I Let My Boyfriend Book My Classes for a Week and…

My boyfriend, Erick, and I have a lot in common. We enjoy the same style of food, love college football Saturdays, and relish weekend getaways and staycations. We also have similar careers and comparable values and long-term goals. Fitness is something we both prioritize. It has become an integral part of our relationship.

Erick joined ClassPass when he was still trying to win me over, jumping on every opportunity to hang out. (“I sound so thirsty,” Erick says while proofreading this post.) After a few months, he realized ClassPass fits his workout style and schedule. It even lets us spend time together while working out.

Though we enjoy working out together, we have our differences. I prefer posher studios and try to create a well-rounded class schedule, rotating between HIIT, cycling and barre classes. He prefers traditional, gritty gym vibes and weight classes. Regardless, we still work out together at least once or twice a week.

When my editor Lindsay assigned me an experimental blog post to let my boyfriend book my classes for a week, I didn’t think twice about it. I was pretty excited to see what he would pick out for me throughout the week and what I would learn about our relationship.

Here’s what went down:

Monday: Shred415 Old Town

Shred415 Abs and Arms on Mondays with Joanna Silvers is one of my favorite classes in Chicago. I love starting my week with an intense class like this, and the Old Town location is pretty close to a few grocery stores, so if I don’t make it to the store over the weekend, it’s easy to make a quick trip after class on Monday.

Although I insisted he would love it, Erick had never come to Shred with me. This week, though, he must have wanted to finally try Shred or knew I liked my Monday routine, so he signed us up for the class. Today’s class was your typical 15 minutes on the treads followed by 15 minutes on the floor, repeated.

After class I saw him doing something sneaky on his phone. He embarrassingly admitted he was signing up for the same class next week. I knew he would like Shred!

Tuesday: FlyWheel Old Town

For my Tuesday workout, Erick signed me up for Flywheel. My friend from work, Kate, and I like spinning and then trying new dinner recipes at her apartment right across the street. She’s lucky she lives so close to one of Chicago’s best studios—and a grocery store. After class, we made buffalo chicken tacos, which were delicious and fun to make. I loved how Erick incorporated my friends into my workout schedule!

Wednesday: ENRGi Fitness

This fall Erick fell into a deep obsession with ENRGi, a studio in River North. He loves the studio so much he went as far as saying “ENRGi is the best thing to happen to Chicago fitness.”

ENRGi offers a wide variety of classes, some of which seem pretty intense based on their name. Plus, the monkey bars in the front of the studio intimidate me, so I hadn’t mustered up the courage to try some of their classes outside of abs and stretching classes.

Erick signed me up for Warrior, which is a half-hour HIIT class followed by a half-hour full-body circuit. It was definitely challenging, but manageable. There was some group work and the instructor was encouraging, which created a motivating, enjoyable environment. There was one section on the monkey bars, but the instructor offered an alternative workout for those who couldn’t do a correct or full pull-up or reach the bars, so it wasn’t as scary as I anticipated!

Thursday: Sweat

Sweat was another class I’d been trying to get Erick to go to for months. It was a circuit training class with seven stations that we rotated between every 45 seconds. We were put in small groups at each station, and Erick and I were in the same group, which made the class go by pretty quickly. It was fun.

After class we went to our favorite sushi restaurant to celebrate the end of our experiment, and Erick admitted he got a little bit frustrated with my lack of timelines. I typically give myself just the right amount of time to get to class, throw my stuff in a locker and find a good spot with a few minutes to spare before class—and this held true throughout the week. This usually isn’t on purpose, but no matter how early I leave for class, I always end up rushing. Erick likes to get there early, change, nicely put away his clothes, fill up his water bottle, take a nap (just kidding), get the best spot in class and stretch.

Friday, Friyay! Off day.

What I learned:

When I book my own classes, I usually stick to three during the week and do something active over the weekend. When Erick signed me up for four classes, I was a little bit nervous. I was worried I wouldn’t have time to do anything but work out and that I would be so sore on Friday. In reality, I still had time to go to the grocery store, hang out with friends and go on a date with Erick (yay!). I was a little bit sore come Friday, but felt strong and proud of myself.

Reflecting on the schedule he put together, I realized he really listens to me and knows what makes me happy, since he signed me up for my favorite classes and found a way to fit in friend time. I also realized it’s a lot more fun to have a workout buddy to go to class with and hang out with after, whether it’s my boyfriend or a co-worker friend.

Knowing it frustrates him, I’ll work on the timeliness thing, but can’t make any promises.

Chelsea Dowling works in consumer public relations in Chicago. She loves coffee, friends, Golden Doodles and chips and salsa (in no particular order). Her ideal day starts with a walk along Lake Michigan and ends with either a HIIT class or homemade Old Fashioned.