Tips for Working with Your Significant Other in the Fitness Space

Partnering with your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend on a fitness business doesn't have to be a pain

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Mission Lean Co-Founders and Engaged Couple Jon Pearlman and Lyuda Bouzinova

Working together with your significant other or spouse can be an intense undertaking. Lots of negative, stressful situations come up that you need to navigate through while keeping your romantic relationship intact. Amazing successes come your way as well that you can celebrate and bond over in a way that people who don’t work together can’t.

Because you are both in the health and fitness industry as well as business partners, it’s important that you’re on the same page about your priorities. For example, if you’re going for a run while your partner is responding to emails, no one should be upset and you should both feel supported regarding the activities you want to focus on. Usually, health and business goals don’t go hand in hand, which is why being aligned is particularly important in the health & fitness industry.

Growing your fitness business requires building partnerships, increasing sales, and expanding your audience, which usually take work done at a desk or on the phone. On the other hand, your fitness business depends on your actually being fit, so it’s important to balance staying in shape while working.

Here are some tips for working with your significant other in the fitness space:

  1. Support each other’s fitness goals. If you are a health and fitness coach for others, you want to live what you preach 100%. Of course, sometimes life gets in the way and you may not be able to cook every meal or work out exactly how you want to. That’s where a partnership comes in. For example, if one person is going to have a very busy and hectic week, then the other person should help out a little more with the cooking so that the busier one can continue to eat healthfully and not be forced to get takeout.

  2. Push them to be better. If your partner asks, train them! You are uniquely equipped to get them to reach their fitness goals because you know their abilities, motivational “buttons”, and goals. When Jon (Mission Lean’s co-founder and my fiancé) trains me, he knows the exact limit to push me so I’m working out incredibly hard but not risking injury.

  3. Only help out your partner regarding their fitness & diet needs if they ask. Piggying-back off of #2 – do not give unsolicited advice. Especially when you are both professionals. Get involved only when the other person asks you for help. Pushing your rules or expectations on them will only cause discord and resentment.

  4. Prioritize your relationship over client appointments and business meetings. If you have a client during the time that you would otherwise have dinner with your spouse every night, then they’re going to start getting resentful. Try to schedule a time every day that isn’t allowed to be booked up by anything business-related so that you can just be together and relax.

  5. Make sure you’re both okay with who you are training. For example, I only train women. I believe my skill set is better for training the female body, but it’s also a boundary in our relationship. The relationship a trainer develops with his or her client is usually very personal, so you should have a say in who your significant other spends intimate time with.

  6. Try to have matching schedules. Waking up, going to sleep, and having meals at the same time makes it easier to spend time together and get along better. Schedule individual clients and business meetings around those set times. Of course, doing so isn’t possible all the time, but the more you can, the happier you’ll be with the relationship.

  7. Celebrate your successes in a healthy way. There are some really fun and rewarding aspects to being in business together that only you can share with each other. Always commemorate successes individually and together as a company. Every time Jon and I reach a new milestone we do something special to commemorate the event. It’s great to acknowledge the wins because there are so many setbacks. All of our celebrations, however, have a healthy theme. For example, if we eat out, we enjoy a healthy meal, or we will go on a trip together where we can both be active.

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