Fitness for Two: 5 Exercises From a Power Couple

When childhood sweethearts and Gold’s Gym members CJ Finley and Erin Kinnevy reconnected as adults, they realized right away that they still enjoy the active lifestyles they shared growing up in the Northeast — she as a competitive dancer turned marathoner, he as an athlete turned fitness competitor.

Unfortunately, they also share similar challenges.

CJ lives with Celiac disease and is beginning to show signs of Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that runs in his family. Erin struggles with food allergies that at one point caused her weight to fall dangerously low. The sudden death of her father a few years ago was a blow to her emotional well-being, too.

“The frustrating thing about the industry is that it tends to focus on the physical,” CJ says. “Overall health isn’t just about what’s on the outside. Mental health and nutrition are just as important.”

Thriving and inspiring

Now engaged and living in Austin, Texas, CJ is a health coach and Erin is pursuing an MBA at the University of Texas. Their blogs, Thrive on Life and Erinspiration, share their experiences and promote their philosophy of holistic wellness.

“We’re connecting with people with similar issues and struggles,” Erin says. “My dad was fit and healthy. It just shows you that you never know. It motivates me to spread positivity.”

“We want to build a community,” CJ says. “We know we can help more people if we tell our story.”

Motivating each other

Working out together is a priority for the couple. It’s quality time they say helps strengthen their relationship by physically bringing them together and mentally unplugging them from life’s other distractions.

“There are times Erin wants to work out and I’m doing something else, but I remind myself what it means to us,” CJ says.

“Spending that time together, improving our health, doing something positive for our well-being has helped the trajectory of what we’ve accomplished in the last couple of years,” Erin says.

They want to help you do the same thing. This workout features five exercises designed for couples to gain strength and improve their overall health.

The plan

Be sure to stretch beforehand. Perform each exercise for 1 minute, with 30 seconds of rest in between. Repeat twice.

Equipment

Small medicine ball and large resistance band

The exercises

  1. Forward squat band jumps
  2. Squat with rotational medicine ball pass
  3. Reach-and-touch plank with push-up
  4. Forward-backward lunges with medicine ball pass
  5. Sit-up with medicine ball pass

Warmup

Always start your exercise programs with a general warmup to raise your body’s core temperature, loosen and prepare your muscles and engage your nervous system for the work to come. In your own workout, find a good combination of 5 to 10 movements that mix stretching with more dynamic moves to prepare for the day.

Jumping jacks

An oldie but a goodie, this move incorporates your upper and lower body so you can get your heart rate up, start to sweat and engage a large number of muscles.

Marching toe touches

While standing or walking forward, kick your leg up toward shoulder height and touch your toes with your opposite arm outstretched. This warms up your hamstrings and hip flexors, as well as engage several other muscles.

Bodyweight lunge with rotation

This is a great way to warm up the lower body and incorporate some rotational movement. Step forward into a lunge, and then turn your body toward your forward leg with arms outstretched to the side. Be sure to focus on turning your torso without moving your legs to compensate.

The workout

Forward squat band jumps

Why: After a good warmup, every workout should start out with an explosive movement to incorporate your fast-twitch muscle fibers and wake your body for the work to come. Squat jumps are a great full-body movement.

How: Begin with your partner standing in front of you but facing away. Loop the resistance band around your partner’s waist, as you hold one end in each hand. Your partner should step forward until there’s mild tension in the band. While you stand with your knees slightly bent and hips slightly back for stability, your partner should jump forward as far as possible. Jump by bending your knees, with your hips back and core engaged, and then extending and leaping forward. Land lightly on your toes, and then return to start position for more repetitions.

Pro tips: Get the most out of each jump. You will get greater benefit from this exercise by trying to jump farther with more power than by simply trying to move as fast as possible from rep to rep. Give it your all each time and you’ll be rewarded for the effort.

Squat with rotational medicine ball pass

Why: Because most everyday activities involve straight-ahead motion, it’s easy to lose our ability to rotate our trunk, especially when carrying a load. Think about what it’s like to pick up a child and move them to either side of your body.

How: Stand back-to-back and drop into a low squat so your thighs are parallel to floor. Hold this position throughout the exercise. Your partner should hold the medicine ball at chest height and, rotating from the upper torso, hand the ball to their right side. You will need to rotate left to receive the ball and then rotate to the opposite side, so your partner can accept the ball once again on their left side.

Pro tips: Avoid rotating from your hips or lower body. Rotate using only your trunk as you hold your lower body stable in the squat position. Challenge your partner to do the same.

Reach-and-touch plank with push-up

Why: When performed with attention to proper positioning, this exercise will engage your hips and core as you dynamically move and strengthen your chest, shoulders and triceps in the push-up. The reach will provide an even greater stimulus to your core as it works to stabilize your body with just three points of support on the floor as opposed to the usual four.

How: While facing one another with 1 foot between both of you, each partner holds a plank supported with arms fully extended and body in a straight line from head to toe. From this base, both partners will perform a push-up, return to the starting position, lift their right hand and reach toward the opposite shoulder of their partner. Put your right hand to the floor, complete another push-up and then repeat the reach, this time using your left side.

Pro tips: Depending on your or your partner’s fitness levels, this exercise can be modified for push-ups from the knees, or even with your feet elevated to make it a greater challenge. Keep a steady pace and control the reach to get the most out of the core challenge.

Forward-backward lunges with medicine ball pass

Why: Lunges are a foundational movement to strengthen the entire musculature of the legs, including some of the smaller muscles that assist in balancing and stabilizing your body. A good deal of this added benefit occurs as you move your legs through different positions and stabilize in a split stance to catch or throw a weighted medicine ball.

How: In this move, one partner lunges forward while the other lunges backward. Stand facing each other 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on how far you’d like to throw the ball. To begin, one partner will need to be holding the medicine ball at their chest. One partner will step forward with the right foot, as the other steps backward with the left foot. Both sink into a lunge by bending the front and back knees 90 degrees, keeping knees over ankles, back straight and core tight. At the bottom of the lunge, the partner with the ball passes it to the other before both push off and return to the start position. The dance is then reversed, with the partner now holding the ball taking a step forward with the left foot, as the other steps backward with the right foot. Both sink into a lunge and repeat the process for reps.

Pro tips: Focus on proper form here and give each other cues when something looks a little off with their ankles, knees, hips or core.

Sit-up with Medicine ball pass

Why: Although it’s gotten a bad rap from some experts, the sit-up is an important movement to ensure a strong core and hip complex. This movement is a must when combined with a good balanced program to address the complementary need for hip extension.

How: Both partners lie faceup, knees bent, feet flat on the floor with ankles overlapping. One partner will hold the ball with arms extended overhead to begin with. Each partner will then contract their abs to sit up, bringing up arms and medicine ball to face their partner. At this point, the medicine ball is tossed or handed over to the opposite partner. As both partners lower, the partner with the ball will extend it overhead to lightly tap it on the ground before returning up and repeating the transfer.

Pro tips: Keep your hips and low back flat on the ground to focus on the abs with this movement. If you feel your glutes or back coming off the ground (especially when lowering the ball overhead), slow down and focus on initiating the move with your midsection first.

Video created by: Thomas Garanzuay

Read more about couples who inspire us with their #relationshipgoals:

Damon and Hillary Ayon are Stronger Together
More Love, Less Handles: Couples Edition
More Love, Less Handles: The Secrets of 3 Super-fit Couples

SHOP ALL NEW IN

If you’ve lost all sense of motivation, and no form of persuasion is going to make you want to workout then don’t worry, we understand. It gets to this time of year and you’re just ready to spend your days in the beer garden, not the gym. But what if we tell you that you don’t have to workout alone?

Read more Fitness features and check out our Store.

The gym may have been a good idea back in January but you’re now getting pretty bored of your standard workouts, thus, loosing all motivation. If this is the case then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a new workout trend and we love it. You and your girlfriend may already go to the gym together but always do different things, or you may already be gym partners, or, you both want to start a new kind of fitness routine before the summer kicks in. Whatever your situation is, why not scrap your current workout and do your gym sessions together?

This may sound good but, the real issue is yet to arise. How do you work out and not look like one of those annoying, cringey couples in the gym? The best couple workouts are those that you could do with anyone, not just your significant other half. They’re the workouts that you can actually feel the next day as well as the ones that make the gym session a lot more fun. So, if it’s one of those days where the gym seems like a challenge, pair up and work on your muscle building and fat loss in couple form.

Couple Ab workouts

Your abs seem like one of the hardest parts of your body to train (from my experience anyway), as whatever you do, the definition just goes away as soon as you have a meal. And to make things even more difficult, it always seems that when you’re training them, they ache which is good. But as soon as you’re done, you don’t feel the burn like you do after arm or leg day. Maybe you should do more, or maybe we’re just going to have to live with the fact that food just takes over the need to have abs.

For those of you couples that want to get abs and want to do it together, we’ve got a few exercises for you to try. You probably know a few of these already but have never tried them as a pair. You can do them at home or in the gym so you really have no excuse! Couple workouts at home can be tricky because of space and equipment, but with these, you should be able to do with ease.

  • Passing sit up – You can do the cringey version or the un-cringey version o of this. The cringey way is when the guys stands up, the girls wrapped around him and she does the sit ups. This only really works the abs of the women so to switch it up, both sit opposite each other with your legs locked, and in a sit up position. You then simply sit up and either tap hands or pass a weight to each other. One of the cute couple workouts, just without being too over the top.
  • Leg throw down – One of you stands up, legs apart. The other lies straight out on the floor with your head between your partners feet with their hands around the others ankles. The one that’s standing throws the others legs down while the other makes sure they don’t touch the floor.
  • The Plank – Face each in the plank position but with your arms straight. Decide on a time frame and tap the opposite hands alternately. This works your core much more than a simple plank as you need to work harder to keep it engaged and balanced.

You can do your couple ab workouts anywhere
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Leg Day Workouts

For girls, leg and bum day is the favourite and go to choice. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for guys (well not so much anyway). This is why leg day should be done with your girlfriend, so they can motivate you. No girl wants a boyfriend with massive arms and stick thin legs. They’re going to push you, and hopefully, over time you’ll love doing leg day as a couple.

Leg day comes with a few creative couple workouts. We’re not talking creative as in getting into some weird positions, we’re talking about doing super sets or weight-cardio interval training. For the super sets, choose two exercises and while one of you does the first one, the other does the second and then you swap. With no rest time in-between. Weight-cardio training is when one does the weight sets while the other does some kind of cardio movement like burpees, and then you switch.

  • Reverse lunge – You can either do it with or without the mechanical ball but we’d recommend using one as we want you to really push yourself! Stand up and face each other, with one of your holding the ball. At the same time, take a step back into a lunge position, hold for two seconds and return to the standing position. Pass the ball to your partner and repeat.
  • Body weight squat – This is one of the easy couple workouts you can do as it doesn’t involve any equipment. Stand facing each other ready to squat at and arms length. Hold hands with your arms out straight and simultaneously squat down while still holding each other. Hold for a couple of second, stand and repeat. You can lean back a little with this to really work your legs as you have the support from each other.
  • Back to back wall sits – This is pretty self explanatory. It’s more of an endurance one as well so it’s sometimes best to do it at the end of your workout. Stand back to back and link arms either side of you then, squat down to a seated position while leaning back on each other for support. See how long you can both stay in this position for and when you’re done, you’ll be able to leave the gym more than satisfied.

Squats

First of all, if you’re going to the gym with your girlfriend, you’re probably going to love this whole squat section because, we get it, squats look good. Plus, you can show off to your partner with your squat ability. The technique, the weight and the amount of reps. And even though we’ve already talked about leg day, squats need their own subheading.

For good couple gym workouts, you need to support each other. There are loads of squats or squat related movements to try so you can mix it up each time. We’ve got a few of our favourites, but there’s just one thing to remember. If you’re using a bar, the partner that’s not doing the movement needs to check form and be there in case the weight is too much.

  • Squat with rotation – This is one that uses the mechanical ball so find a weight that you are both comfortable with. Back to back, but not touching, one of you holds the ball and you both squat. When you’re in the squat position, you each turn to the side and meet in the middle passing the ball. You can then extend and repeat the movement so the ball goes full circle.
  • Barbell squat – You’re going to need a bar with your desired weights on for this one. One of you will help with form and positioning and the other will do the squat. So, place the bar between your shoulders blades, making sure it’s not on your neck. You then simply squat down without bending too far forward or going so far that your knees go over your toes. Keep your core engaged and come back up. 3 sets of 12 work well for this move so rotate and rest while your partner squats.
  • Wheelbarrow push up and squat – This is a bodyweight exercise and one of the fun couple workouts as you’re actually doing it together. In a wheelbarrow position, one of you has the push up stance while the other holds their legs. Together, you push up or squat, making sure you go down and up at the same time. Do this for a few reps and then swap.

Beginner couple workouts are easy to learn
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

HIIT

Many of you gym goers and fitness fanatics may have already heard of this kind of workout, but for those of you that don’y quite know, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This pretty intense so, by putting it down as a couples workout, hopefully will make it seem a lot more fun and achievable.

HIIT consists of short burst of high intensity movements with then a short rest or low intensity period. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking for 30 seconds. You’d do this for a total of 15-20 minutes to get the best result. Doing this as a couple can help with motivation and will power to carry on as it can get pretty tiring. You can create your own routines so even the basic couple workouts can seem complex when you mix different moves together. To help, here are some potential HIIT movements for you to try.

  • Goblet Squat
  • Kettlebell swing
  • Battle ropes
  • Burpees
  • Sprint
  • Jump lunge
  • Mountain climber
  • Squat jump

On That Note

Couple workouts don’t have to be cringe worthy. You can still hit up the gym on date night for a session together, and before you start thinking, date night at the gym? It’s a good way to get closer and enjoy your time together while also doing something productive. So whether it’s couple home workouts, couple workouts for beginners or new and exciting couple workouts, you’ll be wanting to spend a lot more time in the gym now you don’t have to go alone.

Partner Workout Plans: Building The Perfect Body Together

One is such a lonely number. Two is always better than one. Just ask Kyle Hunt and Katie Bopp, fitness professionals and models who know a thing or two about being successful in this highly competitive industry. How do they stay in great shape year round? They hit the weight room, the treadmill, and the foam roller together.

The Magic Number Two ///

Couples training offers a variety of benefits, the least of which is sharing time with your significant other.

Engaging in activity that requires a team effort ensures that the fruits of labor are doubled. Kyle and Katie find working out together effective because they are able to push each other to train harder.

They make many exercises easier for one another by using manual resistance instead of weights, watching each other during certain lifts to ensure proper technique is being used and making corrections when needed. There are words of encouragement, shared moments of struggle and victory, and bonds that strengthen deeper than muscle.

Tag teaming in the gym is also fun for these hard bodies. Kyle and Katie testify that some of the best times they have together come in their hour and a half gym dates of pumping iron, sprinting on treadmills and stretching each other out.

K and K Couples Workout ///

This is a full body workout that is intended for two people. Your partner will not only spot and help motivate you through every exercise; he or she will add resistance and tension to certain movements as well. These ten exercises are challenging!

When Kyle and Katie work out together they make sure that their workouts are intense, and it doesn’t hurt to have a friendly competition from time to time to help push your partner even further.

Yes, it is fun to work out together, but they also want to make sure that they have the most productive workout they can! Enjoy the workout and remember the couple that trains together sustains together.

  1. Back Squat
  2. Manual Partner Resisted Push-ups
  3. Partner Assisted Pull-ups
  4. Medicine Ball Partner Twist/Pass
  5. Partner Eccentric Hamstrings
  6. Assisted Shoulder Handstand Push-ups
  7. Manual Resisted Decline Ball Sit-ups
  8. Partner Planks
  9. Partner Foam Rolling
  10. Partner Stretching

How They Met ///

Everyone enjoys a good love story. Katy and Kyle are a real couple who enjoy training with one another. One of the factors that drew them together was their love for fitness. Katy and Kyle found love on the set of a MET-Rx 180 photo shoot. We asked them to share their personal, “how we met story” with our readers.

Katy:
I don’t believe in coincidences. And it’s not just a random chance how I met my better (and my much bigger) half. Kyle and I recently celebrated our one-year anniversary together after meeting on the set of a MET-Rx 180 photo shoot. After spending the majority of that day in the same room with him, we had time to make small talk and get to know each other.

We came to find out that we had lot in common. Our first date was a few days later and our second date proved especially memorable—a gym date. We’ve been having gym dates ever since. We don’t always get the chance to work out together with our schedules, but we try for 3-4 days each week. Even though he’s much bigger and stronger than me, we manage to help each other through our workouts, spot and stretch each other; he makes an excellent cardio pal.

At a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than me, he and I have had to become a little innovative in our workouts together, but we have a little saying and it goes like this: “the couple that squats together stays together.”

Kyle:
We knew it was meant to be when instead of dinner and a movie, Katy and I were discussing squats and box jumps. I met Katy on the set of a MET-Rx 180 photo shoot. We began talking in between shots and found out we had so much in common beyond our passion for health and fitness.

One of our first dates was a gym date and we have been training together ever since. We reminisce about that day often and we will always be thankful to MET-Rx for bringing us together.

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Fit to be in love: a couples workout plan

Do you want to learn an easy way to get in better shape AND improve your relationship? Of course you do!

Let’s talk about couples fitness.

Normally, you head to the gym to lift some weights. In the back corner of the facility, you and a bunch of other dudes lifting weights grunt and groan while trying to do “one more rep bro!”

Meanwhile, your significant other is taking a spinning class at another health and fitness facility across town.

Fitness is important to both of you, but you just don’t know how to exercise as a couple when you both have different fitness interests.

In this article you will learn a great couple workout plan that you and your significant other can do together.

When you get home, you both feel good from your respective workouts. But you wonder…

Is there any benefit to working out as a couple?

Yes. In fact, there is plenty of benefit.

There have been numerous studies that show couples who exercise together find they stick to a workout program longer and maintain a healthier relationship. One study, from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, surveyed married couples who joined health clubs together and found that couples who worked out separately had a 43 percent dropout rate over the course of a year. Those who go to the gym together, regardless of whether they focused on the same type of exercise, had only a 6.3 percent dropout rate.”

Everyone knows that having a gym buddy is a great tool that helps a lot of people stay accountable and dedicated to their fitness goals. So, it makes sense that more couples are looking to become each other’s fitness partner. Besides, who knows you better or spends more time with you than your significant other?

So maybe you are intrigued but you have a problem. You don’t enjoy spinning classes and your lady has no interest in joining the cavemen in the free weight room.

Is there another way the two of you can exercise together in a way that makes everyone happy?

There is a workout for couples, and you’re about to find out what it looks like.

Important tips for Working out as a couple:

  1. No expectations: Remember that you and your significant other have different fitness levels and abilities. What she can do is great, but you may not be at her level, and vice versa.
  2. Learn to enjoy the workout without expectations about how it will go.
  3. Have fun
  4. When you let go of all expectations you can enjoy the time together. The workout can be fun in a way that you never experience when training alone.
  5. Laugh, encourage your partner, and take a moment to enjoy reaching a higher level of fitness as a couple.

The couples workout: You Go, I Go

This workout is one of my all-time favorites for couples or partners. It’s called you go-I go because the structure is just like it sounds; you do one set of an exercise, then your partner does a set.

It’s simple to follow, and an ideal setup for two people who have different fitness levels. For example; you can do twenty pushups in a set but your partner can only do seven. No problem. As you perform your set, your partner rests. Then you rest while your partner does her set.

It may seem unfair that one of you rests for longer, but it works itself out during the training session. Each person is challenged relative to his/her own fitness level.

Let’s dive into the workout here. This example will require no equipment or fitness trainer. Just your body-weight.

The Best Couples Workout Plan (without equipment)

  1. Warm-up for five minutes with calisthenics. (jumping jacks, high knees, run in place, mountain climbers, planks..)
  2. Pushups- 5 sets (however many reps you can do that is challenging, but not until failure)
  3. Squats- 5 sets (same as pushups)
  4. Reverse crunches- 4 sets (do reps until you feel the burn but not until total failure)
  5. Burpees- 4 sets (same as reverse crunches)
  6. Cooldown/stretching- five minutes

Remember- you go, I go. When your set is complete, your partner begins her set, and vice versa, until all sets are finished.

The Best Couples Workout (with equipment)

  1. This workout starts with a five minute warm-up, as always. Then you start the intervals on whatever equipment you have available. Your partner will be on another piece of equipment, OR you can swap out if you only have one machine.
  2. 15 seconds of fast cycling/rowing followed by 45 seconds of easy exercise. If you are sharing one piece of home fitness equipment, your partner will run in place/hold a plank until you are finished with the first interval. Then you switch.
  3. Repeat the intervals for a total of 15 minutes each.
  4. Finish with a five minute cool-down.

HIIT (High-intensity interval training) is discussed in detail in “From Fad to Fact: HIIT Training Just Plain Works.”

For this workout, you will still be following the “you go, I go” structure but instead of body-weight exercises, you’ll be using one of my favorite pieces of equipment for interval training- an Airdyne bike or rower.

Check out the Airdyne Bike:

Now you’ve experienced a great workout with your partner.

Does this mean that you have to exercise together all the time? Not at all! You can still hit the weights as your partner goes spinning. But if you want to experience the benefits of working out together, schedule a day or two each month. Get sweaty and have fun!

It’s not only good for your body but also great for your long-term relationship goals.

For more tips on achieving your fitness goals, we recommend these articles: Resolutions Got You Down?, Get Fit in the Gym, Lose Weight in the Kitchen, 5 Tips to Stop Treadmill Static, How to Set Your New Year Fitness Goals, It’s Not About Getting Skinny.

If you’re ready to take the next steps in your fitness journey, contact the experts at G&G Fitness Equipment today, use the chat feature on the bottom right of this window to connect live with a G&G expert, or stop into a G&G Fitness Equipment showroom and let us show you why we are the best specialty fitness equipment retailer in the northeast.

About the Author

Jim White is a freelance contributor for G&G fitness. He’s also a personal trainer and owner of Strength Essentials716. He loves helping people build Strength for Life. When he’s not writing or training clients, he loves hiking and howling at the moon. He has a natural ability to see great potential in you, even if you can’t see it in yourself. Jim also enjoys long walks on the beach and classic novels. Find out more at strengthessentials716.com

Why Choose G&G Fitness Equipment

Men’s Health partnered with our sibling publication Women’s Health to find and recognize Power Couples—ultra-fit pairs who work out together and basically epitomize #swolemategoals. Meet half of our first Power Couple: trainer CJ Koegel. Then, visit Women’s Health to read about trainer Bree Branker.

When fitness model, trainer, and inventor CJ Koegel needs some inspiration to push through a tough workout, he typically doesn’t have to look very far. After all, he’s probably taking a class taught by his girlfriend, former Broadway dancer and Akins Army trainer Bree Branker.

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Koegel and Branker are both trainers and models, so their careers revolve around staying in shape and helping others look and feel their best. Their commitment to a physically active and healthy lifestyle extends to their relationship, too — along with doing each others’ classes, the two often build routines that compliment both of their strengths so they can train together. The pair exemplifies what we at Men’s and Women’s Health value most: A strong, principled focus on physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

That’s why we’ve named them the first Men’s and Women’s Health Power Couple, so they can serve as an example for other pairs who want to use fitness and exercise as a tool to make their relationships even stronger.

Building a Strong Base

The couple often works out together, but they each have their own specialties and preferences shaped by their background. Koegel was deeply ingrained in the fitness world long before he met Branker.

Mens Health

He was a gifted athlete growing up, and earned a football scholarship to the University of Massachusetts. Even though he was a starter on the DI squad, he always felt he had something more to prove to his teammates on the football field. He was a kicker, which he said is often considered one of the “softer positions” in the sport.

“I didn’t want to define the type of athlete I was,” he said. “I was very heavy on wanting to learn the best things to do in the gym. I realized that some of the more athletic players started coming to me saying, ‘hey, love that exercise you’re doing, what is that for?’ I noticed there was an influence were I wasn’t one of the most badass players, but I got respect.”

Koegel drew attention from more than just his teammates, and had an opportunity to pursue a spot in the NFL after finishing his college career ranked as one of the top 10 punters in his draft class by Mel Kiper Jr. Koegel didn’t wind up making it to the pros, and after a stint on MTV’s reality show circuit he moved to New York City to pursue a career as a fitness trainer and Wilhemina model.

That’s where he met Branker — but they didn’t fall head over heels for each other right away. “We met at a Wilhemina Fitness Friday,” Koegel said. “We were rock climbing. I was actually in a different relationship at the time, and Bree was new .”

After helping to introduce her to some of the other people within the organization, Koegel said the pair formed “a really cool friendship.” When he split up with his girlfriend a few months later, he and Branker started seeing more of each other. “We started hanging out, and here we are, everyday since,” he said.

Staying Fit Together

Since they got together, the two have built up their relationship by supporting each other in and out of the gym. Koegel invented a home exercise product, OTTO, which he hopes will allow him to diversify his career when his modeling days are over. The kit recently launched on Indiegogo with a slick promo video, intercut with footage of Branker showing off its features.

Men’s Health

When Branker wanted to build up her endurance to run six miles, Koegel was huffing and puffing right alongside her. “We accomplished that by just getting out there, putting the miles in,” he said. “I didn’t really want to run that six miles — but instead of being like oh, that sucks, it’s like a part of me was like you’re doing this with your lady, let’s do this together.”

Koegel also credits Branker’s influence for helping him to stay on track to achieve his goals even when he loses his own way. “When you’re somebody who everyone asks for fitness stuff from, sometimes you lose track of your own fitness,” he said. “A year and a half ago, I realized I was losing a little bit of my own drive to get in and focus on the things that I wanted to focus on. From taking her classes I’ve been able to find this rebound excitement.”

That support has built a bedrock of trust that extends beyond their time spent together exercising. Koegel credits the stability of the relationship for his own recent successes.

“What makes Bree so easy to love is that she’s the type of woman that gives you confidence within a relationship in ways deeper than fitness, he said. “Sometimes in relationships there’s something in your gut telling you that you don’t trust the other person — that was never an issue in our relationship. That’s why I think I’ve been able to thrive so much in the past year, since I’ve had this confidence inside the relationship that extends way outside the relationship.”

The Power Couple’s Advice to You

If you want to use fitness as a way to ground your own relationship, Koegel has some simple advice: Communicate honestly.

“With Bree and I, it’s about having open communication about one, how do our bodies feel, and two, what do we really enjoy doing?” he said. “If we both find these commonalities, why don’t we start doing those things more? Through that we’ve been able to have so much fun.”

That openness might mean that you’re not always glued together 24/7 — you have to be able to tell your partner when you need space to do your own thing.

“There are moments when I don’t want to go to the gym with her,” Koegel said. “I want to do my bench press and work all my little tricep beach muscles, and she’s like yeah, I totally get that, that’s cool. So she doesn’t keep me from being me in the gym, which makes me want to work out with her more.”

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Perform all of these exercises consecutively as a circuit. After you’ve finished with one round, rest for 2 minutes. Repeat twice for 3 total sets.

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10 reps per partner

Squat hold: Starting in an athletic stance, bend at the knees and push your hips back to assume a squat position. Squeeze your core and keep your arms in front of your body, maintaining an erect spine. Hold this while your partner completes 10 jump squats. Or if you’re at it solo, hold for twenty seconds. Then slowly push yourself back up.

Jump Squat: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Keeping your chest upright and core tight, bend your knees and sit your hips back, extending your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height. Press through your heels to jump as high as you can off the ground, swinging your arms behind you. That’s one rep. Land softly and immediately lower into your next squat. Complete 10 reps, then switch with your partner.

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10 reps per partner

Plank Hold: Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Lower your forearms to the floor with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart, forming a 90-degree angle. Extend your feet back and rest on your toes. Squeeze your core and glutes to maintain straight spinal alignment. Look down at the floor, with gaze slightly in front of your face. Hold while your partner completes 10 lateral hops in each direction, or for 30-45 seconds.

Lateral Hop: Assume an athletic stance, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your feet on the same plane, bound from side to side to jump over your partner. Land lightly and take off on the balls of your feet. Complete 10 reps on each side.

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10 reps per partner

Elevated pushup: Assume a pushup position. Allow your partner to grab your feet and hold them on your thighs. From that position, squeeze your glutes and core and perform 10 pushups.

Squat hold: Grad your partner’s feet with both hands. Bend at the knees and push your hips back to assume a squat position, holding their feet on your lap. Squeeze your core and keep your arms in front of your body, maintaining an erect spine. Hold this while your partner completes 10 pushups.

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10 reps together

How to: Start in a standing position with feet hip-width apart, with a mat placed behind you. Lower your body down until your butt reaches the mat, then roll your back onto the mat and lift your legs over your hips. Use momentum to roll quickly back to the starting position, but bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat. Plant your feet and stand up. That’s one rep. Do 10.

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10 reps together

How to: Start in a plank position, with your hands on the ground instead of your elbows. Squeeze your glutes and core to maintain a straight spine alignment. Hinge at the hip and hop your feet just behind your hands. Take your hands off the ground and raise your torso into a squat position. Hold for a beat, then hinge at the hip to place your hands back on the ground and hop your feet back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10.

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10 reps together

How to: Start on all fours, with your hands on the ground and your weight on your toes, raising your hips slightly to lift your knees off the floor. Keeping your core tight and hips level, lift your left hand up to touch your right shoulder. Reverse the movement to return to start, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 10.

Read more about trainer Bree Branker on Women’s Health.

Brett Williams Brett Williams, an associate fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.

The Best Workout For Couples

The Sexiest Thing You Can Do On Valentine’s Day? Take Her To The Gym

February 14, 2015 Share Tweet Flip 0 Shares

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Physique-wise, I want what most guys want.

Thicker arms, wider shoulders, a bigger chest, a ripped six pack, and legs that look like tree trunks. I’m also confident that the average guy wants that too.

But like an awful, wannabe pick-up artist, I’m going to whisper to you a secret about girls that, actually, everyone already knows:

Women don’t want that sh*t.

Shocking, right?

She doesn’t want to do your “add one-inch to your arms” workout. She doesn’t want to do eight reps on the NFL bench press test. She also doesn’t want to have Imaginary Lat Syndrome. (Google it.)

They want to get “toned” and lean, but they don’t want to lose that lady-like appearance. I once had female client that asked me before every exercise, “This isn’t going to make me big, right?” No, uh, it won’t. If you know anything about fitness, you already know that “weights make you bulky” thing is a load of crap anyway.

This Valentine’s Day, give her the gift of fitness (in addition to whatever gift you were already going to give her). I constructed a workout that both of you can enjoy and get pretty damn good results from, too. Better still, they don’t need complicated equipment and allow you to either (1) alternate exercises with each other or (2) do them side-by-side.

Enjoy. Hopefully you won’t be too tired for any after-hour festivities.

Here’s How This Workout Works

This workout is designed to target your glutes, midsection, and arms without the bulk. But this isn’t your typical Tracy Anderson or Suzanne Somers workout — God forbid! Nope, this is full of strength exercises that no dude would be ashamed to do.

Wait… deadlifts, pushups, lunges, and rows?

Yup, ladies need these too. But they also want a lower-body workout that lets them slide their legs into a $200 pair of boots or an upper-body routine that gets people to compliment their arms.

At the end, we’ll add an intense kettlebell swing ladder, which strengthens the tush and injects a ton of volume in a short amount of time. It’ll also boost your conditioning, spike your metabolism, and help you slash more fat. The way it works is you’ll start with 10 reps, take a 10 second rest, then do 9 reps, take a 10 second rest, etc. all the way down to one repetition. That’s 55 reps in just a few minutes.

Finally, for each exercise, use a weight that’s about an 8 on a 1 – 10 scale. For you, for example, that could be 200lbs on the Romanian deadlift; for her, that could be 90lbs. Make it appropriate.

Check out the workout on the next page.

I don’t know what it is lately, but I lost my motivation. Completely. I don’t know if it is the injury I’ve had for the last four months or because I had a little bit too much fun this summer and cannot get back on track. I dunno, but it’s really annoying. Luckily my buddy Anna motivates me and makes my workouts more enjoyable. Because let’s be honest, being with your BFFF makes everything a lot more fun!

I’ve had a membership for the gym over a year now and I used to go there 5 times a week and I never disliked working out by myself. But since I’m recovering from my injury (yes we know, the freaking injury) I can’t find joy anymore in working out alone. I’m already happy if I go once a week. I think de gym is stupid, running is stupid and basically anything I used to do on my own is stupid. Anna joined my gym a couple months ago so now we can go together and joke around. So have you lost your motivation as well? Check out these 10 couple workout exercises to get the most out of your workout together!

10 COUPLE WORKOUT EXERCISES

1. OVER-UNDER

Let’s get those legs and arms working! Start this exercise by just placing your feet hip-width apart and stand with your back against each other. One of you holds a dumbbell with both hands overhead while the other person extends the arms, but doesn’t hold a dumbbell.

Make a squat at the same time. Make sure that your butts remain at the same height and your knees do not get beyond your toes.

Now both bend forward. Person 1, the one with the dumbbell, passes it through the legs onto her BFFF. Then both stand straight again and the second person passes the dumbbell overhead to person to 1. This is one repetition. Do this 15 times, then change direction.

And yes, we know that this looks ridiculous but it’s really effective 😉

2. SIDE PLANK PASS

I think planking is awesome, Anna disagrees but nevertheless this exercise is really worth it. I can instantly feel a muscle ache, oh yes bring it on! Lay both on your side with your face to the same direction. Bring your hips up and lean on your right forearm so that you perforn a side plank. Both stretch your left arm and open up your palm. The one planking in the front holds a dumbell in their left hand.

The person holding the dumbbell bring the hips slightly back so that the dumbbell can be passed under the body to the other. Grab the dumbbell and bring your arm back straight up while you remain in the side plank (quite a challenge).

Repeat this 20 times and then change side, so that the person behind now begins in the front.

3. Squat hold & dips

You can do this exercise at the office, at home or outside! All you need is a bench or chair. One person puts her hands on the bench and the second person grabs the legs and goes into a squat hold position.

The person who has placed her hands on the bench (person 1) making dips (15 reps) and the second person remains in a squat hold position. Then change position. And believe me, it looks easier than it is. Especially for the one making the dips: good luck, you will need it!

Like the outfits you see? Check out jogha.com for the new Fearless collection!
Anna is wearing the Mint Racerback Bra and the Solid White Muscle Tee with the Colourful Leopard Long Tights. Vladana is wearing the Freedom Rush Racerback Bra Solid Black Muscle Tee and Freedom Rush Long Tights.

4. DOUBLE TROUBLE

Do you guys also love it when your abs burn? We do! With this exercise you both grab your abdominal muscles at the same time. Go sit right across from each other and clamp your legs together for more grip. Stretch both your arms forward while one is holding a dumbell into her hand.

Simultaneously do a sit-up. Stretch all the way back and bring your arms next to your head to the floor. Slowly come upwards. Even though you’re not holding the dumbbell, you do a sit-up.

One passes the dumbell to the other when she comes up. Both repeat this exercise 20 times. In total you get to do 40 sit ups, 20 with the dumbell and 20 without. Can you feel them muscles burning already?

5. LEG THROW-DOWN

Anna and I do this exercise occasionally at the gym so we had to include it! One person stands straight up and the second person lies on her back on the floor. The person on the ground holds the ankles of the person standing. Slowly bring your legs up.

The person standing straight gives a gentle push against the feet of the person on the ground so that the legs move towards to the ground. Just before the feet hit the ground, you bring them up again. Repeat twenty times and then change position.

Anna changed the Solid White Muscle Tee for the Onyx Racerback Top. You can also find this one in the Jogha webshop.

6. BODYWEIGHT SQUAT

Train your butt and legs together with the body weight squat, yes yes squat away! Stand facing each other with your arms straight up and your feet hip-width apart.

Hold each other tight and simultaneously squat down. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this 15 times or until you feel a good burn.

These colorful outfits make this exercise more bearable!
Anna is wearing the Onyx Racerback Bra with the Solid White Muscle Tee and the Ibiza Long Tights. Vladana is wearing the Salmon Sports Bra with the Salmon Muscle Tee and the Limitless Long Tights.

6. PARTNER TWIST

We are going to address the obliques and abs again ladies! Both go down on your knees with your backs to each other and both look straight forward. One is holding a kettlebell in her hands while the other lets the arms hanging alongside the body.

Both turn slowly to the same direction and pass the kettlebell to the other. Then turn to the other side and pass the kettlebell again. Keep doing this for about a minute in the same direction and then change direction. And you may laugh while doing this exercise! ?

7. REACH-AND-TOUCH PLANK

Lets go planking again! Take a plank position opposite each other and keep your elbows right under your shoulders.

Use your abs to keep in plank position and reach forward with your right hand and give each other a high-five! Repeat with your left hand and then slowly bring the body back down. Repeat 15 times and then just let go (it’s pretty tough)!

9. SPLIT LUNGE

So lets take a moment for the legs again! We’re almost there… Stand facing each other and hold each other’s arm. Bend your legs slowly in a lunge position with the right thigh remains parallel to the floor.

Hold this for 10 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this movement 15 times and then change leg.

10. WHEELBARROW-SQUAT

This one is really heavy, mi gado. Stand in a wheelbarrow position and you place your hands directly under your shoulder. The other person stands straight and holds the person in the wheelbarrow position by her ankles.

The person in the wheelbarrow position makes a push up (good luck coming up again) and the other one makes a squat at the same time. Repeat 5-7 times and then change position.

Okay, we’re both exhausted and will continue working at #FITGIRLCODE HQ stinking as F, but it was worth it! So are you and your BFFF gonna give it a try? You will not regret it! BTW, like the outfits? You can find them and many more on www.jogha.com ♥

The Benefits of Working out as a Couple

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If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make a body feel and perform better, it’s got to be exercise. Whether you’re someone who has a long-standing fitness regimen, or someone who is trying to find the courage to stand up from the couch, there’s a good chance you’ve been overlooking a major asset to your fitness: your spouse.

Turns out that working out with your spouse could be good for your health, your beloved’s health, and the health of your marriage. This isn’t just optimistic cheerleading; science backs us up on these claims.

Here are 5 reasons to choose your partner in life as your partner in fitness.

1. Enjoy More Quality Time Together

Ideally, both of you should be working out several hours per week. Instead of allowing that personal time to take away from your quality time as a couple, you can choose to invest your workout hours not only into your personal health, but also into your partner’s health and the health of your relationship.

2. Increase Your Relationship Satisfaction

Exercise, as we all know by now, enhances both physical and mental wellbeing, but in 2000, lab studies showed that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples reported feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner (Aron, Norman, Aron, & Heyman, 2000).

Working out together on a regular basis, especially if you change up your choice of activity regularly, could help you remember why you fell for your spouse so hard back in the beginning.

3. Feel Sexier Together

Interestingly, exercise and sexual arousal are similar physical experiences. Think about it: if your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding, and you’re struggling to catch your breath, you might be lifting weights or having a heavy makeout session, but your body sends out similar chemical messages either way.

It turns out that working out together causes the physiological arousal, rather than strictly the novelty or the physical challenge of your chosen activity, that sparks romantic attraction (Lewandowski, & Aron, 2004).
Get sweaty together, and let that rush of endorphins carry you both away. Be sure to signal your mood to your spouse for an extra rush of excitement.

4. Feel the Fire of Friendly Competition

Couples can feel some extra heat in their workouts if they engage in some friendly competition. Try to beat your personal bests, see who can sprint to the end of the street faster, hold the pilates pose longer, or complete one more round of burpees; any way you choose to engage, friendly competition will maximize your workout potential and set sparks flying.

5. Enjoy Increased Emotional Bonds

Couples who work out together bond emotionally by relying on each other through exercise: whether they’re throwing a medicine ball back and forth, spotting each other in challenging yoga poses, or lifting weights together, they’re trusting each other and having that trust rewarded repeatedly.

Scientists at Santa Clara University report that people who work out with a partner with whom they feel comfortable are more energetic and have happier moods than those who work out solo, so grab your partner and get moving!

Work out plans for couples

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