The Top 5 Stupidest Fitness Ideas in the History of the Universe
My grand unifying theory of everything is that humans are dumb. Not some humans, not those other guys who have different belief systems than you, I mean all of us. Every last person who has ever lived is dumber than they are smart.
Sure, you might go get yourself a degree in electrical engineering and make yourself a heck of a lot smarter in certain areas of life. But, sadly, that won't carry over as much as you'd have liked it to other areas. We are all left totally clueless when it comes to most things. I have a degree in mathematics, I'm a weightlifting coach, and I’m a musician who plays multiple instruments, but I can't fix your toilet or your car, I can't work with wood, or really do anything that would be considered a "man skill."
Fitness is one of those areas where otherwise very bright people can come across as remarkably lost. A person with a law degree can come into the gym and see nothing weird at all about never lifting weights, doing nothing but light jogging on a treadmill for thirty minutes twice a week, never altering their diet other than to add in a lunch time salad, and wondering why they don't lose weight.
It isn't their fault. They simply don't know yet. There was a time we didn't either. But, now, you and I have edged our way up into the fitness 1% and we can be rather arrogant about the difference between what we know versus the shear ignorance that persists out there among the 99%.
I would love to tell you that we shouldn't sit around making fun of these people, but today is not that day. There are times in life that your only choice is to laugh: laugh at others.
Today’s case in point is a few moronic fitness devices and trends. Let the games begin.
#1: Treadmill Bike
Running is horrible. I hate it. I'm a weightlifter, I don't believe in getting my heart rate up. But as much as I hate to run, there is likely only one thing I hate more: running on a treadmill.
At least normally when you run you get to be outside and SEE stuff. But when you run on a treadmill you are stuck watching Court TV, old episodes of General Hospital, or Oprah, because Lord knows that is all that is ever on the big screens at those kinds of gyms that still have treadmills. And the idea of living out the old U2 song Running to Stand Still doesn't appeal to me.
Thankfully, someone came up with a solution to the boredom problem AND the running to stand still problem. Take the treadmill outside and let it roll, baby! Turn your treadmill into a bicycle and then you can take it on the road and get somewhere, too.
Because riding a bike doesn't do either of those things, and neither does using your feet to run on the ground.
#2: Gladiatorial Combat
Humans didn't just magically get dumb in the twentieth century. They have always been dumb. Case in point: gladiatorial combat. Sure, it wasn't something the masses did to keep themselves in shape. But there is no denying that gladiators were serious athletes whose workouts would be in line with many of the best athletes alive today.
There was only one problem. Their sport required death.
On the upside, they were some of the first athletes in recorded history to do what we'd easily recognize as intense weight training. They did conditioning work that would make CrossFit Games competitors cry. And they had very real incentive to learn the most effective martial arts and self-defense skills.
Of course, the REASON they did all of this was to avoid dying! We humans are more than dumb; we are outright cruel and horrible and have been so often throughout history that it is hard to truly fathom the depths of that horror. Russell Crowe looking hot in a skirt aside, gladiators lived short lives that ended in agonizing deaths. And it was all for the sake of entertainment of the masses.
That was a fitness/sports trend I think we can do without. Unless it is Captain Kirk and Spock fighting to the death over Spock's betrothed on the planet Vulcan. Then I get it.
#3: The Shake Weight
I really don't have anything to say about the Shake Weight other than, "Um..." with a long pause and quixotic look on my face. How in the name of Zombie Jesus this device has anyone buying it I don't know.
My problem with the Shake Weight is that it seems rather tame. Why not go all the way? Why not bring your barbell into an earthquake prone city and snatch while the world crumbles around you? THAT would be shakin' with some weight!
I really have nothing else to say.
#4: Sanitized Tapeworms
Another blast from the past is the intentional use of tapeworms to help you lose weight. I mean, why bother eating less when you can simply have a little creature-helper in your tummy that steals away the calories for you?
It's seems like a good idea once you get past the obvious Alien-style creep-out. I love my milkshakes, burgers, and alcohol. And I really have no plans of cutting them out of my diet. Which means if I want to stay lean, I am forced to either eat these tasty goodies less, or find a way of making the calories "not count."
Tapeworms to the rescue!
Unfortunately, when you have a tapeworm, it doesn't just steal calories. That little buddy in your belly is also stealing essential nutrients. We call these nutrients essential for what I would presume are obvious reasons.
#5: The Thigh Master
Admit it. We all want to look more like Beyonce - walkin' on sexy muscular thighs that look as powerful as they are. So a device like the Thigh Master comes along with that blonde chick from Three's Company squeezin' and a-flexin' on the edge of a bed in a headband and knee warmers and there isn't any way on this earth we aren't going to buy it.
Unfortunately, the Thigh Master turned out not to be a master of anything, and didn't even come with a free headband.
The lack of progressive resistance was a rather large oversight on the part of the designers. Which is too bad given how awesome it would be to have the ability to squeeze five hundred pounds between your knees while watching reruns of Xena the Warrior Princess on Netflix, eating a large pizza, and washing it down with a martini in the full knowledge that your tapeworm would take care of it for you.
What was the point of all of that? Nothing! Sometimes you just gotta make fun of other people to feel better about yourself, and I am simply not in the mood to make apologies about that. So there.