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How to Keep Working Out When You Get Into a Relationship (Every Guy Should Read This)

by Dejan Antic | Follow Dejan on Twitter

Here’s a common question I get in my mailbox …

Dejan, how do you find the time to work out when you get into a relationship?

It looks like this is a big problem for most guys.

They can’t go to the gym often, because their girlfriends will give them hard time.

Been there, done that.

You see, the key to working out while being in a relationship, is to make sure you follow the 4 manly principles.

Fail to stick to these 4 manly principles and you’re going to become a fat slob.

Just like my friend Bob …

From fit to fat: The story of my friend Bob

Bob is a good friend of mine.

We’ve known each other since kindergarten and he’s just one of those rare persons with whom I just click. In elementary and high school, we were best friends. And even though both of us went to different colleges, we still managed to find time to hang out.

So, a few months into college, Bob complained to me that he gained a couple pounds of fat. And since summer was just around the corner, he asked me to teach him, how to gain muscle mass fast.

Next time he came back home for the weekend, I told him everything he needed to know to melt the belly fat away and build up his beach muscles.

I showed him the ropes and off he went.

Over the next few months, Bob did the workout routine I gave him with vigor, and he was able to get into the best shape of his life. He felt like a boss, dressed sharp and I was proud of him.

But when Bob got into a relationship, all his progress went straight down the gutter.

He became a fat slob.

He ditched working out to please his girlfriend. Instead of going to the gym, he stayed at home watching chick flicks and tv shows about gay dancers. In just a few months, he gained 22 pounds of pure fat, lost all sense of tidiness, and I believe that all that fat and laziness made him stupid.

And I kid you not, these were the first words that came out of my mouth, when I first saw him after a couple of months:

“Dude, what the hell happened to you?!?!? What’s with all this fat and s–t??”

This was his reply, word for word:

“Yeah, I know man! I let myself go, but when you’re in love, you lose interest for certain things. I’m spending time with my girl every day so there’s not a lot of time left for training and other stuff. It’s easy for you to do all these things … you’re single!

I couldn’t believe what he was saying.

He sold his balls for pennies on the dollar. And in order not to feel bad about his fuck up, he came up with some stupid excuses that would ease the pain of his emasculation.

And I blew his single people have more free time excuse into oblivion a few months later, when I got into a serious relationship. I was in a relationship and I still had the time to:

  • Workout every day
  • Work on my website (which is a huge time and energy commitment)
  • Meet up with my buddies
  • And most importantly, spend time with my girlfriend.

If you don’t want to become a fat slob like my friend Bob (or if you’re already a fat slob and you want to break out of it), here’s what you need to do.

How to work out when you get in a relationship (The 4 Manly Principles)

Every single successful person I know, found (designed?) a way to make their relationship work for them and not vice versa.

If you’re wondering how you can be in a relationship and still get into the best shape of your life, here’s how I approach things.

Get the right girlfriend

I never liked the idea of going out to clubs to pick up women.

First of all, as an introvert, I get overpowered by the nightclub’s impulses—loud music, flashy lights, big crowd, etc. Second, the chances of me meeting a quality girl in a nightclub, are freaking slim.

I think that going to nightclubs is the dumb way of meeting women. I have to waste a ton of precious time to find a girl who’s worthwhile.

I hate wasting time, and that’s why I like to do things the smart way.

When I was single, I’d always go places where there’d be a high chance of meeting girls who’re into healthy living and exercising. Places like:

  • The gym
  • Yoga class
  • Healthy cooking class
  • CrossFit box
  • Kickboxing (that’s where I met my current girlfriend)

If you want to find a girl who will keep you motivated to workout and diet, then I recommend you check those places out.

But if you’re already in a long-term relationship, fret not. There is a way to make your girlfriend more supportive of your fitness goals.

You just need do this important thing…

Make working out a top priority

A couple of years back I made a solemn promise to myself:

Nothing will stand in the way of me and the gym. I’ll be lifting weights for as long as I live.

Ever since I pledged my allegiance to the Iron, not a single week has gone by without me lifting some steel. It’s my #1 priority.

When I started dating my girlfriend I told her—with my words and actions—that she’ll just have to accept the fact that training is my #1 priority. And because she knows how much strength training means to me, she’s fine with it. I believe that’s one of the main reasons, why we have such a great thing together.

And even if you’ve been in a serious relationship for a long time, it’s never too late to change your priorities.

Just join a gym, follow an awesome workout program and that’s it. No need to spill your guts to her about how you’re about to embark on this new quest. Just say that you’re going to the gym and let your actions do the talking.

You’ll see that after a couple of weeks, you’ll pull her into your new healthy lifestyle. All the sudden, she’ll be cooking you post-workout meals and she’ll lose a couple of pounds herself. That’s just how things go when you lead by example.

But if your girl isn’t supportive and gives you shit about you being more time in the gym than with her, then you have to…

Be willing to walk away

If your woman just won’t accept your healthy lifestyle, then you have to show her the door.

Nothing sobers up a woman like some good ol’ threat of dumping her.

If you show her that you’re willing to walk away, you’ll immediately regain the power position in the relationship. She’ll do anything you say, just to keep the relationship afloat. She’ll cook you healthy meals, stop giving you hard time for going to the gym, give you massages after your workouts, etc.

That is, if she cares about the relationship.

But if you let her know that you’re willing to walk away and she shows no remorse whatsoever, then you need to dump her sorry ass stat.

There’s plenty of other fish in the sea my friend. I’m sure you’ll find a better love match now that you’re throwing steel in the weight room and looking buff.

But Dejan, I’ve been with my girlfriend for X years, I can’t just walk away? I’ll just stop going to the gym if that’s what makes her happy.

Years of being in a relationship means diddly-squat to me. If a relationship turns sour after a couple of years, and you’ve done everything in your power to fix it, but without success, then leave ASAP.

You have to be the most important person in the relationship. Be selfish for a change.

But if you have no ounce of self-respect then go ahead and stop going to the gym.

BUT WATCH OUT: if you put your girlfriend on a pedestal, and you go out of your way to make her happy, she’s going to walk all over you. And after she’s beaten the last drop of manliness out of your body, she’ll leave you for another man.

Quality over quantity

I’m a busy man.

With my 9-to-5 job, working out, and building my own business, there’s not much time left for anything else during the week.

If I’m not done with my tasks for the day, it’s almost impossible for me to be present whilst talking to somebody. My attention always wanders off, to my to-do list. And it’s only after I’ve completed the most important tasks for the day that I can zone out.

I’d rather spend LESS time with my girlfriend, being present, then MORE time with her, unable to give her my undivided attention.

That’s why when weekend comes around, I do my best to finish the items on my to do list asap, so I can spend quality time with my girlfriend.

And you should do the same.

On your training days, make training your top priority. On your rest days, rest and recover by doing something nice with your girlfriend. Give her your undivided attention.

Your turn…

If there’s one thing from this post that I want you guys to take away, is to make working out a top priority in your life.

Actually, let’s do this …

Stand up, put your right hand on your heart and make a solemn promise to yourself:

Nothing will stand in the way of me and the gym. I’ll be lifting weights for as long as I live.

Feels good doesn’t it? :)

The rest is simple. Just follow an awesome workout program and pay your dues in the gym. Massive gains are sure to follow.

And after you’ve made your solemn promise, there’s one more thing I want you to do. In the comments section below, answer these two simple questions:

  1. Do you have a friend like Bob, who gave everything away just to be with a chick?
  2. What’s the most important thing that you learned in this article and how are you going to put it to use in your own life?

May the gains be with you!

Dejan

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PS: Which topics would you like me to cover in future posts? Fill this short survey (takes less than a minute) to let me know what you’d like to know more about.

Image credit: Wikipedia (Tanit Phoenix)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ludvig sunström

This is a very well-written article Dejan!

I also filled out your form.

Reply

Dejan

Thank you very much Ludvig! :)

Reply

Joel Waters

Dejan,

This question is unrelated to this article . . . .Have you ever attempted a program like Dan John’s 40-day program where you pick 5 exercises and do them every workout for 40 days? I’m just wondering your thoughts, as you encouraged me to squat every day and I absolutely LOVE it. However, I sortof autoregulate my workouts based on how I feel, and most of the “advice” out there is to have a more structured program if you want to get strong and build mass . . . . The logic being that your muscles need anywhere from 48-96 hours to adapt to the stress. Any thoughts??
Thanks, again, for your great website and insight! Joel

Reply

Dejan

Hey Joel,

With experience I’ve realized that the only true thing is what you feel. If you feel like you can workout every day, than by all means do so. Science will never be able to tell you the perfect workout routine for you. You have to figure this one out for yourself.

With that said, I highly encourage you to take the 40-day program for a spin and see how it works for you. I’m sure you’re going to get amazing results from it :) If you stay consistent that is.

Reply

Joel Waters

Dejan,

Just another follow-up to my post above (don’t mean to bombard you with questions, but I truly respect your opinion very much). I’m thinking about taking a bit of time away from the heavy weights and letting my body recover a bit. I would do the 40 day program with dips, pullups, incline pushups, glute-ham raises, and pistol squats. . . . Do you think this would be a mistake?? Thanks again! Joel

Reply

Dejan

As long as you’re working out and testing things out, you’re not making a mistake. That sounds like a good plan to me mate :)

Reply

KW Stout

I’ve seen too many suckers like Bob. I always tell them “you might as well remove your balls and let your girl keep them in her purse, cause you won’t be needing them anymore.”

I think it usually comes down to a) the guy was only working out to get a girlfriend and/or b) co-dependency issues. If a person can’t spare an hour away from their significant other, doing something that enhances their life, there is something wrong.

Anyways, good post – keep it up!

Reply

Dejan

Hahah, nicely said sir. And it’s probably a purse Bob bought to her as well :)

Reply

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