Romance Novel Reader Workout II

A male arm with enormous biceps lifting a stack of hardback booksGrab your gym shoes and your nearest book, because it's time for another Romance Novel Reader Workout! Just think of me as Jillian Michaels, only with flatter hair and a tendency to encourage you by saying things like, “Unless you faint, puke, or die, keep reading!” 


As with the Romance Novel Reader Workout I, these are meant to be done while reading a romance novel. Today's workout is mostly body movement, so no handweights are needed unless you want to use some. If there's an exercise name you don't recognize, look it up on YouTube: I promise there will be sixty-zillion 1 minute videos of people in various stages of undress demonstrating that exercise. Pick your favorite, learn it, and get back to reading! 

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. However, I am confident in my ability to offer the following advice: drink plenty of water and read plenty of books. Both are good for you.

And now, Romance Novel Reader Workout, Part II, in graphic form suitable for pinning, sharing, printing, and pointing at!

Romance Novel Reader Workout II: Any time someone pads barefooted:    1 min high knees<br />
A main character feels “strangely bereft” 	25 straight 	when the other leaves the room:		 leg kicks<br />
The heroine is a virgin (any genre): 		10 crunches</p>
<p>She remarks upon her virginity within 	first few chapters:   					1 min wall sit</p>
<p>Other people know about her virginity	and remark upon it:			 		25 burpees</p>
<p>The hero references some indefinable	“innocence” about heroine: 			1 min plankThe hero looks at her and starts<br />
	mentally undressing her: 	       	25 crunches</p>
<p>The heroine wears staid clothing with	sexy undergarments as her one 	“concession to femininity:” 			25 squats


Be scared: more workouts are coming (hur) especially as I start listing cliches in romance novel sex scenes, mwahahha. If you have questions or suggestions for future workouts, please share, either in the comments or via email. And if you have pics of yourself doing the workouts, please share them with me. I may do some instructional videos on different exercise sets, dressed as ridiculously as possible, with the largest stack of hardback romances I can find. 

If you've made a resolution to get in better shape or to take better care of yourself, I hope this is helpful and fun. Remember: KEEP READING! AND BREATHING! 

Thank you to BigStock for the booklifting image!

Fun And Games

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    Oh crap if you get into sex scene cliches we’ll all have supermodel bodies by next december.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    Mwaaaahahaha. That’s next on the list!

  3. 3
    Catherine says:

    Wall sits and planks? And burpees? *whines* Fine. But I think we’re getting into Tiffany Reisz territory with that kind of torture.

  4. 4
    LauraN says:

    How about having to do an exercise when the hero is so manly that he can only make male babies?  There could be an extra “punishment” if the hero’s family only makes male babies as well. 

    By some chance of fate, I read one of Linda Howard’s Mackenzie books and one of Lorelei James’ Rough Riders books in close succession.  Damn!  Those men are so full of testosterone that they can’t even make female sperm.

  5. 5
    Natalie H6 says:

    I’m gonna start reading more horror in between all my romance reads just to give my body a break!!!

    Bring on the pain!

  6. 6

    I find this much more satisfying as a drinking game than a work-out.

  7. 7

    File this under “paranormal”:

    I just started reading “Kiss of Steel” yesterday which is billed as a steampunk romance. (If memory serves, I think I got turned on to it via this very site.) Yes indeedy, in the first chapter the heroine remarks (inwardly) that she’s a virgin. Last night I dreamt that I did… wait for it… crunches. Then I read this chart over my breakfast.


    If I’m reading this right, I apparently have to dream about doing a 1-minute “wall sit” tonight to catch up.

    True story.

  8. 8
    MissB2U says:

    Can’t I just take a sip of tea everytime one of those things happens?

  9. 9
    Jaelwye says:

    Historical only—If the hero is an. . .
    Earl—sun salutation
    Marquis—plank position
    Viscount—downward dog
    Non-English title—side plank
    Peasant—wrap both feet around your neck, balance on one hand and sing ‘God Save The Queen’

  10. 10

    Oh, gods, the mentally undressing thing drives me wild (and not in a good way). I always want to shout, “Dude, that’s not hot! It’s sexual harassment!” I do not like to think of my heroes as leering frat boys.

  11. 11

    When I was editing, the thing that would make me scream (and leave polite but barbed comments for the author) would be the heroine biting her lips “nervously”—which would always turn the hero on. Bearing in mind women are the target readers here, do women ever find it sexy when another woman chews on her lips nervously? Do men? (My husband says no. But then again, I am not a lip-chewer.)

  12. 12
    Lenorej says:

    What cliche calls for a Harvey Wallbanger? Just curious!

  13. 13
    Lenorej says:

    Dashing American sea captain?

  14. 14
    Lenorej says:

    I would really love more of the experienced widows mentally undressing the hero, because that’s hot! Too bad that in historicals the unmarried women are kept in such ignorance they can’t enjoy a little, too.

  15. 15
    Ladyroy says:

    I just went on a Jill Shalvis binge, so this is fresh in my mind. I submit mention of the hero being “…hard. Everywhere.” for 10 twisting crunches.

  16. 16
    Maria Litsas says:

    Burpees are also know as squat thrusts if anyone else was confused. Was that just me? Ok then.

  17. 17
    Lindsay Stratton says:

    Please, please, please make use of the description “debauched angel” (or maybe any variation on debauched?) = one minute in Warrior Three or something. ‘Cos, damn, that phrase is everywhere, and I really don’t know if it’s that hot or that aggravating…

  18. 18
    Kathy says:

    I think I’m going to kill myself if I attempt these workouts…I can’t even touch my toes! Laughing will give me a rock hard stomach, right?

  19. 19
    Ellen says:

    For the “sex scene cliches,” the authors who use the cliches should have to do the workout. 

  20. 20

    Heh. Waaaaaay too many books qualify for “Harvey Wallbanger” status.

  21. 21
    Anne Christensen says:

    Thank you so much for these workouts.  They have changed my life!  Even in the short period between the last one and this one, I have become athletically thin, my breasts are perkier, my legs have become totally sexy, and I have moved closer to a military base so I can catch the eye of some young SEAL or the like.  Thanks for bringing me a new tool as I search for my very own private HEA!

  22. 22
    Charon says:

    I have read lesbian romance novels (by women) where someone biting her lip was a turn-on, so yes, some women find that sexy. Though I’m not sure if it was “nervously”.

  23. 23
    riwally says:

    I refuse to submit to the torture of (gagging here) exercise.  I don’t want to give my life-long, highly prized status as a confirmed lounging lily.  Just call me Doughy Diva.

  24. 24
    Crystal F. says:

    How about an exercise every time ‘eyelashes’ are mentioned?

    (Several times in the last book I read:)

    “She lowered her lashes”, “She looked at him from under her lovely eyelashes”, “He looked at her from under his dark lashes”…

  25. 25

    Any time we see the words “grimace” or “wince” – do 10 burpees.  I must’ve seen that 15 times today in this novella I just finished reading.  Ugh.

  26. 26
    Lietofine says:

    At one time, I read a whole bunch of books in a row where the H/h “met each other thrust for thrust” or kiss for kiss or some other combination.

  27. 27
    Ellen says:

    This is not just romance; I see it everywhere, but I would add a set of bicep curls or something every time someone shakes their head “to clear it” when they are surprised or list in inappropriate fantasy. Love the workouts!

  28. 28
    Carrie says:

    Regency E- “lip chewing” is one of my pet peeves! The cred of the heroine goes down dramatically the minute she sets her teeth to her lips! All I can think of is a rabbit munching a carrot! What’s up, Doc?

  29. 29
    cleo says:

    lol LauraN.  And don’t forget Jude Deveraux’s Montgomery clan – they’re so manly, they only produce male twins.

  30. 30
    BacknGrooveMom says:

    10 tricep dips every time the alpha say ‘you with me’ and the breathy female replies ‘yeah’

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