The Power of Partner Training

by Rosalia Chann and Angelo Grinceri on August 26, 2014

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Rosalia and Angelo train together outdoors

Do you remember the feeling of your first pull-up, first push-up, or even your first plank?

Those accomplishments are unforgettable milestones in your fitness journey, but it can be easy to take them for granted once you’ve moved on to new challenges.

Did you ever help someone else accomplish a new feat of strength? Becoming a part of that person’s accomplishment can be just as uplifting and rewarding.

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We created Couples Calisthenics to help show people how much fun it is to share fitness with your significant other (or a friend). It’s all about enjoying the process of building an understanding of your own body in relation to your partner, as well as creating non-verbal communication and expression through natural movement. This allows you and your partner to feel, listen, and accommodate one another’s strengths and weaknesses. We encourage each training session to take on an organic flow of its own, escaping from daily thoughts of work and life to create a special connection between you and your partner.

Our journey of calisthenics evolved from spotting and assisting one another in the park on basics like push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and squats. Eventually we began working on more difficult exercises such as muscle-ups and handstands, and even creating exercises only possible while working with a partner.

Angelo spotting Rosalia on her handstand at PCC Virginia

Angelo spotting Rosalia on her handstand at the recent PCC Workshop in Virginia

Movement is one of life’s sweetest gifts that we all take for granted in our daily lives. We move through our lives completely unaware of how to utilize and connect with our own bodies, effecting many aspects of our lives that are meant to naturally thrive.

‘Working out’ should be looked at as a constant practice and an enjoyable experience. Learning how to listen and utilize your own body with your partner will result in more than just achieving aesthetic results. Enjoy a workout that can strengthen the neuromuscular connection within your mind and body, enhance your relationships by building trust, reduce stress and pain with frequent fun movement, learn how to react to your partners moving body, provide motivation and encouragement for one another, and cultivate joy back into everyday life. These natural movements can be performed in any stress free healthy environment. We are all capable of much more than we think. Set a purpose together, maintain movement authenticity, build your strength intrinsically, and enjoy an active lifestyle together. More than just your aesthetic results will thrive!

Partner Weighted Bridge Angelo and Rosalia with Danny Kavadlo

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Rosalia Chann, PCC, RKC, is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor at ModelFit in New York City. Angelo Grinceri, PCC, is an independent personal trainer in New York City and the creator of Intrinsic Strength. Together they run www.CouplesCalisthenics.com

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  • Vasily

    What a brilliant article! I always dreamed about doing calisthenics with my girlfriend. Thought this wiil be amazing. But my girlfriend don’t like working out like I do. Hope, that in future we will be working out together like you. Thank you for such motivational post!

    • Angelo Grinceri

      Thank you so much for the kind words Vasily! Hopefully after seeing the article and some of the partner exercises we post on our blog she will start to change her mind! We love being able to share it together and would love for others to experience the same!

      I wish you luck!
      Angelo

  • Rodolfo Oliveira

    Great post! Like my brother Vasily I always wished that my fianceé ventured with me into the calisthenics world but she is more of a gym rat whenever she wants to work out. But that’s a project I am willing to start! Great photos of you!

    • Angelo Grinceri

      Great projects all have to start somewhere Rodolfo. We were both gym rats prior to our love for calisthenics, so there is hope! Thank you for your support.

      Angelo

  • Matt Schifferle

    In this day in age it seems like too many relationships are beings fragmented by gadgets. You can potentially spend an entire day around someone but not really be with them. Activities like this are a great way to bridge that attention gap that’s widening too much between couples.

    • Angelo Grinceri

      Matt, very good point and that is exactly what we are trying to do! We watch couples stare at their phones with nothing to actually do together. Our dream is to provide them with something that can share together.

      Thank you for the kind words
      Angelo

  • Fabulous article, you guys! I love that you are bringing a spark of romance into the Calisthenics mix! It is such a great idea to inspire couples to train together because it truly is a bonding experience AND a healthy activity. Haha, most people get fat when they get into relationships….y not get stronger instead!?! Most importantly it’s FUN! You two rule!

    • Angelo Grinceri

      haha Grace! exactly why not get strong with your partner. Instead of the first year 15!

  • A real intriguing aspect of calisthenics…I don’t know much about this area, but I know guys back in SQ used partner, and even team-based calisthenics in the years before I arrived. A lot of folks were also intrigued by the genius cover of CC2 (which I can say coz I had nothing to do with it) of Danny and Al kicking out that amazing partner-flag they somehow do. Seen a few folks trying to repeat it since!

    Great article–would love to see a book of partner progressions, you guys…

    • Vasily K.

      Hey Coach! Hope you have already had a great summer vacations! Like always, I have some questions to you (and this portion will be mostly about nutrition):
      1) What’s your thoughts on an *ideal* breakfast? Is it some cereals with milk, or maybe eggs, bread and glass of milk will be better?
      2) Not so long ago, I found a really cools strength-site of Alex Zinchenko – Rough Strength. What’s your opinion on his ideas? Does bodyweight atheltes really need some deadlift-movement? What you think on his dietary approach? (He said that athlete should aim on 1 g per lb of bodyweight *maybe even bigger amount* of protein?
      3) If I want to gain musle mass, is it useful to drink glass of milk before bed *or maybe a few hours after dinner*?
      4) *the most important question for me*. I’m using your Prison Diet with some changes. And I noticed a weight-drop in last few weeks. But my workouts didn’t suffer! I’m still making progress. In your opinion, why I’m not gaining mass? I don’t count callories, and don’t want to be skinny *cause already i’m 155 lbs and 5,11 height. And with some fat on a stomach (not so big)*
      5) Mr. Wade, why there is no 6th DVD on CC?
      6) When should we expect CC-3?
      Thank you for the answers. Hope that you will help me with gaining, cause inspite of the not so fast metabolism, I only loose weight while training on CC for about a year *mostly fat, of course, but I want some beef!*
      Wishing you all the best,
      Vasily

      • Paul John Wade

        Vas!

        1. As long as it’s balanced–carbs, protein and fats–it’s a winning meal!

        2. I am a big fan of Alex! He kindly asked me to write the foreword to his awesome book, The Rough Strength files. It kicks ass, check it out man! Our ideas differ though, as he lifts weights and promotes weight-training–I don’t! So we disagree on the Deads and protein. But no two fellas agree on everything, eh?

        3. Couldn’t hurt!

        4. You are losing weight and still getting stronger? Then you are winning–keep it up! Muscle comes over months and years of hard, brutal workouts. Not weeks!

        5. Dunno! They filmed one!

        6. You can do it, Vas! Read C-MASS and commit a year to it. I believe in ya!

        • Vasily K.

          Ok, Coach, so you think I should stay on Prison Diet, right? But what am I losing – muscles or fat – when I’m losing weight this days, but my workouts are on the same level as they were? What do you think if I will send you some mine photos and you will give me some advice?
          And hey, few weeks ago I heard interesting idea about protein intake. The core of this idea – 50-60g of protein that every man should consume, only goes to our most essential needs – like working of our internal organs, providing something to our immunity and etc. And people should add some protein above this number, in order to give our organism an opportunity to spend it on muscle-building. Where is the truth, Coach? And why there is a big difference in protein-intake approach between a real hardcore and old-school trainers? *like and Alex, and, maybe, Max Shank and so on* Sorry for being pain in the b**t, but this question takes my mind for past weeks. I’m in love *haha* with CC, but my biggest fear is to become on of this gazelles. Only bulls, only hardcore.
          Oh, and by the way, Paul, can you give some old-school bodyweight *or not so bodyweigth* tips? Or advice some sites or books. Thanks a lot!
          Greetings from Belarus like always, Mr. Wade.
          Vasily

          • Paul John Wade

            Vas, first up, sorry for the late reply. Lemme see if I can answer these great questions if I can:

            -Are you losing fat or muscle? Easy rule of thumb; if you’re getting stronger (going up steps) and adding reps, you are losing FAT. If you were losing pounds of muscle, your progress would deteriorate, not improve. Never panic over moderate weight loss if your workouts are improving!

            -Will a glass of milk profit your muscles before bed? Not necessarily, if ya eat enough during the day. All these kids today are into intermittent fasting (which woulda been seen as MADNESS a few years back) and it ain’t hurting them none.

            -The truth about protein? Here it is. Protein is good for ya. But you don’t NEED a ton of it to build muscle. Gorillas eat grass all day, and have more muscle than Arnold.

            -Not sure about that theory. Over my head!

            -I don’t think you should train too hungry: it’s distracting. But never on a full stomach. As ever, in-between is about right, Vas.

          • Paul John Wade

            -Best advice? Train hard, beat your previous bests, and don’t overthink it. Best books? Anything Kavadlo.

            -As for God. Never–especially when I was in jail! As I get older though, things are changing. Watch this space!

            Thanks for the questions my friend. Train hard and much love to Belarus!

    • Angelo Grinceri

      Hey Paul,
      Thanks for taking the time to check out our article. We were equally impressed by Al and Dannys partner-flag, it would be pretty awesome to be able to replicate that one day!
      Couples Calisthenics is something we are passionate about while it allows us to put in consistent time and work to accomplish classic calisthenic moves together. Working out together has also lead us to creating our own version of partner based exercises. A book is on our list of ways to share what we do with the world, We would love to share some of our ideas with you sometime.

      Have a great holiday weekend.
      Angelo & Rosalia

      • Paul John Wade

        Email me anytime! I would definitely advise John to look at your ideas, I think they are cool as hell!!

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