How are you celebrating this Valentine’s Day? Are you taking your girlfriend or special someone out for a romantic dinner? Maybe you’re seeing a movie or some sort of show? Or maybe you’ll be popping a big question so that next February 14 you can celebrate your anniversary and Valentine’s in one go (Tip: It’s a subtle way to save money on gifts).
But what if you’re not into the whole being romantic and mushy thing? Maybe the mere idea of being cheesy is enough to make you squirm in your too-cool-for-school jeans. Fret not, our dear bro, for we have a solution. Just because you’re not out at a fancy restaurant doesn’t mean you and your girl can’t celebrate Valentine’s. Instead of going out for a romantic dinner, try a muscle-burning partner workout instead. It could be the most physically rewarding date you’ve ever had.
Why would you want a workout partner?
The modern gym set up, in a way, encourages you to work out in solitude. Machines are meant to be used one at a time, there’s a whole unspoken system to taking turns with the equipment, and having conversations in between sets while you’re hogging a bench can land you on someone’s angry Snapchat rant. But according to Jan Rebong and Eric Verdolaga, fitness coaches at The Upper Deck in Ortigas, having a gym buddy can offer some serious benefits.
“Most of the time, people tend to slack off whenever they’re working out solo, and in some cases, working out with a partner is all that they need to go for that extra mile, blasting through those stubborn training plateaus,” the trainers share. They also explain that a training buddy can help watch and correct your form.
You can do it even if you’re single, too. If you haven’t quite sealed the deal yet with your crush, why not ask her to the gym? “If your partner happens to be good looking, that’s a pretty good motivational factor to throw into the mix. We tend to become, or at least try to level ourselves with the people we hang around with. You want to get strong and sexy? Train with someone strong and sexy,” they suggest.
Get stronger and more flexible for when it matters
Sure, hoisting up barbells and shiny machine plates will make you big and strong, but carrying another person is a whole other challenge. Coach Verdolaga says that movements like partner carries are more functional compared to conventional lifts.
On top of getting stronger, having a workout buddy also helps you become more flexible. The trainers explain: “A technique called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), which involves alternately having your partner stretch you (relaxing your muscle), and you having to push back (contracting your muscle) is easier and probably more fun to do with a partner since your muscles can be pushed to lengthen at a greater range because of the added pressure that your partner applies on you. Through the application of PNF, you’ll be able to develop a greater range of motion in no time, enabling you to have better control over your movements.”
Getting stronger and more flexible by carrying and pushing against someone—we could think of a few romantic uses for that…
Feel the love by working out
Here’s a sample workout made up of partner exercises recommended by the trainers. Instead of stuffing yourself with useless calories this Valentine’s, you can try burning them with this workout instead. Remember: Breathe, drink lots of water, push each other, and let the romance blossom.
Wheelbarrow Push-Up With Squat – 8-10 reps (alternate roles with your partner before proceeding to sit-up pass
Sit-up Pass – 15-20 reps
Do 4-5 rounds with 45 seconds of rest in between rounds.
Loaded Partner Carry – 30-40m
Burpees – 15 reps
Complete 4 rounds as fast as possible. You can choose to complete all 4 rounds by yourself before your partner starts their turn. If you think that this is a bit too taxing, take turns doing rounds with your partner until all rounds are completed.