Nowadays it's hard to find the right mate. Especially when on the average married couples get divorced after only 3 years. Muscle couples share a marriage to the iron and a burning desire to realize the individual potential. Take it from me, if you plan on getting married and you're into pumping iron, you better make sure your soul mate loves the iron world of fitness too. Or, for sure, the marriage might not last.
How do I know this well, I, myself has been lifting for over 20 years and combined with being a competitive athlete it's in my blood and part of my life so I want someone who is into it too, not some soft body. That's why my soul mate is a serious iron pumper too.
Curtis & Anita Schultz
A bit of info about ourselves. First, like I said we recently celebrated our ELVENTH-year anniversary and have been together for 13 years. When we met, I was an ex-football player, coaching my favorite sport and dabbling in competitive powerlifting while she was embarking on a competitive bodybuilding career.
We started training together only a couple years after we met. I am not a bodybuilder.
I Don't like shaving my face all the time and cannot imagine doing the rest of my body. I am a Collegiate and High School strength and speed coach.
And, at one time or another, I've been a strength & conditioning coordinator and assistant football coach at The University of Colorado - Boulder, University of the Pacific, Quincy University, Randolph-Macon College, College of the Desert, St. Peter's College and many more - too many to list.
Anita & Curtis Schultz.
I was a high-school all conference lineman and linebacker and played JUCO college football receiving Hon. Mention All Conference as a lineman two years in a row. After football I then participated in powerlifting meets in the 242 and 275 weight classes winning state and regional titles.
My partner is a competitive bodybuilder who started in her first contest with a victory at the 1988 NPC Boulder B.B. championships, and finishing with the 1998 NPC Southern States Heavyweights and overall, and then a 3rd place in the heavyweights at the 98' IFBB North American. The Southern States is one of the Top NPC regional shows for those of you who are new to bodybuilding. She was also a scholarship athlete skiing competitively for the University of New Mexico before bodybuilding got her.
Currently we are both competing in sanctioned bench press meets. If you are not a "muscle couple" and you are a normal couple reading this you might think we are crazy. Maybe we are! But the fact of the matter is that we acquire the best out of each other in the gym, we understand what each other is going through when contest time arrives and can give each other advice when things are not going right.
Anyway, enough of the boring stuff, onto a day in the life of a bodybuilding couple. It could be any day but we picked Friday, April 17, 2004, which is as typical as it gets.
A Typical Day Looks Like This:
- 6:00 AM: The alarm goes off. I reach over and turn it off. I push Curtis out of bed to do his cardio, while I stay in bed. I am lazy and will only do cardio begrudgingly.
- 7:00 AM: I manage to drag myself out of bed, and do my cardio while Curtis makes coffee.
- 7:45 AM: Our breakfast consists of six eggs each, with a bowl of oatmeal. We then pre make several shakes combined with double servings of protein powder, and half a cup of heavy cream. As you can see we are great believers of getting the calories down.
- 8:35 AM: Off we go to the gym!
- 9:00 AM: We train four times per week. Sometimes only three, depending on how we feel. We are ready to train. Today is Bench, shoulders and triceps. I can hear people screaming! Well, in powerlifting and getting ready for bench meets it's the way we train. And it works for us.
Training is hard, and intense, the way we always train. We intimidate a lot in the gym. We love it. After training we both drink one of our protein shakes with also throwing down a half dozen caps of Glutamine. Then we both talk to the gym owner for awhile and then head off.
- 12:00 PM - Noon: Curtis drops me off at work and heads home. I work 40 hours a week as a manager at a sporting goods store and come home around 10:30pm.
- 6:00 PM: Curtis usually cooks dinner for himself around now, and then goes back to the computer. He also makes up a couple more protein drinks all the extra protein he needs.
- 10:15 PM: Curtis arrives to pick me up and take me home from work. We get home by 10:30pm and Curtis has a pot of coffee on or we have a cup of tea together, relax and talk awhile before heading off to bed.
- 11:30 PM: Nothing out of the ordinary, just an average day for a muscle couple and then to bed.
So there we have it. A typical day in the life of a bodybuilding couple. Not very glamorous is it? We are just normal everyday people who happen to love bodybuilding, lifting and have to get by like everyone else. We've taken some time to talk with some bodybuilding couples that we know, and asked them some questions about their time together.
Ron & Janet Harris
[ Q: ] So, I'd like to start the questions with how you two meet?
RH: I was working as an 'instructor,' and I use the term loosely, at a place called European Health Spa in Newton, MA, in the fall of 1989. Janet Rodriguez joined while me and a friend of mine who worked there would race to the front desk to pull her workout card the second she walked in so we could train her.
I probably never would have had the balls to ask her out, but Dennis, my friend, went on a date with her. Little did I know there was never any risk of date # 2, but immediately after that I asked her out and we have been together ever since.
[ Q: ] How long have you been training together?
RH: Janet and I started training together almost from the first couple weeks we started going out at the end of '89. For a few years out in California I trained with other male bodybuilding competitors as training partners a lot of the time, but especially since we came back to Boston in 2000 it's been mostly her.
[ Q: ] How is it competing together and trying to get to the same place, hard bodies especially with all the little ones around?
RH: The nature of dieting down into contest condition demands that you be selfish. Your main focus has to be on what you are eating, your weight training and cardio, your rest, etc. And in the final stages, you get pretty tired from the diet and the cardio.
Janet & Ron Harris.
Put two of those people in the same house and add in two small children that need to be fed, bathed, dressed, entertained, etc, and it can be a strain. We do our best to make it so that both of us have a roughly equal share in all those duties. And we don't want to brush off our kids and not give them the affection and attention they need just because we are trying to diet away a little last bit of fat from the lower abs or glutes.
Patience and the ability to compromise are two very valuable traits to have at these times.
[ Q: ] Do you work out together?
RH: We train together most of the time when schedules allow. She works two part-time jobs now and the kids have school and various lessons and classes after school. When something is coming up like the Olympia where I know she wants to look her best, I will make the effort to try and go into the gym and at least train her even if I have already worked out myself that day.
Actually, I train her much better when I am not training at the same time, because I can focus 100% on her instead of being worried about my next set or exercise. And I would estimate Janet trains at about 25% higher intensity when I am there to push her.
[ Q: ] Any last thoughts from the both of you for any other muscle couples that might be together or are thinking about getting together?
Ron says: I don't think I would have been able to stay with Janet this long unless we had this mutual interest/obsession in common. Muscleheads are perfect matches for each other. In couples where one mate is deeply into training and nutrition and the other isn't there are always problems, the they only get worse over time.
Janet says: My biggest tip is to not get jealous when the other succeeds. Until 1998, I used to get resentful and jealous every time Ron dieted down for a contest because I envied his dedication and willpower.
In '98 I finally got in great condition for our gym's shape-up contest and won the first prize of 1,000 dollars. After that I finally knew I could get in shape and now we actually have competed in the same shows a couple times. Needless to say, we are both happy now when the other one gets in shape.
Mike "Mule" Miller & Deb "Big Earl" Ames
[ Q: ] So, I'd like to start the questions with how you two met?
DA: In a powerlifting gym of course... he used to sit directly behind me on a flat bench when I would do my wide stance good mornings... we used to talk a lot, about life and about lifting. We still have the powerlifting part of the conversation after sex.
MM: I met Deb at the gym, she had a huge smile and was constantly flirting with me. She used to wear these tiny shorts to show off her butt when she squatted, what's a guy to do, so I asked her out.
[ Q: ] How long have you been training together & do you work out together?
DA: We started training on the same team for a meet in December of 1999. We usually work out with the team, I assist Mike when he is benching and squatting. He helps me when I ask for it.
MM: Deb usually does her own thing. I'm to intense to be around her when she trains and I screw up her concentration, she helps me by holding boards and getting me in my shirt, she does quite a bit for me when I train
[ Q: ] How is it competing together and trying to get to the same place, hard bodies especially with all the little ones around?
DA: Last year we decided that Mike would do his training cycles in the fall/winter and I would do them in the spring/summer. That seems to work really well and we both get our business done. We also run about 5 meets a year and they are primarily in the spring, so far everything is working out. The kids are usually great and we get a lot of family help when it comes time for meets.
Deb "Big Earl" Ames & Mike "Mule" Miller.
They have grown up in the gym and around powerlifters, they even lift themselves without encouragement, so they have a good idea how things work. It's like any other family business, and now that we are moving right behind the gym, it should get even easier... famous last words.
MM: Like Deb said we work it out on a cycle and that seems to go well, it gives us a break. The kids live at the gym and we make sure we take time to go sledding and swimming and do family things. Our kids love what we do and brag about it to there friends.
[ Q: ] You are also in business together; you own a gym, and how is that with the both you into training for competition too?
DA: It gets a little tough to maintain balance at times and doing the administrative stuff to keep the gym going sometimes takes the fun out of the lifting, but it always comes back to loving what we do and the people we do it with.
We try to stay positive and when one of us gets discouraged, enraged or frustrated; the other usually picks up the slack and puts one foot in front of the other to keep the machine running.
MM: Deb does all the work I eat, sleep and work part time as a bouncer. I also run seminars etc. and handle the web page.
[ Q: ] Is there anything you would like to tell others who might meet in the gym and are thinking about getting together?
DA: Do what you love with someone you love. Not many partners can tolerate lifting at this level. Because we both do it, I think it makes it easier because we have an absolute understanding of what the other is going through. When we are at a meet, we know what to do, what needs have to be met and what works to keep the one who is lifting in the game.
When I went back to full meets last July, Mike was incredible. I didn't have to do anything but lift, and f^ck him in the car three times on the way to Bill's, but that was just an extra perk ; )
MM: Don't do it!
Big Mikes kidding everyone. Now, Anita and I met in the gym; I was getting ready for a powerlifting meet, and she, the 91 Jr. Nationals. She was benching wearing these tiny running shorts with slits on the sides showing a fine black thong. That was all I needed.
I walked up to her and asked her if she would marry me. I thought she was going to tell me to get lost. To my delight she laughed and gave me a hug and said "sure!" Anita later walked up to me and in jest stated that we should at least go out once before we get married. I took that as an invitation and asked her out, she accepted and we've been together 13 years, married 11 of those years.
All hook-ups should be that easy.
Thanks to all our muscle married couples for participating in this little Q&A. How did all you other muscle mates hook up?
The muscle in a Mafia Family is non-existence to the Muscle in our Family!
Also check out A Marriage Of Strength: Craig Titus And Kelly Ryan!
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