What if Your Partner Doesn’t Want You to Do Strength Training?


Image credit: jamesgrape
I wrote an article for Leo from zen habits a while back called How to Build Muscle and Lose Fat. Reader Deanowe posted this comment:

Lose fat, gain muscle = me going to the gym and losing the wife…

I feel pity for Deanowe if that’s how his relationship works. But I know what he means. Every girl I meet tries to pull me away from strength training. Here are some remarks I get & how I deal with them.


I Don’t Like Muscles.
From my experience and contrary to what many men believe, 8 out of 10 women don’t like muscles.

  • It’s New to Them. Most people don’t exercise. Being with a muscular man is a first timer for a lot of women.
  • It Makes Them Insecure. One girl told me once: “How am I going to look at the beach lying beside somebody with a body like you?”
  • It Makes Them Jealous. Some women also believe you’re more attractive to other women if you’re muscular.

Solution: women want an attractive personality in the first place. If they get an attractive body too, that’s like winning the lottery “” once they get used to it. Workout for yourself not for women, it doesn’t matter anyway.


You’ll Hurt Yourself One Day.
If I get this one too much, I’ll fake injuries just for fun. Weight lifting is safe. Not exercising because you could injure yourself is lame. I love this reply “” if it’s genuine “” as it shows they care for you.

Solution: ignore or joke about it. Don’t lose time proving anything.


Can’t You Exercise Tomorrow?
Bad. You break the exercise habit & accustom people to skip workouts for reason X. Do it once, and you’ll get plenty of more reasons to skip workouts in the future, “but you did it last time!

Solution: men need time for their women, friends, and themselves. If you’re not “allowed” to spend 1h30/week doing StrongLifts 5×5, find somebody else. Nothing is worse than having no freedom to do what you need to be happy.


Stay Home: We’ll Exercise Together.
A classic. Follow your Johnson & you’ll end up watching TV. Guaranteed.

Solution: workout as planned. If you’re like me, you’ll have energy left for some post strength training cardio at home.