I Tried Raven's Love Is Blind Pod Workout & My Partner Was Not Into It
It was... not easy.
In Elite Daily’s I Tried series, we put products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave stars and characters is really like. In this piece, Raven Ross’ controversial Love Is Blind pod workout tests the stamina — and relationship — of one Elite Daily editor.
Love Is Blind Season 3 star Raven Ross gained a lot of parasocial haters when she decided to work out while a potential love interest told her all about his family trauma. Granted, Bartise Bowden was on the other side of a wall and couldn’t see her, but he could hear her. More importantly, everyone watching at home could see her, and many of them took to social media to call her out for being self-centered. But was Raven being self-centered... or is she just a multitasking fitness queen? I decided to put myself in her shoes to find out.
To be clear, Raven has already admitted her ill-timed jumping jacks were icky. “I am sorry,” Raven told Elite Daily in October. “It was a bad decision. I was wrapped up in the pods. You don’t get to see how long we’re in there, but I’m making no excuses for myself.”
However, when we hopped on the phone to chat about her workout moves, she gave me more context into when and why she felt compelled to exercise in the pods. “It was when I felt my body needed it,” she said. “It might just be me because I have creaky old joints, but when you’re sitting for a while, it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I need to get up and stretch my hip.’”
On our phone call, Raven gave me four exercises to try, walking me through how to do each move, and how many times, like the true fitness instructor she is. But it wasn’t enough for me to simply repeat her moves and call it a day. No, for the full, Raven-inspired experience, I needed to do the workout with my very own pod partner talking to me as I got my sweat on. So, I asked my partner to tell me about his day, gave him very little context as to what I was doing, and got to exercising.
I started this journey by asking my partner, Keenan, to plop down on the couch, facing away from me, and start talking about his life. I told him I’d be working out while he was speaking, but since he hasn’t seen Love Is Blind (gasp!), he had no idea why we were doing any of this.
Raven told me she started her pod workouts with jumping jacks — three sets of 20 — as a warmup to get the body loose. Because she didn’t have access to a timer in the pods, she simply counted the number of times she jumped, choosing that number because “I just can’t count much higher than that,” she said. She also offered a modification to the standard, arms-over-the-head jacks: “Instead of taking my arms above my head, I open my arms out to the side so my upper body looks more like a T,” she said. “It’s just a different way to incorporate more of a chest stretch when you’re doing your jumping jacks. It’s also a little bit better for people with shoulder impingements.”
So, that’s exactly what I did, completing three sets of 20 jumping jacks, with a 30- to 60-second break between each set. Because I didn’t have a timer, not only did I have to count the jumping jacks, but I also had to count the seconds between each set — which made it just a little difficult to follow my partner’s story about what he made for breakfast. But all in all, it was a pretty easy warmup.
Then came the glutes portion of the workout. For the hip thrusts, Raven used the equipment that was available to her in the pods — namely, a couch. “I put my shoulder blades up against a couch, and I put my hands back behind my head, to support [my] neck,” she said. “Then you articulate your hips up to create a straight line between your spine and your knees.”
Raven instructed me to do 20 bridges, then on the final one, I needed to hold it at the top of the lift. Then I had to lift one leg up and lower it back down, and do the same with the other leg. I was to repeat that 20 times (10 on each leg). Then I was supposed to rest, and do it all again two more times, for a total of three combo sets.
I did this as Keenan told me about his workday. But I’m not going to lie: I didn’t retain that much info past the first set. Those leg lifts are no joke! My body was shaking as I held the bridge and tried to keep my legs nice and straight as I lifted each one over and over again. By the end of the third set, my legs felt like they were filled with jelly — about 50 pounds of jelly.
Planks & Plank Walkouts
I took about a five-minute break between the bridges and the next combo workout, which was a mashup of planks and plank walkouts. The plank section was pretty self-explanatory — simply hold a pushup position for 30 seconds. From there, Raven told me to start the plank walkouts, which entails lifting your hips up into a downward dog yoga pose, then walking my hands back to meet my feet, and then back out into a plank position. This is one of Raven’s favorite moves. “It's incorporating mobility and strength,” she said. “I do those all the time in my workouts.”
It turned out the plank part was actually more difficult than the walkouts, mostly because I had to count to 30 while my whole body vibrated from the exertion and my partner was going on about his latest annoying work task. I could barely muster some sympathetic “mhms” while my muscles screamed. To be honest, I do planks pretty often and don’t normally have much trouble holding them for 30 seconds, so I’m guessing I was counting super slow and ended up holding each one closer to a minute.
As for the walkouts, I actually felt a really great stretch and didn’t mind that portion in the slightest.
Finally, Raven suggested ending the mini-routine with a round of cat-cows, aka fluid stretches between two yoga poses in which you are on all fours and arch your back, then contract your body to round out the spine.
“I like cat-cows, especially in this sequence, because we haven’t done a lot of spinal articulation,” Raven told me. “For a lot of people, we don't move our spines throughout the day, so cat-cow is a good stretch of all the different parts of your back. Your thoracic, your lumbar, your cervical spine. It's a good way to get some more mobility in your vertebrae at the end of a workout.”
This was by far the easiest part of the workout, and the only time when I felt I could fully listen to my partner.
Raven deserves major props. Not only did she maintain an effective fitness routine during her time in the Love Is Blind pods, but she was able to do it while holding important conversations with her potential partners. The workout itself really wasn’t all that hard — I finished with a light sheen of sweat feeling accomplished, not defeated. What was hard was actually listening to Keenan while trying to count reps and do all the moves right.
Considering Bartise was offended when he realized Raven was working out while he was telling her about his family drama, I asked my partner how it felt to speak to me while he knew I was otherwise occupied. His answer? “I mean, no one wants to feel like they’re not important enough to be listened to.” I followed up to ask if he was mad at me, as I am wont to do. “No,” he said. “Because I knew this was all an experiment anyway.”
I mean, technically, Love Is Blind is *also* an experiment, so maybe we all need to cut Raven some slack.