Jason Rhymer's picture
Posted by Jason Rhymer

How do I love thee? Let me count the...


Yes!  Here is the Valentine Day bootcamp extravaganza I presented to my athletes this morning.

In addition to my variation above to Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43, I found 5 other awesome "lovey-dovey" poems: See if you can spot the hidden exercises!

1) "I Love You" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

...I love your arms when the warm white flesh touches mine in a fond embrace."

That one is easy...arms.  In fact, it mentions "arms" two other times, so we hit a push-up and banded upright row reverse ladder.  10's, 8's, 6', etc.

2) "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love
And we will all the pleasures prove...
There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks

Sit upon = situp!  We did 50 "little baby" crunches - keep the knees up and the low back mashed into the ground. Just fire the core with the spine staying long.

3) i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) 
I am never without it...

Heart means it is cardio time.  We tackled a suicide challenge.  On a basketball court, we ran to half court and did 10 mountain climbers. Run back to the base line, then run to the opposite free throw line and do 10 jumping jacks, and run back. Run to the end of the court and do 10 lateral hops and 10 forward and back hops, then run back to start. We did all of that again for two complete suicides with fun stops along the way.

4) "Her Voice" by Oscar Wilde

The wild bee reels from bough to bough
with his furry coat and his gauzy wing,
now in a lily cup, and now
setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering; sit closer love;
it was here I trow, 
I made that vow

Bell a-swing makes me want to celebrate love with some kettlebell swings.  We performed 50 phenomenal reps.

5) "Sonnet 116" by William Shakespeare

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom...

Bear = bear crawls. We went full court down and back with regular bear crawls, then it got interesting.  We went backwards and sideways to half court, then tried a single-leg hop backwards version with more sideways action back to start.

I had these waiting on clients on small pieces of paper (see photo) in heart boxes, so the order was randomly selected.  We took them one at a time (ladies chose first, of course) and our actual order were situps, 50 kettlebell swings, 25 burpees (various ways), 2 suicides, bear crawls for the length of the gym and a half, and the push-up and banded upright rows reverse ladder.

Also, thank you to Spotify for their cheesy Valentine playlist.  Burpees get harder with Bette Midler's "The Rose" blarring in the background.

Happy Valentine's Day and live with strength!



About the Author

  • Jason Rhymer's picture
    Jason Rhymer is the Training Department Editor of Faith & Fitness Magazine. He is the High School Youth "Guy" at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC and the Clergy Health Fitness Coordinator for the Clergy Health Institute through Pfeiffer University. Jason leads bootcamps and personal training sessions in Charlotte, NC, and has trained ages 5 to 90 over his 15 year career.

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