I want to be able to lift my girlfriend in arms and hold her while walking for a while. It of course shouldn't seem struggling and I should be able to talk, laugh or even kiss while doing this.

enter image description here

What exercises should I focus on? I'm already squatting (80% my bodyweight) and deadlifting (little more than my bodyweight) as part of Starting Strength program. What else should I do?

  • 39
    Start with a lighter girlfriend, and gradually increase the weight of your girlfriends as you get stronger.
    – user2861
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 8:40
  • 2
    Lol, dude! That's so mean lol.
    – jay_t55
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 15:02

6 Answers 6


I'm already squatting (80% my bodyweight) and deadlifting (little more than my bodyweight) as part of Starting Strength program. What else should I do?

Absolutely nothing. Keep squatting until you're squatting 150% of your bodyweight. Keep deadlifting until you're lifting twice your bodyweight.

Once you reach those goals it would be reasonable to consider adding activity-specific training like farmer's walks, Atlas stone lifting, and odd-object carries. Until then, trying to find additional work will only distract from getting strong in the basics.

  • I would add some biceps exercises because as the photo in the question shows he will need to hold the girl Infront of him using his arms. Squats are not the same since the load is on your shoulder and deadlift doesn't get him there either..
    – LulY
    Commented Feb 3 at 12:44

Squats and deadlifts target the lower body, not upper, which is what you need to focus on in order to develop the arm strength to carry a person like that. Bicep curls, pull-ups, overhead shoulder press, rows, bench press...these develop upper body strength.

That said, lifting a person is not at all like lifting a rigid weight. People are soft, lumpy, amorphous--and a lot more difficult to grip and carry, unlike a barbell. So you'll need to practice on a real person in addition to weight training. There are a lot of stabilizing muscles that you'll engage when practicing on a real person as opposed to a barbell; however, you will need to develop enough strength in the primary muscles first.

And of course, it all depends on how much your girlfriend actually weighs. A 110 lb. person will be a lot easier to work with than a 170 lb. person. It also depends on how much she helps you out by holding on to you. A person who goes limp is a lot harder to carry.

  • 1
    If you think squats and deadlifts only target the lower body, you are doing something very, VERY wrong.
    – MJB
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 13:37


An idea would be to just start lifting your girlfriend already in addition to your current weight work. Keep lifting her until your have the strength to hold the lift with some stability for a good period of time - perhaps 10-20 seconds would be a good start. Then start adding in the movements such as walking while holding, walking and kissing while holding and so on.

It's all progression work and will take time.

While you're at it, do some core work as well which will help with stability. Planks, weighted planks, hanging leg raies, sit ups, crunches, etc.


You also could start with carrying kid's and work your way up. Fully agree with carrying your girlfriend. If she is to heavy for you and she love's you, she may lose some weight to make your task easier.


Zercher squats and zercher walks would be right up your alley


How about trying this:

First build something that mocks something that is a moveable, non-fixed form like a person's body, shape, etc ..

  1. Take a heavy duty, trash bag and fill it to a good workout weight with dirt, sand, small rocks, land fill, or similar (whatever works).
  2. Seal the bag as best you can so nothing spills out, but leave the inside accessible so you can add or remove weight.
  3. Double up the trash bag to protect against spills.
  4. Try to make the shape of it longer, thick, and round like a duffle bag... Which brings me to the last step...
  5. Place the filled trash bag(s) in an old duffle bag or something similar you don't need. This makes it easier to carry around and adds more spill protection. Try to use a duffle bag similar in size to your filled trash bag.

Now you are ready to work out. Try the following:

  1. Standing still while holding it.
  2. Walking while holding it.
  3. Walk up hills while holding it.
  4. Squats while holding it.
  5. One leg, alternate, forward lunges while holding it. Etc...

You get the idea and probably can think of other workouts. The point is to hold and workout with something heavy, the way you hold your girlfriend, that has a movable and non-fixed form.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.