The road to the top of the WWE wasn’t an overnight trip for Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins, who have become two of sports entertainment’s most popular attractions. And perhaps this shared affinity for grinding it out in the ring explains why the newly engaged Lynch and Rollins (real names Rebecca Quinn and Colby Lopez) gravitated toward each other outside of the ring as well.
Last May, when their relationship was revealed to the public, the WWE Universe swooned at the news. It just seemed to make sense: The crimson-haired Lynch is the first woman to hold the Raw Women’s Championship and SmackDown Women’s Championship simultaneously. And “Beast Slayer” Rollins is the WWE Universal Champion and the winner of the 2019 Royal Rumble. Both are beloved by the WWE Universe, which regularly sends the two Superstars’ names trending to the top of social media whenever their entrance music hits. What’s more, both are fitness fanatics.
Here was America’s answer to the celebrated coupling of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: a ginger across the pond becoming romantically involved with a Yank from the heartland. But unlike the overseas version, our royal couple kicks ass, takes names, and looks great doing it. Yet despite their very real affection for each other, some catty online trolls believe that it’s all a marketing stunt. Lynch isn’t having it.
“If you ask the internet, we don’t have any chemistry,” she says. “I think that people have a perceived view of me and him, and to see us come together, I don’t know that they envisioned it. I think people always need something to complain about.”
Both grew up in love with the sport and began dreaming of making it to the big time as kids. Rollins, hailing from Davenport, IA, began hitting the gym when he was 16 years old. Inspired by WWE legends Shawn Michaels and the late, great Eddie Guerrero, Rollins entered wrestling school and worked his way up the ladder, competing in a number of different promotions before reaching the pinnacle of sports entertainment—WWE. Once Rollins made it big, he became an instant hit.
The Irish-born Lynch took a less-direct path to her current perch as undisputed queen of the ring. After failing PE at 15, she got serious about training.
“I looked at all the WWE Superstars, and they were in great shape,” she says.
But looking good wasn’t enough. Lynch found it difficult to find her niche as she tried to break into the sport on the independent circuit. She drifted a bit for seven years, working as a stuntwoman, a personal trainer, a language teacher, and an actress, even doing a stint as a flight attendant. Eventually, she persevered and rose to the top, helped by her earthy charisma and verbal gifts. Lynch commands an audience and trash-talks with the skill of a seasoned veteran.
“I’m a little bit mouthy, but I back it up,” she says. With her death-stare determination honed by her steely Irish flint, the four-time WWE champ isn’t going to back down to anybody.
“Championships represent being at the top of your game. It means that you are the best of the best,” says Lynch. “Anybody who wants to take it from me better step up and be better, otherwise I can’t sit with that.”
That goes for her training as well. Just ask her other half.
“Becky and I have opposite strengths when it comes to workouts,” Rollins says. “I’m more skill-oriented, so when it comes to gymnastics-like movements or weightlifting, like doing a snatch, I have an advantage. But her engine is on another level. If she has movements that are just go, go, go, she’s going to outrun me every single time. I’m always trying to play catch-up to her when it comes to those workouts.”
Lynch knows Rollins is also a beast in the gym—yet another reason they connect so well.
“We’re at the top of our games because we work our asses off,” says Lynch. “We’re on the same wavelength.”
CrossFit Jesus and the Celtic Goddess
Both Rollins and Lynch train under the guidance of Josh Gallegos, a CrossFit luminary who is not only a CrossFit Level 2 trainer but for eight years has been one of the hosts of the annual CrossFit Games. Gallegos trains other WWE stars, including Cesaro, Bayley, Karl Anderson, and the Singh Brothers. He’s a close friend of Rollins’, and the two started DeadBoys Fitness, an online training company, a couple of years ago.
Gallegos uses a hybrid of different workout techniques, with an emphasis on CrossFit training principles.
“I try to keep it as fresh as possible because I’m going on my fifth year training with Seth and my third year with Becky,” says Gallegos. “It’s not just the same mundane thing over and over. I try to keep their barbell lifts and their weight training in the same vein as CrossFit in the sense that it changes every week.” WWE athletes are notorious for being on the road frequently, so Gallegos makes sure that he gives them the tools to stay on their program.
“Sometimes I’ll get a phone call from Becky that’s like, ‘Hey, I can’t make it into a gym today. Can you give me a workout to do in the hotel?’ And so I’ve got to, on the fly, fix either her workout to be done in a hotel gym or write her a completely new one.”
It works. One reason is their dedication. Gallegos says he used to train them separately, but now they work out—and compete—with each other.
“They’re both very competitive, and so now their programming has kind of been morphed into one. Seth lifts more weight than Becky, but they still do the same kind of workout, though there are some skills that Becky’s still working on that Seth has already mastered.”
Skills aside, when the two go head-to-head on equal terms, Lynch gives Rollins all he can handle.
“We did this fun workout for our DeadBoys channel called Man Versus Man because Seth used to be called ‘the Man,’ ” says Gallegos. “Becky is now ‘the Man.’ No joke, these two tied the workout. That’s just how crazy they are. They legitimately tied a workout that we’ve been pumping for, like, four weeks straight.”
Lynch loves to test herself against the guys in the gym.
“Myself, Seth, and Cesaro, we’re always competing against each other on DeadBoys Fitness,” says Lynch. “We’re so competitive. I think that pushes me because I always want to win. I usually do.”
Rollins, who earned the nickname “CrossFit Jesus” a few years ago, thrives in an environment of pushing his body to the max. It’s about paying dues, something he has very much in common with his significant other.
“It’s validation that the years of hard work in the gym pay off, and it’s not just you in there suffering,” says Rollins about his success. “I take a lot of pride in it. Me and Becky are at the top of our game, and it’s a reminder that the hard work pays off.”
Gallegos sees it every day from CrossFit Jesus and the Celtic Goddess. For Rollins and Lynch, working their asses off is in their DNA.
“There are a lot of people that don’t want to take the hard road,” Gallegos says. “They think, ‘Oh, it’ll be easy. It’ll come to me.’ But that’s not the case. Their work ethic inside the ring and outside of the ring is unmatched.”
When Seth Rollins tried CrossFit for the first time, there was no looking back. One of his favorite CrossFit WODs is called Fran, a mild-mannered name for a brutal little workout.
“It’s a couplet of barbell thrusters and pullups,” Rollins says. “A thruster is a full front squat into an overhead press.”
The prescribed sequence is three rounds of 21, 15, and 9 reps. Men are supposed to use a 95-pound barbell for the thruster; women should use 65 pounds. And you’re supposed to do it as fast as inhumanly possible.
DIRECTIONS: Complete each move one after another, resting only as needed. Aim to finish the circuit as quickly as possible.
Barbell thruster: 3 sets of 21, 15, 9
Pullup: 3 sets of 21, 15, 9
*Men use a 95-pound barbell; women use a 65-pound barbell.
Give Fran a try and see how close you come to Rollins’ time (three minutes and 20 seconds, which is considered elite). And, yes, it will hurt so good.
Tune in to Raw every Monday night on the USA Network and SmackDown every Friday night, as of Oct. 4, on Fox.