After a long, stressful week, few sensations can rival the release you feel after hours of passionate sex: every worry floods from your mind, the weight of the world lifts from your shoulders—and all in a single burst (you know what I’m talking about!). Nothing could be better. But watch your ecstasy quickly dissolve into humiliation if hours suddenly become minutes, just because you entered the ring unprepared. “This can’t be me. He must be talking about someone else,” you might be saying to yourself right now. But come on: all of us have been in this situation at one time or another. This is no reason to get discouraged. Help is on the way! Just like any other sport or physical activity, you can improve sexual performance through proper training. And with a little extra sweat outside of the bedroom, you’ll finally be able to give her the workout she deserves in the bedroom.
Start at the Heart of the Problem
”The heart is the most important muscle/organ to train for power and endurance in love making.” says sexpert, Eve Marx. “If your cardiovascular system is in good condition, it follows that your endurance will be better. Improved cardiovascular fitness helps restore blood flow to the genitals and penis, a common cause of erectile difficulty.” According to the ACE (American Council on Exercise), a normal heart rate during sexual intercourse can average between 90 to 145 beats per minute, or around the same cardiac output as a 6.5 mph pace on the treadmill, and an hour of strenuous sex can equal roughly the same caloric expenditure as running 5 miles. Unfortunately, for all those of you who despise cardio in any form (myself included), there is no way to escape this inevitable conclusion: you must workout your heart. And though hours spent on the treadmill, elliptical machine, or stepper quickly spring to mind, this doesn’t have to be the case. Alternatives such as boxing, jumping rope, and even weight-training exercises, between the range of 15 to 20 reps, are all excellent ways to increase your cardiovascular fitness. The focus here is endurance, so try to increase the intensity and length of your workout each week by at least 5-10% for sustained progress—and watch your stamina skyrocket in the bedroom
Train for Function
“Different areas of the body must be trained for their specific movements and role in sexual intercourse,” says David James, an NSCA Certified Core Strength Specialist at Florida Atlantic University. Unlike traditional workouts, which deal with strength and muscle building, training for sex focuses on exercises dealing with the specific function of each muscle group during intercourse. So if you have already been slaving for hours in the gym with little result, there is hope for you yet. Training for sex requires a different strategy for each section of the body, and, even if you’re used to working out like a bodybuilder, not taking this into account could be the source of your problem. “Even the model we used to demonstrate the lower body portion of exercises had trouble making it through the shoot,” mused David, “because he was used to doing traditional strength-building exercises which focus on low reps and high weight.”
Upper Body Training: Going Beyond Strength
During sex, the upper portion of the body generally deals with supporting your partner in different positions and angles for prolonged periods of time. Weight-training for this portion of the body should not be thought of as strength-training, but rather as stability-training. For stability, it is important to train for extra strength in portions of the body that are involved in supporting your parent, such as shoulders and traps. In this case, a dumbbell-shrugging exercise, involving slow, concentric movements to build up trap-strength is ideal. But rather than adding large amounts of weight, Andy recommends you stay between 65-75% of the maximum amount of weight you can lift in one repetition, with a weight that allows you to comfortably do 8-10 reps. Each rep should be controlled at a slow, methodical pace, and followed by a two- second pause at the peak of the movement. This training should focus on large, compound movements that work the upper-body areas most commonly engaged during sex, such as the arms, shoulders, and chest.
Core Training: Building a Solid Base
The body’s core is the solid fulcrum that dictates all motion. In order to function efficiently during sex, it requires both flexibility and endurance, both of which can be achieved by focusing on two activities: (1) weight-training for abs, and (2) static stretching for the lower back. When training the abs, we revert to more traditional weighted exercises, such as weighted leg raises, to develop stability and strength, while staying between the range of 8-10 reps per set. While keeping the volume of sets in your workout low, remember to include an exercise for each part of the abs, such as leg raises for the lower portion, weight crunches for upper abs, and dumbbell twists for the side obliques. Now, abs- training may be fairly self-explanatory, but why put so much emphasis on stretching the lower back? The answer is simple: freedom of movement. While abs-training increases power and force in movements such as thrusting, stretching grants you the range of motion to fully utilize this power in intercourse. Abs-training should, therefore, logically follow stretching in order derive full flexibility benefits when training your core. And while the term “static” means you should hold the stretch in place for prolonged periods of 10-15 seconds, each stretch should involve two stretching periods with a short rest interval between each set.
Lower-Body Training: A Matter of Endurance
Finally, we come to the most important area of the body the workhorse of your sexual experience, the lower body, the source of all movement. If trained correctly, an efficient lower body will allow you to dictate the pace and flow of sex. But rather than strength-training, which core-training primarily addresses, lower-body training emphasizes low weight and high reps in order to build love-making longevity. Concentrate on compound movements that simultaneously work all muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, and dead-lifts to build overall muscular endurance, doing between 15-25 repetitions, and 8-12 sets in total, for each exercise. And remember: the primary function of this workout is to weight-train at an almost-cardio pace, so rest no longer than 30 seconds between sets in order to build maximum stamina.
Putting It All Together
Breaking it down in order of function, training for the upper vs. lower body is completely different. While the upper body deals with stability, requiring long pauses between repetitions, and slow isometric movements, the lower body must be trained for the endurance, and requires higher reps and shorter rest-intervals. The core is a combination of both styles of training, requiring endurance work for longevity, and strength training for strong abs, both of which are vital to your overall movement in the bedroom.
More than a Pleasure Trip
So what does proper training for your sex life mean outside of the bedroom? “Increasingly vivid personal experiences and interpersonal relationships,” says Arlene Golden, a sex therapist at the University of Chicago. “As you become more comfortable with your performance in the bedroom, this generally translates to other areas of life in which stress has taken hold.” And so, as confidence, and desire to have sex more regularly, grows, freedom in the bedroom becomes a key to feeling freer in your life outside the bedroom. In terms of physical benefits, sex is a great cure for insomnia (think of that surge of drowsiness that follows the orgasm). Moreover, both mentally and physically, the benefits of regular sex go far beyond sleep. “There is some evidence that having a regular sex life (even with oneself) will keep you younger, more elastic and flexible and mentally alert,” says Eve Marx. By the same token, if you stop using your sex organs they gradually will cease to work.” What is that old saying: use it, or lose it? Celibates, take heed.
Supplementing Your Sex Life
Want an extra boost in the bedroom? Try these natural supplements to rev up your libido: Yohimbine: Yohimbine’s boosts blood flow to the penis, increases levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (aka: the brain’s sex chemical) by up to 68 %, as well as the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids in ineuromuscular reaction time. All of the above effects are directly related to the frequency, strength, and stamina of penile erection. Zinc: Zinc is perhaps the most important supplement for a man’s sexuality, as it is a crucial factor in the production of sperm. Studies have shown that men who take and extra 500 milligrams of zinc a day experience a dramatic increase in testosterone production. Arginine: Studies have shown amino acid L-arginine increases blood flow in the body, as well as aids in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Among other numerous benefits, it also supports wound-healing, and stimulates the release of growth hormones, making L-arginine a good all-around supplement for both sexual stamina, and overall wellbeing.
1. Marx, Eve. What’s Your Sexual IQ? Citadel Publishing. 2004 3. Goldman, Arlene, Ph.D. Secrets of Sexual Ecstasy. Rodale Publishing. 2003. 4. American Council of Exercise (ACE). http://www.acefitness.org