I first saw my future wife climbing the Stairmaster at my old gym—I couldn't help but walk up and talk to her. I soon learned that not only did she have a great physique, but that she was also a school teacher with a heart of gold. Once I found out she taught cooking classes and was a great cook, I was a goner!
We trained professionally for awhile, but it didn't take long before we formed a partnership that grew deep into a happy, committed relationship. Fast forward a few years and now we're married, have a beautiful baby girl, and are happier and more fulfilled than we've ever been.
Of course, maintaining even the best relationship takes work. Both people have to be proactive and make time for what's really important. Since my wife and I are both 100 percent committed to the fitness lifestyle, we like to bond and spend quality time being healthy and working out.
Couples workouts may not be the best type of everyday training for aspiring bodybuilders and other committed meatheads, but every once in a while, they're a great way to connect with your partner. So this Valentine's Day, put your normal training schedule on hold, and take your significant other to the gym for a fun, fast-paced workout that might just get you both in the mood for an eventful evening...
Valentine's Day Couples Workout
EXERCISE 1 Squats
3 sets of 12 reps
I know I said you'd be putting your normal training schedule on hold, but V-day is no reason to choose wimpy or gimmicky exercises. Besides, most ladies actually love squats and leg training in general; this move is a great way to shape up and show off that booty! Keep the intensity high by quickly change the weights between sets. Oh, and guys: be gracious and pick a rack height that suits her— it's not going to kill you to bend down a little further before starting your set.
EXERCISE 2 Partner-Assisted Pull-Ups
3 sets of 12 reps
You've got a committed, helpful training partner there with you, so you should take advantage of the assistance and do this great back-builder. Even if you're already good at this exercise, you can train past failure by having your partner push up on your legs once you're fatigued. Those few more reps can add some more growth in the long run.
A lot of ladies stick to the assisted pull-up machine, which isn't as beneficial as the real thing. So if your girl isn't quite ready for unassisted pull-ups, this is a great chance for her to learn the real movement and reap some added benefits.
EXERCISE 3 Incline Bench Press
For ladies: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
For guys: 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps
Although this might be a basic move, I've thrown it in here for two good reasons. First, most ladies don't really want to build their lower pecs, especially if they're already well developed in that department. However, a strong, shapely upper chest will enhance any physique, male or female.
The other reason I picked this exercise is that it's a great chance for you guys to show off! You may tell yourself you don't lift for girls—and that may be true for the most part—but you know you want to look strong and tough in front of your lady! Hit up some heavier weight and lower reps to impress.
EXERCISE 4 Arms and Delts Circuit: Dumbbell Curls, Triceps Push-Downs, Face Pulls
4 sets of 15 reps
For this last circuit, set up the high pulley at a cable station with a rope attachment for both push-downs and face pulls. Bring over two sets of dumbbells, too—one set for each of you. Do 15 curls, straight into 15 pushdowns, straight into 15 face pulls, and then have your partner do the same while you rest. Do 4 circuits total per person, and you're done!
Get A Copy Of The Couples Workout
After this workout, you'll have a sexy pump and a serious endorphin rush!
For those of you who train with much higher volume, you might be thinking "Is that it?" Yep, that's all you need to do! First of all, this is a full-body workout. Doing three hard sets each of a squat, push, and pull movement is going to wear you out a lot more than the same number of sets for one body part.
More importantly, the point of this workout isn't to stimulate a ton of growth. The point is to have fun training with your significant other! You'll both get to do fun, no-fluff exercises that actually give you a sense of accomplishment. It's Valentine's Day after all, it's not like you want to feel exhausted for the rest of the evening. You should have some more important things to do!
As for cardio ... well, you're both going to take care of that together later on, right?
Make Time for What's Important
Let this workout serve as a reminder of what's really important in life: the relationships with your friends and loved ones. Sure, it's not the world's most perfect muscle-building workout, and it may interrupt your normal training schedule, but that's fine. Even the most dedicated bodybuilders need to understand that what they're building is temporary, and that a one-dimensional, obsessive lifestyle is not going to lead to a lifetime of happiness.
If you're in contest prep, or if you've set a serious short-term goal, then you'll definitely have to make sacrifices. But don't let your training compromise healthy, happy relationship with your other half, your family, or your friends. Those are the people who you'll want to be there by your side—it takes time and effort to keep them there!