Romance Novel Reader Workout I

A very muscular dude's arm holding a stack of 11 hardback books with one handA good many people make New Year's resolutions to get in shape, work out, lose weight, or be more fit and in better health – or all of the above. And it's not easy to do. I know many of you are probably making similar resolutions. I promise, I'm not turning this into a weight loss site. But it occurred to me that if we combined romance reading and exercise, that might help many of us.

How about we combine romance reading and exercise to give us buns of steel, arms of awesome and general kickass-ness! (Asskick-ness? Ness-asskick? Loch Ness Asskicking!)

Announcing the first in a series of Romance Novel Workouts! These were inspired by the Doctor Who Workout Program, the Social Media Workout Plan, and the NerdFitness Konami Code Workout, and are meant to be done sitting down or on the floor with a good dose of humor and some form of hand weight. A kettle bell, a dumbell, a full jug of detergent, a half gallon of water, a cat, a hardback book, eleven hardback books like the gentlemen to the right… whatever. 

Standard disclaimers apply: dude, I'm not a physician. I can recommend books to read but I can't discern your state of health or your physical limitations so by all means work hard but be kind to yourself. To put it another way, ask your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. 

And now, the first Romance Novel Reader Workout! It's in graphic form suitable for pinning, copying, pasting, and printing.

Start reading a romance.When the following things happen, do the corresponding exercise. Then, when you finish the chapter, do that activity again.<br />
A character looks in the mirror and describes herself:       10 dumbbell curls<br />
An emotion is seen in a character's eyes: 				25 arm circles</p>
<p>That emotion vanishes quickly: 		10 crunches<br />
A tingle or spark goes up the arm of one or both characters if they touch:   10 jumping jacks</p>
<p>The hero says that he's gone too long without a woman: 		10 pushups<br />
The hero smells like any assortment of objects, plus MAN: 			10 overhead press</p>
<p>A character's eyes flash, or roll: 		30 second plank<br />
A muscle in his face twitches: 	       10 leg lifts</p>
<p>A character's eyes change color based on their mood, level of anger, or degree of hornypants: 				15 squats</p>
<p>*Thanks to Willamae Boling,  Jennifer Lazaris, Janice Gelb & Mina Lobo for their suggestions.


I'll be assembling more workouts suitable for doing while reading, or perusing the romance novel bookshelf. If you have questions or suggestions, please share, either in the comments or via email. And if you want to share a picture of yourself in your best reading/working out gear, I'll collect those, too. I'm trying to find my puffy paint sweatshirt so I can take one of myself.

Happy New Year, everyone. Remember: KEEP READING! AND BREATHING! 

Thank you to BigStock for the booklifting image!

Fun And Games

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Sugarless says:

    Man, I would be in shape in no time if I did this!

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    Grab your handweight, hardback, or cat and get started! And if you have a cliche-laden book to suggest for maximum workout effectiveness, do share!

  3. 3
    D.G. says:

    Ten lunges when the hero says “he’s never met a woman like her.”

  4. 4
    Karenmc says:

    If I’d seen this last night while I was reading the new Courtney Milan novella, I’d be in traction this morning (but in a good way – I’m loving the story).

  5. 5
    MarieC says:

    I love this! But I’m curious: is there a romance out there that doesn’t do this? I’m feeling particularly lazy…

  6. 6
    ReallyGina1 says:

    This is fantastic! Followed over from Twitter and I’m happy I did! Rock it!

  7. 7
    ReallyGina1 says:

    That was me above!

  8. 8
    Ros Clarke says:

    Does it count if the character smells of something that is uniquely themselves?

  9. 9
    Nicole says:

    Heh, I may actually try this.  I’d be super skinny in a couple months.  Now, just to remember to do it *when* the action occurs and at end of each chapter.  Yeah, that breaks my concentration LOL.

  10. 10
    Natalie H6 says:

    I’ve been playing catch up on this series and unfortunately am on the last one before the new release. However…..the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands has ALL of those in every chapter! I might have to do some re-reading!!

  11. 11
    Law1170 says:

    I will have to re-read my NY book! I’ll drop serious pounds / inches in these 300+ pages!


  12. 12
    Kim says:

    I’m so excited!  I’ve been in a Harlequin Presents phase and this will be perfect.

  13. 13
    Maite says:

    10 Stretches when eyes are described as “pools” or “orbs”.


  14. 14
    MissB2u says:

    The only thing I have handy right now is a 47 lb. German Shorthaired Pointer, but I’m going to the library today so I’ll stock up on hardbacks to lift.  Could we ask Hines and Scalzi to star in the DVD workout?

  15. 15
    Hell Cat says:

    I am so down with this plan. I could do this without having a lot of worry. Of course, I’d never be able to use my limbs again. Then again, I wouldn’t have to get into a bathing suit with a school full of 18-year-old college freshmen, either. Hmm. Pondering, Pinky, pondering.

  16. 16
    Judyastley says:

    I’d add to that any lip-biting or head-shaking.  *Hurriedly checks new ms for any or all of the above*

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Klfitzroll says:

    Any sort of nipple description (male or female) ten one arm triceps extensions

  19. 19
    Qualisign says:

    Actually, due to excessive Protestant guilt, much of my reading is done with my e-reader on an elliptical. The e-reader is critical: I need the print large enough to compensate for the bouncing, but the results have been excellent. I have had to set a limit on how long I work out; if the book is great, I have a tendency to read/elliptic well beyond my imposed limit. Adding the other exercises listed above on top of that might help move me into Iron(bitch) range.

    Interesting 2013 goal: Ironbitch

  20. 20
    SB Sarah says:


  21. 21
    Lindsay Victor says:

    Best. Workout. Ever. Hell, i may even do this one for longer than three days, unlike my other workout plans

  22. 22
    larissa says:

    Love it! I’d like to suggest the addition of some kind of pec exercise whenever her globes are mentioned.

    I’m writing a book right now and have to admit that I’m guilty of describing emotions in the hero’s eyes. It’s first person, and from the heroine’s point of view there aren’t many other places to see emotion, except of course his pants.

  23. 23
    Darlynne says:

    This is an excellent regimen, so much more exercise for the rest of my body. My eyeballs were getting the only true workout from rolling back in my head. And think of the walls, how much safer they’ll feel if I do 15 squats instead throwing the latest book at them. Many shades of awesomesauce, SB Sarah, thank you.

  24. 24
    cleo says:

    Do 10 lunges when a character’s kiss tastes like something intangible (like innocence or sunshine or heartbreak).

    Or, 10 somethings whenever a character makes some sort of weird non-word noise during sex, like augh or ungh (maybe this is more common in m/m than trad het, but I swear I read these all the time and it takes me out of the story while I try to figure out what noise that collection of letters would make and if it’s actually sexy or not).

  25. 25
    Jimthered says:

    This seems like a healthier version of the “take a shot” games that celebrate/point out the overuse of something in a work/genre.  I’m sure quite a list could be assembled.

    Here’s my addition: The hero/heroine find the heroine/hero exasperating/maddening/frustrating—and yet also arousing/intringuing/irrestible.

  26. 26
    Kelly says:

    Man, get a trope-filled romance and this is going to be the p90x of reading! Maybe there should be a goodreads list of “best workout romances”, or at least warnings!

  27. 27
    Cate Hulk says:

    This is awesome! Especially if you did this during an audio book. I don’t know that I would want to get sweat all over my kindle, which is surely what would happen.

  28. 28
    Cate Hulk says:

    Oh and you could do different lists for different romance genres…and try to match exercises with the cliche, like lunges whenever the hero checks out her hips out something?

  29. 29
    Sara Anderson says:

    I feel like the best place to find a good trope-filled romance is the freebie section in the kindle store.  And that’s where I’ll be headed tonight after I get the kids in bed.  :)

  30. 30
    Amanda_Carlson says:

    Wow! I’ve got like a dozen audio versions of what I call “kilt lifters”, steamy highlander historicals. I think I may need to come up with my own kilt lifter workout. :-D

    20 armcurls when the hero says “doona”, 15 squats when he “tosses his mane”. ROFL

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top