Fancy chocolates for Valentine’s Day is a nice gift and all, but will your sweetheart remember that? No, they won’t, and you know they won’t.
To give a gift they will surely remember, invite them to join you in one of the following couples workouts, hand-picked by some of our Spartan SGX coaches. As these crushing workouts prove, there’s nothing like a little Spartan training to cement your bond.
1. The Heart Pumper
By Mandi Love, Spartan SGX Coach (Richmond, Virginia)
Training together with your partner is a great way to stay connected, whether you are indoors or able to take advantage of the fresh air outside. It creates a positive outlet and can boost the quality and intimacy of your relationship. Having a workout partner also boosts the efficiency of your workout, as it challenges you to do a bit more than you likely would have on your own.
Exercising together provides an opportunity to benefit both your health and your relationship. For example, there are often nonverbal moments of communication during training that can help people feel emotionally attuned with one another. Those who experience it tend to report greater feelings of closeness with their partner.
Whether you train together regularly or just on occasion, it's important to work together, laugh, and have fun!
The Workout: Spartan “Heart-Pumping” Workout
Partner #1 does the strength exercise — 14 reps — while Partner #2 executes the corresponding conditioning work. After completion of the 14 reps, they switch: Partner #1 does the conditioning exercise, and #2 takes on 14 reps of the strength exercise.
The partners move through each of the seven levels of the workout in this fashion, resting and encouraging each other as needed.
7 Strength Exercises / 7 Conditioning Exercises
- Squat to Press / Jumping Rope
- Push-Ups / Jumping Jacks
- Walking Lunges / Side Shuffle
- Jumping Pull-Ups (or Rows or Other Scaling Move) / Gorilla Walks
- Side Lunges / Burpee Sit-Throughs
- Kettlebell Cleans / Broad Jumps or Box Jumps
- Split Squats with Bicep Curl / Running Sprints
2. The "I Love Spartan" Workout
By Mallory McDowell, Spartan SGX Coach (Helena, Montana)
My advice for couples: Working out together has endless benefits: quality time together, accountability, healthy competition, and it will make your bond deeper than your squat.
And, most importantly, remember to have fun!
Perform 2 sets. Each set is 14 repetitions.
I - Inverted Rows
Lay on the ground between standing partner’s legs. Standing partner bends knees. Stretch out arms, grasp each other’s forearms, and partner on the ground pulls self up as high as possible.
L – Lunges
Face your partner, grasp forearms, and step back with the same leg while keeping your chest lifted. Alternate legs.
O – Over Unders
Hold a high plank position while your partner jumps over you twice, then crawls underneath you back to their start position.
V – “V” Push-Ups
Create a pike position with ears between shoulders, tuck your chin, and do push-ups.
E – Elevated Hip Press
Lay on your back as your partner holds a squat position, facing you while holding your feet. Then, bend your knees and press your hips up as high as you can.
S – Squat Push-Ups
Hold a deep squat position and while tipping forward on your toes, lower your chest to the floor and push yourself back up. Stay low throughout the exercise.
P – Push-ups with High Five
Face your partner, do a push-up, and high five after each rep.
A – Ab Throws
Start by lying on your back with your partner standing above, their feet on either side of your head. Grasp their ankles and lift your feet to their chest. Have your partner push-throw your feet in all directions while you keep your legs locked together straight. Resist having them touch the floor.
R – Russian Twists
Sit side by side and lift your feet off the floor. Then, twist back and forth while taking the outside arm to reach back behind you and twist towards your partner, high-fiving them. Switch sides.
T – Tricep Dip-to-Toe Touch
Start by facing your partner seated on the ground and lift your hips up off the ground, bending your elbows on the way back down. At the top of each rep, lift the same leg as your partner and touch toes.
A – Army Crawl
Lay face down across from your partner. Low crawl four steps forward and four back. This counts as one rep. Or pick an end point and make it a race!
N – Narrow Jump Squats
Face each other, squat with your feet together, and jump. At the top of each rep, do a high 10 (a high five, but with both hands).
Related: Pro Tips for the Barbed Wire Crawl
By Allison Tai, Spartan SGX Coach (British Columbia, Canada)
For this workout, there are two difficult options: Sweethearts and Cinnamon Hearts. You know which lane you ought to be in, and which the spicy route is, so I won't go into great detail here.
Don't worry if you and your partner choose different lanes, either. This workout is designed so you can go side by side no matter which version you choose.
The goal here is for you to have fun and connect with your partner at their level.
1. “Upsie” or “Upsie Jumpsie”
To begin, face your partner and hold onto their wrists. (Both of you should be holding wrists here.)
Then, both of you squat down and touch your butts to the floor in unison, with proper low-squat mechanics. Don't worry if you don't go all the way down. The trick is to just keep the same cadence regardless of the range you choose. (Sounds a lot like the recipe for a good partnership, doesn't it?!)
To turn up the heat, into Cinnamon Hearts territory, you modify this one into a squat jump.
2. Hand Tap Plank or Hand Tap Push-Up Plank
To set up, face your partner top of head to top of head, in the high plank position. Both of you start by lifting your left hand and high-fiving each other at the same time. Repeat with control on the right side.
The key is to not let anything in your body change, including the stability of your hips. I like to pretend I have a very full cold bowl of water on my back. To spice it up, you can add a push-up between hand taps.
3. Partner Burpees
To complete this one at the Sweethearts level, you take turns. As soon as your partner reaches their hands over their head, you begin your rep as they rest.
To make it harder, you can complete burpees in unison for the entire duration. Or, one partner can go continuous and the other partner can join in after every two, if you're in different lanes.
4. Sit-Up Pass
Find a suitable object to pass between the two of you (dumbbell, water bottle, etc.) and then set up in a sit-up position, toes to toes.
Just as in the burpees, the Sweathearts rest while their partner performs a sit-up bringing the object to the ground overhead and then back. You can choose to perform an unweighted sit-up while your partner completes a pass. You can also have one person doing the continuous version and one person only completing their passes.
5. Anchored Reverse Crunch or Leg Push
For both versions, one person lies on their back and grabs the ankles of the second partner, who is standing above in a supine position, facing them.
Sweathearts partners act as support for the person on the ground to complete Anchored Reverse Crunch reps.
For the Cinnamon Hearts version, the standing partner should actively throw the working partner's legs to the ground, and the working partner should allow the legs to drop with control — without letting them touch the ground — before bringing them back up to the start.
Sweathearts Version (Advanced)
- 1 min Upsies
- 1 min Hand Tap Plank
- 2 min Relay Burpees
- 1 min Relay Sit-Up Pass (each)
- 2 min Anchor Reverse Crunch
Cinnamon Version (Beginner)
- 1 min Upsie Jumpies
- 1 min Hand Tap Plank to Push-Up
- 2 min Burpees in Unison
- 1 min Sit-Up Pass in Unison (each)
- 2 min Leg Pushes
4. Death By Burpees for Love
By Marcus Weber, Spartan SGX Coach (Berlin, Germany)
As a small warm-up, set a timer and complete 3 rounds of the following at an easy to moderate pace. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, perform them in sync.
Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time for Death By Burpees. On Valentine's Day, you can call them “Synchronous Burpees for Love.”
Start a stopwatch. Facing one another, you each perform one burpee in the first minute. In the second minute, perform two burpees. Do three in the third minute, and so on, until you can no longer finish the number of burpees in a given minute.
Take the rest time to look each other in the eyes and feel your love for your partner.
Then, follow this workout with 400 meters of walking lunges — holding hands — to make this day truly unforgettable.
Related: Burpee Variations You Need to Know
5. Quality Time Together
By Madeline Dolente, Spartan SGX Coach (Washington, D.C.)
Most couples I know train on their own, but as people get busier with kids, work, and life, it can mean more time apart. I have trained couples who started working out so they could spend more time together, and they're so much happier because of it.
Here’s a fun workout for couples to do together, regardless of their strength or ability. This workout is designed specifically for couples to excel at their own level, while inspiring each other! This is a timed partner exercise.
As Partner A does a 7-minute run, Partner B will do as many rounds as possible of:
- 10 Jump Squats
- 10 Side Lunges
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Plank Knee Taps
- 10 V-Ups
After two rounds, the couple will face each other in a plank position, with their hands directly below the shoulders. Then, they'll perform push-ups, each with a high five across the body, for 1 minute.
Then, turn onto the back for a hollow body hold for 1 minute.
Only the partner doing the running needs to wear the watch. Once they finish the run, they’ll tag their partner and switch places.
Repeat this twice for a great, fulfilling 30-minute workout. During the workout, cheer you partner on and remember that the better they do, the better you will do!