Aside from the obvious, there’s very good reason to become better at sex from a fitness perspective. “Being consistent with your workouts and your sex life will not only burn calories and lower your stress level, but it will [also] keep your heart pumping and you and your partner happy,” says fitness expert and celebrity trainer Brett Hoebel; Hoebel is known for his work on The Biggest Loser and his signature 20-Minute Body workout.
Of course, being in shape is just one part of becoming a better lover. A satisfying lovemaking session also takes serious intuitive listening skills and the openness to accommodate your partner’s sexual needs. In short, don’t be the inconsiderate “Wham, bam thank you, ma’am/sir” jack-hammering type who thinks only about their own pleasure in bed. Pornography has distorted the general view about sexual performance that there’s a prevalent belief—especially among men—that anything they do in bed that feels good to them will also feel good to their partner. Nuh-uh, brah. The dismal state of sex education in the country and the still puritanical view that most Filipinos have towards sex don’t help, either. But trust us: Checking in on your sexual partner’s feelings and pleasure goes a long way towards enhancing mutual enjoyment, and it guarantees more rounds in the future—a win-win situation for everyone involved.
To be able to give pleasure to your partner, you have to build up your stamina. “Cardio exercises like sprints increase your stamina for both short, intense bouts as well as longer, less intense bouts,” Hoebel explains. He recommends starting with treadmill sprints for 30 seconds, followed by a slow jog for two minutes. Repeat this sprint-jog interval 10 times for 25 minutes. Integrating this into your workout will give you good results, both in and out of bed.
Strength and flexibility
Variety can spice up a sweaty round in the sack, so don’t get stuck on the missionary position. With your partner’s consent—a very important factor!—experiment with positions to see which ones the two of you enjoy the most. But to avoid mood-killing accidents such as muscle cramps or pain, build up your strength and flexibility. For these, Hoebel suggests the following exercises:
Stiff-leg dead-lift supersets
“When you’re on top, you need a strong lower back and hips, as well as strong arms to hold your body in position. Stiff-leg dead lifts and moving planks are great sexercises to target these key muscles. Supersets are a way to build both strength and endurance in the muscles so you have power but can keep going.”
Start with three sets of 15 reps of the stiff-leg dead lift, immediately followed by 30 seconds of the moving plank, left to right. Amp it up to four sets of 20 reps of the stiff-leg dead lift and 60 seconds of the moving plank.
“When you’re on the bottom, the key muscles are your hamstrings and glutes. They need to be strong to help you lift up and have the endurance to keep going.” Do booty-bridge hip-lift exercises with a weight on your lap. Start with three sets of 15 reps with a 10-pound weight and progress to four sets of 20 reps with a 20-pound weight. If you already feel strong enough, try doing these on one leg.
From dead lift to shoulder presses and wood chops
“When holding someone while standing up—yes, I said ‘standing’—you need a strong upper back and shoulders to hold them, as well as a strong core to balance you while you’re moving. The dead lift from the floor to shoulder press is a great combo sexercise for the back and arms, and wood chops really target your obliques and other key core muscles.”
Perform these exercises as one superset, starting with three sets of 10 to 12 reps of dead lifts from the floor to shoulder press, immediately followed by 10 to 12 reps of wood chops. Progress to four sets of heavier weights for eight to 10 reps of dead lifts and wood chops, with less rest in between supersets.
“When changing positions, you need strong biceps and a good hand grip to pick up your partner.” The biceps are the main muscle target when doing this exercise, but to build greater lifting strength, lift your elbows up to shoulder level at the top of every curl.
To strengthen your grip at the same time, wrap a small hand towel around the shaft of each dumbbell so your hand and fingers are spread out more as you hold up the weight. This will make your biceps work harder while you do your curls.
As added initiative for you to get into shape for bed, here’s a bonus earworm of a ’90s R&B gem:
Header image by Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash.
Art by Pol Aries Zamora
Workout source: “Sexercise: The Better Sex Workout” by Brett Hoebel on www.askmen.com.
A version of this story originally appeared in Garage Magazine’s July 2015 issue.