you being super fit, but it might not be their thing.
In that case, it’s just a difference in principles, that you’re going to have to settle between yourselves. Neither of you can force the other to change their core values, without some huge fights coming your way in the following weeks. Remember to talk about it gently.
Working out is not worth your spouse’s time
Maybe your partner’s unmotivated to do more at the gym. They could be having very small results and they might be unhappy about it, but they’re not showing you for whatever reason.
In this case you need to help your sweetheart get those results quicker. Look at what they’re doing, inside the gym and outside, and see what you can do to help them.
Does their diet lack something, or has too much of something ? Are there some extra exercises you can show your partner ? Or do they just need more patience with themselves ?
Or it could be that they don’t feel enough appreciation from you, for the effort they put in. Maybe they need more attention and validation that you, and you’re the one they’re expecting it from.
In this case you need to show your spouse just how much you appreciate their efforts, even if it seems like you’re already showing them. Some people respond more to words, others to hugs, and others are sooo happy if you help them with chores around the house, or something similar.
You spouse might feel intimidated at the gym
This is another thing entirely, and is very very real. I was personally terrified of walking out of the changing room at the gym, and just walking towards the treadmill in that sea of sweaty, grunting people who lifted way more than I could.
But I got over it after a few weeks, when I realized NO ONE looks at you at the gym. Seriously, everyone’s more concerned with their own progress, and looking in the mirror.
This might be something that your partner is going through as well. Feel free to give them my example, and even if they don’t immediately perk up, they’ll keep it in mind.
Another thing might be that your partner has very low self esteem. They might be very self-conscious about some extra lbs, since gym clothes are mostly skin-tight.
Or they might be terribly anxious about leaving the house without makeup, even if it’s just for the gym and they’re going to sweat the makeup off anyway.
Again, this will go away on its own once you help your partner see that no one really cares if their makeup is on, or that they need to lose some weight. Your support is crucial here.
No one looks put together and clean at the gym.
Your spouse might just be a very comfy person
They might actually be put off by the amount of effort the gym requires. You might be enthusiastic about the 30 minutes of intense sweating that treadmill can put you through, but your sweetheart might think you’re slightly insane.
You can’t drag your partner with you to a workout, that’s for sure. And your partner can’t guilt you into staying home with them to watch a movie in stead of going to the gym.
You can try explaining to your loved one why being this comfy could be a problem for them, along with health concerns they might develop in the long run.
But our experience watching other couples go through this is that it rarely ever works. It can sometimes produce good results, but it’s down to how well the two partners can communicate.
The truth is, if this is why your spouse is not very active at the gym, there’s little you can do. Because, this is about principles and it requires a whole other talk between the two of you.
Your spouse might be doing it just for you.
This happens more often than you’d think. Especially if you’ve insisted in the past on how important it it for you that you both look good, and have a more aggressive speech pattern.
Your significant other might be just trying to please you, but going to the gym might be beyond them right now.
It falls on you, then, to discuss this with your partner. If they’re doing it just for you and they’re not doing so great, some resentment might build up in them. Especially if your spouse doesn’t see that you’re appreciating it.
This is very important, and needs to be addressed right away. This is one of the cases where your partner might need more encouragement and appreciation than ever.
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Remember that you are a couple
And that can sometimes mean that you won’t agree on everything. Whether there are differences between you or not, you chose to be together, and you can definitely get through anything as long as you work together.
Some feelings might get hurt, some things might be said that shouldn’t be said. It’s messy and sometimes terrifying. But trusting another person this deeply always comes with its own rewards.
So devise together a plan to be the happiest couple possible, and see where the gym fits into that.
We hope this article was helpful to you, feel free to look around the site, see what other articles you might like.