Kill Your Treadmill

If an alien came down to earth from a faraway planet without any knowledge of fitness (and the alien had a human body and our same physiology and everything, shut up), I would take that alien to the gym and bring them directly to the area with all the treadmills. "This is the treadmill area. This is where you should spend your whole workout," I would tell the alien.

Why? Because I don't want those god damn aliens to get in good shape. Could be dangerous.

You say you like the treadmill? You don't like the treadmill. Nobody likes the treadmill. It's a clackity mess. It makes you tired while also removing any sense of panache about the way you're becoming tired. Real runners don't even like treadmills. Real runners run outside. They only use treadmills as a last resort, like eating the dead body in the life raft to survive. If you were a real runner, you would have read the headline on this post and immediately agreed with it. "Of course treadmills suck!" you would exclaim, huffing and puffing up some mountain trail as sickly-sweet energy goo dripped from your lips in a disturbingly semen-esque way. "Real runners such as myself use them only as a last resort, when it's impossible to get outside and run real far and then congregate in small knots at work the next day to discuss our 'stride' and 'cadence' and 'why our shoes are simultaneously much more garish than regular athletic shoes and twice as expensive.' I love running outside, dislike treadmills, and my general comportment is virtually indistinguishable from that of a cult member!"

Ugh, runners.

But you, of course, are not a real runner. You are just a normal person, running on that treadmill at the gym. You don't love that treadmill. You cling to it like a security blanket that happens to smell like sweat that has dripped off a human scrotum. The vast majority of people running on treadmills at the average commercial gym—and it pains me to "put your business out there" in one of the internet's 50 Most Popular Fitness Columns, Cat Video Website division, but I feel that I have to, as your frenemy—are on those treadmills because they do not know what the fuck they are doing. And that's okay.

Well—not okay. "Bad," is the word I was looking for. Going to the gym and heading right for the treadmills and trudging along for 30 minutes is little more than a reversion to childhood gym class behavior, a simplistic reaction to a stimuli (the gym) with which one has few coping mechanisms. Jogging on a treadmill is much like doing curls: not inherently bad, but bad in the sense that that time could be much better spent. I don't want to hear a lot of foofaraw from jerks who are all, "Running is an important part of a complete fitness plan." Yeah, and Lucky Charms are an important part of this complete breakfast, but mostly it's the orange juice and the wheat toast and the eggs, so I ain't gonna go on an all-Lucky Charms diet* (*lie).

The fact is that most people out there have a limited number of hours per week to dedicate to working out, and in that context, spending that time on the god damn treadmill is a waste of time. "I go to the gym four times a week, two days of cardio and two days of weights," they say, as I put on a Scream mask in order to better emphasize how angry I am with their life choices. Here's a thought, genius: instead of doing two real workouts and two fake jogging treadmill quote-workouts-unquote per week, why not do four real workouts and zero fake treadmill workouts per week? That comes out to, let me just do some quick math here... twice as much real workouts in the same amount of time! Just by killing your treadmill. It's all about "bang for your buck," as they say in the illegal prostitution business. The best workout in the time that you have. If you finally make that Olympic marathon team, you can run on the treadmill. Until then, 99% of you would be better off doing pushups for that same amount of time. Oh, you can't do pushups for 30 minutes straight? I know, because they're much harder than running on the stupid treadmill. That's the point.

Given a limited amount of time to train, you will get more out of your fitness program by lifting weights with good intensity than you will get from doing bullshit jogging on a treadmill at low intensity, and don't lie to me, Candace, I know that you jog along at low intensity, or maybe even get on the Elliptical machine, the actual mechanical embodiment of "low intensity." Three or four good full body weightlifting sessions per week (or a push/ pull split or whatever kind of split you want to do, DO NOT LEAVE BITCHY COMMENTS ABOUT THIS MINOR POINT) will just plain get you in better shape than fewer weightlifting sessions and added weak ass treadmill cardio. If your so-called "trainer" disputes this fact then fire them on the spot. But don't invoke my name, if they're bigger than average. You want to "add in some cardio" to your workouts? Maybe try a little something called 20-rep Super Squats program my friend!! Yeah you'll add in some cardio alright!! In the form of your collapse from lack of oxygen followed by your literal death from stroke right there in the gym!! Now that's what I call a little cardio!! But seriously run some hills and sprints and shit or push the Prowler if you love cardio so much, who cares? Why the cardio fetish? Where do you have to run, really? If you don't think you get a cardio workout from weightlifting then you are not weightlifting hard enough, my friend.

The treadmill will not get you more hardcore. It will just help you jog more. Avoid the treadmill and you'll have a good excuse for never jogging at all.