Here at "I of the Tiger" Fitness Reportage Inc., we don't know much about "politics" or "economics" or "stealthy plans to decimate the social safety net while funneling untold sums to the rich." But we do know about fitness fads, exercise trends, and workout crapola. So when we heard that hokey-doke dreamboat Paul Ryan, Washington DC's most famous adherent of the P90X workout, could be the next VP, we immediately knew that it was time to exploit this fact for profit.
Here is a true story ripped directly from the pages of real life: at the gym, on a crowded week night, there was some dude, just as proud as he could be, doing yoga in front of the weight rack. The weight rack that I needed to use. Stone-cold down on one knee, neck twisted, hand aloft, in the "Can You Believe I'm Actually Doing This Right Here" pose. Can you believe this dude? You know?
First of all let me just say that Crossfit is great. It's great! Crossfit will get your ass in shape. There's no question about it. I certainly am not going to say anything that would make thousands of people in "WODKILLA" t-shirts unduly angry. So it must be said, right up front: Crossfit is a very, very good workout thing.
When I'm out on the "lecture circuit" (out back of the 7-11), I'm always hearing you sad sack types whining about why you just can't get in shape. "I don't know how to get motivated," you sad sack types whine. "I don't have the motivation," you continue. It makes me so sick I just want to vomit out the 36-ounce Red Bull I just drank—for motivation!
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.
Imagine yourself trapped, in a small room, with no fancy accoutrements whatsoever. All you have is yourself. And time. You call out, but no one brings you any Gatorade, let alone Red Bull. You feel like one of those mimes, just moving your hands around and being unpopular. Is this the end of your fitness career? Is there any way out of this trap?
Let's cut the bullshit and stop the rigmarole and quit giving this the runaround, shall we? This joke internet column is purportedly about fitness, and that means that it is, before anything else, about squats. You want to talk about fitness without talking about squats? I will spit on your grave, after you die. That is an appropriate reaction on my part. This is that serious.
You wrenched your neck. You sprained your ankle. You tweaked your back. You banged your knee. You tore your rotator cuff. You cracked your toe. You have plantar fascitis. You have bursitis. You have arthritis. You jammed your finger, broke your nose, lost a tooth, and you really hope that shooting pain in your chest is just a passing heart attack, rather than broken ribs.
When you walk into a gym, or "gymnasium" as they're known on the streets, you'll find three distinct areas: a "cardio area," where boring people are doing things I don't even care about; a free weights area, where people are doing exercise; and a fitness machine area, where crippled people are doing physical rehab. "But hey," you exclaim stupidly, "I do the fitness machines, and I am not crippled!"
Aha, you have a new "fitness plan," eh? You got the hot new book from the NASM/ AFAA/ ISSA/ NFPT/ AFPA/ NCSF/ Oprah certified celebrity personal fitness trainer? The Super Secret Hot New Five Minute Sexy Body Workout and Hollywood Pineapple Diet? Plus the Bowflex Ab Rocker Nordictrac Cybex Chuck Norris Perfect Pushup machine? You've finally figured out the proper hydration and nutrition and training schedules to optimize your metabolism to Burn Fat While You Sleep? Congratulations on finally Unlocking The Code to Success.
There I was, at the gym, the other day, sitting there, on a piece of gym equipment, in between sets, taking a short break, a moment's rest, a slight breather, if you will, and along comes this gym guy, looking all gym-y, wearing his gym clothes, with his gym attitude, and he walks right up to me just as bold as you please, in his gym shorts, and he's all, while I'm sitting there, he's all, "Can I work in?"