The New Year’s resolution is always the same for me, as it’s always the same for millions: get in shape. Or, at the very least, exercise a little bit. Stave off the decay and the ballooning for a little while longer. I’m not proud of this, but I used to quietly judge those who went to the gym as being vain. I would then order a poutine for delivery (ah, Montreal!) and fall asleep.
The other day I was at a party where the host was kind enough to put out an overflowing bowl of pretzel M&Ms, an unholy mix that was forged in the deepest circle of hell for the sole purpose of giving me type 2 diabetes. I ate so many that the host gave me what was left in the bag on the way out, as if to say ‘I can’t possibly appreciate these as much as you do.’ He was correct.
Maybe it’s the Olympics, with all the high-definition footage of swimmers’ 18-packs and gymnasts’ granite hindquarters. Maybe it was seeing a shirtless photo of me taken at a cottage that left me wondering who shaved the circus bear. Maybe it’s having a three-month-old who is testing the strength of my traps when I lift her.
I’ve started looking at gyms.
Since the idea of loping along on an elliptical for 45 minutes sounds lobotomizing-ly boring, I have naturally gravitated to the most brutal possible workouts. Let’s see what’s out there, and ask yourself if you’d want Your Man* participating in any of the following. Good luck.
(*I use that phrase so often, I thought I should capitalize it.)
As far as crazy workouts go, this is the most mainstream. You work out while watching a series of DVDs over the course of 90 days. The workouts are led by a terrifying ripped dude named Tony Horton who gets progressively more abusive as the weeks progress and the workouts grow more intense. The fact that I don’t have to leave my house is a plus. It would, however, only be a matter of time before I remember that my TV could show other, less judgmental programming and I just decide to watch Dance Moms instead.
That unexpected capital F shows that these guys are not messing around. You can expect kettle-bell flinging and lots and lots of squats. (From Wikipedia: “One-legged air squats are referred to as pistols.” Noted.) There is also a timed, competitive aspect to it for those who want to feel superior not just to the candy-coated pretzel-eating masses, but to other fitness nuts as well. There are workouts of the days (WOD’s to those in the know, bro) that, like hurricanes, are given people’s names. “You try Denise yet? Denise is sick!”
Herschel Walker Workout
Herschel Walker, former NFL star and Olympic bobsledder, has maintained his Adonis-like body by doing 1500 pushups, 2000 sit-ups, 1000 dips and 1000 squats every day. He also sleeps just four hours a night and eats one giant vegetarian meal a day, which is fine with me because pretzel M&Ms are vegetarian, right?
Russian Parkour Crane Workout
Well lookie here, if it isn’t some insane Russians doing pull-ups on a crane hundreds of feet above the ground. Congratulations, pony-tailed parkourers! You win! This will be my path to fitness/death.
Paul Beer is a Toronto writer, actor and comedian. You can follow him on Twitter @pauldanielbeer.