When the holidays are here, yearlong healthy habits (and sometimes our relationships) may take a backseat to having fun and getting things done. It may also mean your clients skip out on their workouts or classes because they feel they just don’t have enough time to exercise. Of course, exercise is the very last thing they should be cutting out because it helps calm the nerves and keep energy levels up—two essentials for getting through the holiday season in one piece. 

Instead of expecting clients to stick to their usual schedules, a better approach is to give them options for staying active when they just can’t make it to the gym. Encourage them to carve out time to exercise with their partners—even just 20 minutes can make a huge difference—as a way to stave off holiday weight and stress, while also helping them feel more connected as a couple. 

Research suggests that working out with a partner can help create a stronger bond and may increase your performance, as well. According to a study conducted by researchers at Michigan State, if your partner is more fit than you, it may boost your performance by up to 90 percent. Check out this ACE Fit Life blog for more information you can share with your clients on the benefits of working out with a partner.

With time in short supply during the holidays, your clients can still get the benefits of exercise by performing this fast and efficient 20-minute circuit with their partners. It’s perfect for boosting strength and cardiorespiratoryendurance—and for improving relationships.

Urge your clients to warm up by performing some dynamic exercises prior to starting the circuit (which, by the way, requires no extra equipment). Each partner works for 30 seconds and then “rests” while the other person completes his or her turn.

MINUTES 1 and 2: 

Work - 30 seconds dips on partner; Rest – 30 seconds plank hold 


1-minute jog in place

MINUTES 4 and 5: 

Work – 30 seconds partner squat (partner 1 squats while partner 2 leans into their chest, fireman arms); Rest – 30 seconds partner squat (switch partner positions)


1- minute of jumping jacks

MINUTES 7 and 8:  

Work – 30 seconds partner-resisted pull squat (right arm); Rest – 30 seconds partner-resisted pull squat (left arm)


1 minute of burpees

MINUTES 10 and 11: 

Work – 30 seconds partner rebounding lunges (right leg); Rest – 30 seconds partner rebounding lunges (left leg)

MINUTE 12:  

1 minute of Heisman’s

MINUTES 13 and 14: 

Work – 30 seconds partner plank pull (right arm); Rest - 30 seconds partner plank pull (left arm) 

FOR MINUTES 16 – 20:  

Repeat the entire circuit, but cut each recommended time in half (i.e., 15 seconds instead of 30 seconds; 30 seconds instead of one minute). Finish up the workout with some cool-down stretches.