MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – It’s the viral sensation you’ve seen all over Facebook and Snapchat: an enthusiastic boyfriend gamely motivating (off-camera) his lady love Elizabeth, to go work out. Elizabeth is having none of it, as she can’t seem to get over her love of powdered doughnuts, Big Macs, and chicken nuggets.
What follows is a steady barrage of friendly insults, one-liners, and some stunts, all of them geared towards getting Elizabeth to quit eating fast food and work out.
Here are just a few of those noted one-liners:
When Elizabeth was running and decided to take a shortcut: “A shortcut!? This isn’t Mario Kart!“
“You bring a whole new meaning to The Hunger Games,” Ekow tells Elizabeth when she sneaks in a box of chicken wings at midnight.
The videos have since gone viral on YouTube and Facebook. And Ekow Fynn, 27, and Elizabeth (purposely introduced without a surname; her face is never revealed in the videos), 21, are the ones behind it all.
“We got the idea when she [Elizabeth] wanted to work out to get fit, not lose weight. She asked for my help and made me promise not to let her slack off and ruin her diet with junk food,” Ekow told Rappler in an email interview. “So on the second day I randomly pulled out my camera and started filming with no retakes. Wasn’t going to upload the footage, but the next day decided why not and it went viral.”
He started by filming clips on Snapchat, then uploading the clips on other platforms like Facebook. Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, Ekow is a volunteer working with children in their community, while Elizabeth is a waitress.
He said that they don’t do retakes. “These are filmed on my cell phone using the during workout times after she goes to work. We don’t do retakes, just one shot and boom, there’s the new video,” he said.
One scene that really made a splash (quite literally) with fans was when Elizabeth is pushed into what appears to be a pond.
“You’re not drowning! You’re just thinking about a Big Mac and it’s weighing you down!” Ekow shouts.
We asked Ekow if he really did push Elizabeth into the water as an unscripted surprise, and he was quick to clarify that the bigger stunts like those are planned, although they try to keep the gags as free-flowing and natural as possible.
“Everything we do in our videos Elizabeth is aware about, and more excited to do than I am. Most of these videos are her decision which makes it even more fun. Of course she knew about the lake,” Ekow told Rappler.
“Pushing my girlfriend into a random lake and forcing her to swim is not my idea of motivation. Most of the things we do are natural, but big things like that are planned out and an add comedy relief for the viewers.”
They now have a growing community of fans, but some commenters have also written that some of Ekow’s one-liners sometimes seem to have taken on a bullying or body-shaming tone.
To that, Ekow said: “Some people are motivated with a gentle voice from their trainer and some need that drill sergeant approach. All in all, Elizabeth is comfortable with our workout plans and believe it or not she’s the one who gets me up out of bed to [get her to work out].”
Ekow does have plans to produce more content, saying that he has always wanted to be a social media entertainer.
He does have these relationship tips, from the perspective of his own happy relationship with Elizabeth.
“My best advice would be to meet someone you can be yourself with and do not acknowledge the negative comments others have on your relationship,” he said. “Be spontaneous, and do things you may think you’d be uncomfortable with. You never know what fun you could have.” – Rappler.com