Don’t waste time trying to train alone, grab your partner and reach your fitness goals in double time
Training in a gym can be pretty isolating with the majority of conversations deriving between mind muscle connection. Solo machines and single benches can infer that the best workouts stem from self-drive and motivation, but studies are proving that may not be the case.
Krish Kataria is a Bikini Bodybuilding athlete and girlfriend Federica Autieri manages Italy’s luxury fashion houses in the heart of London. Forget fitness bunnies and #girlsthatlift, the pair generally keep a low profile and focus on the responsibilities they have for themselves and each other. Together, they reveal what it takes to tackle the ultimate fitness lifestyle.
Begin with support
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found last year that exercise companions increased the amount of exercise we do. This is further increased when the person in question is emotionally supportive and physically responsive. “We train three to four times a week together and for the remaining days we train on our own,” says Krish, “it’s good to train together because you often try to cheat yourself when you’re alone.” By supersetting and partnering up on your workouts, you know when you’ve both finished a set. “If she’s upping her weights I feel like I should too,” she continues.
Learn from each other
Research from the American Heart Association earlier this year suggests that when it comes to physical fitness, the best peer pressure comes from the person you go home with. This emotional support in turn promotes self-efficacy and better self-regulation meaning you will push yourself harder overall. “She teaches me to be more balanced,” says Krish, “I have to hide the peanut butter from myself – it’s tough!” Eating similar meals and learning about your bodies together can increase the likelihood of succeeding together.
Share the same goals, be ambitious
“I work about 50 hours a week and still find time to train six out of seven of those days,” explains Federica. “We love being busy and if I know she’s not happy with herself, her body or her career, then I’m not happy.” When partners share a combined passion such as fitness, it becomes easier to reach those goals and has been proven to boost the quality of your romantic relationship.
“I’m doing an executive MBA in October and Fede’s taking over the world,” continues Krish, “it’s tough but we definitely motivate each other. We just try to be responsible for each other and towards ourselves.”
Be resilient and headstrong
“Last year I did seven competitions and by the time I got to the last one, I was exhausted,” says Krish. After ten shows back to back within 14 months, and only two months rest inbetween, a rest was well overdue. “She had to drag me out of bed and she came with me to the gym at 6am just to keep me company.” Two years later after constant dieting and training sometimes 12 times a week, including 30-60 minutes of cardio a day, it hasn’t been an easy ride for the two.
“I balanced work, training, food prepping and spending time with her and she started spending more time with me at the gym,” she says, “we both motivated each other, and I don’t think it would have worked out for either of us if she didn’t come on board.”
Make it a lifestyle
Whilst Federica tends to follow the three upper and three lower body training split that Krish does, when she’s by herself, she works on her weakest areas: her lower body. “Before I met Krish, I had different priorities and I did a lot of running,” explains Federica, “but now we train together, I have seen so many changes not just my body, but how I feel.”
Make a plan and execute it
There are no rules, but recognition of hangry behaviour is imperative. Looking back on where the fitness journey began, Krish admits her success was a joint win between her and her partner, “I think our relationship grew as part of that prep,” says Krish, “if you can get through something like that to start with, then you can pretty much do anything.”
So while you can succeed on your fitness journey alone, you’re more likely to be efficient if you have the support of a significant other. And who wants to eat a cheat meal alone anyway?