The TLC Fitness owners, coaches, and members share their experiences and insights on what it’s like to live a fitness lifestyle with their soulmates
Photos by JP Talapian
One of the great things about having a partner who’s also into fitness as much as you is that you always have someone to share your journey with. It’s been proven that working out with a partner—whether a significant other, friend, or co-worker—has more benefits than hitting the gym alone. But the best part? Working out together improves your relationship and encourages commitment to each other’s well-being.
Take the CrossFit couples of The Love Club (TLC) Fitness as an example. They all have their own fairytale stories but fitness brought each couple together—and still continues to play a huge role in keeping their emotional bond strong. In this exclusive, we sat with TLC Fitness owners Trever and Rachelle Love, coaches Frank Madore and Mindy Lagdameo, and members Marica and Beng Llenado to share their experiences and insights on the beauty of working out and breaking a sweat together:
Trever and Rachelle Love
TLC Fitness owners and business partners Trever and Rachelle Love have been married since 2015. Before they tied the knot, the Loves were in a long distance relationship and would often meet in CrossFit tournaments across Asia. Trever who lived in Singapore at the time was Rachelle’s gymnastics coach until they both decided to start their lives together in the Philippines. Now, here they are, running their own CrossFit studio together while raising adorable twin daughters.
What makes working out together so special? Does it actually help you achieve your fitness goals?
Rachelle: For me, one of the best things about it is that when you don’t feel like working out, you have someone to push you to do it, and it really helps. Usually one of us wants to work out and the other doesn’t so the best part about it is that you always have an accountability partner.
Based on your experience, what are the challenges of working out together?
Trever: You really have to be humble and comfortable with each other. Otherwise you’ll both easily pick up each other’s flaws and you’ll end up being upset. In our case, she always beats me in our workouts. If I wasn’t comfortable with myself or with her and humble enough to handle the situation then I would be upset and I wouldn’t want to work out with her. That’s the only negative factor I see about couples working out together, but that’s certainly not the case between us.
Rachelle: Yes, it’s very rare that couples or friends that work out together would be that way with each. It’s very rare in the community—at least in CrossFit.
Have you ever witnessed scenarios where there’s tension in couples working out together?
Trever: The most common thing I hear from clients who are couples is that they don’t like being coached by one another. Usually, it’s the guy who thinks he knows everything.
Rachelle: Yeah, usually it’s the guys who feel like they should be stronger, so when the woman outperforms them, they don’t like it. But like what he mentioned, you really have to have humility. If you have that mindset of just wanting to be better then you won’t focus on what someone else is doing; you’ll focus on getting better as a person. In CrossFit, that’s really what it’s all about—just outperforming your old self and getting better every day by performing the movements better each time. I think that’s why it works so well as a community because we help each other instead of competing.
What advice would you give to couples who are hesitant when it comes to working out or playing a sport together?
Trever: You have to find a common activity you both enjoy and start with that. It’s important to also branch out and do other things. If your husband or boyfriend likes something you don’t like so much, try it out. Same goes with the girlfriend or wife. As long as you have that common activity that reinstates your bond then it should be all good.
Beng and Marica Llenado
Unlike the two other TLC Fitness couples, Marica and Beng’s love story is quite different. They didn’t bond over fitness right away though it was already something they individually enjoyed when they were still single. The Llenados met via a mutual friend who introduced them at a fashion event in 2003. They believe that fitness was—and still is—the reason why they clicked and bonded right away. They’ve been married for over 16 years now and have a 15-year-old daughter.
Do you sometimes compete against each another?
Marica: Well, both of us like to be right all the time so that in itself is a competition. But we’re not very competitive with each other.
Besides bringing out your competitive sides, how does fitness play a role in your relationship?
Marica: It’s a great way to bond!
Beng: It serves as a kind of [shared] lifestyle. Our fitness goal now at our age is to maintain this lifestyle and avoid getting sick. We’ve been working out together for five years now and we can see ourselves doing this together forever. It’s really a de-stresser. Also, we enjoy eating more because we feel less guilty after working out. Every time we work out we tell each other to earn our lunch.
Beng: I would say if you’re going to start working out together is to make it like a date. Instead of going out for dinner or whatever, we go to the gym and it’s like our date. To start any journey together, you have to be open-minded in the sense that you both don’t have stereotypes, generalizations, or prejudices on what it could be. But going back to fitness, you know, if we didn’t use this to de-stress, then we would be at each other’s throats. If we didn’t take this out on the barbell we would probably take it out on each other.
Frank Madore and Mindy Lagdameo
Frank and Mindy met each other at a CrossFit community night in Abu Dhabi in 2014 and have been dating for five years now. When they were first getting to know each other, they would spend their dates at CrossFit studios. They then moved to the Philippines and currently have a growing family consisting of two girls: a four-year-old and a one-year-old.
How does challenging each other help you two as a couple?
Frank: We both play off each other a lot and know our strengths and weaknesses so it’s good that we both kind of push each other. We don’t tell each other ‘I’m going to beat you.’ We just look and assess our performance and tell each other how we could push for more.
Mindy: I think since we know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are, we know what we can or cannot handle. Although, he doesn’t know that when we’re at a CrossFit workout together, I always keep an eye on him when I want to be ahead of him.
Frank: I secretly do too.
Working out together has its advantages but what would you say is a big downside?
Mindy: The competitiveness is one thing. Sometimes we push ourselves too hard that we get injured. Also, when we’re both sore, we can’t handle the kids the next day.
What is your favorite part about sharing an active lifestyle together?
Frank: It’s a bonding experience where we get to see each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll get to accomplish your goals with your partner and it’s nice to see them so proud of you. You also surpass obstacles together and there’s really no other person I would do it with than with Mindy.
Mindy: Aww, that’s so sweet. I thought you were about to get down on one knee there.
TLC Fitness is located at 36th Street, Lower Ground, One Uptown Residence, Taguig