To the weight loss industry in general:
April 27, 2009 6 Comments
And Exercise tv in particular:
I am a person who needs to work out. I am also a person who is not half-acrobat like most of the trainers you promote. I can not jump on one foot while doing a tricep extension with one arm and a bicep curl with the other. I can not lay on the floor and work my core while lifting medicine balls with my toes to work out my legs and do backwards push ups at the same time. I don’t know what kind of people you’re gearing towards, but it’s most assuredly not me!
Can you tell what I’ve been doing for the last hour?
Admitedly, Cardioke was pretty fun. It combined two things I like, one which I’m okay at (singing) and one at which I totally stink (dancing). Since I have comcast and on demand I didn’t have to pay for it (which is great, because I wouldn’t without trying it out, and who would try out something called Cardioke without having heard of it before? It sounds like some kind of strange sushi or maybe a new hybrid artichoke, I don’t know…)
After Gracie and I danced and sang and sweated around the living room, it was time for another workout, since that one was only half an hour or so. I decided to lift weights to work on my arms. My arms need it. My head needs it. So I did it.
It wasn’t that fun.
See, the problem is that you need to be able to identify with these people you’re following along on tv. Or at least enjoy the music. Otherwise your brain wanders and before you know it that tricep dip ends with your butt on the carpet while you munch rice cakes and wonder if the people on tv are robots.
In the Cardioke, there are a whole range of people who are in different stages of weight loss – simply put, there are some people my size or even bigger to encourage me on. I identified with them, I liked them.
The arm video, not so much. The girl looks kinda vacant. She’s really gorgeous but just doesn’t seem there. The guy reminds me of my old PE teacher on speed. I can’t identify with that! The work out was okay, but towards the end he starts having you do a combo of moves to increase your hand-eye coordination. That would be great, and sounds like a wonderful thing, but the moves are so complicated I got lost half way through. All I could think was, that girl is making this look way too hard, my arms aren’t even starting to tingle, this isn’t working; she’s half my size and sweating like a pig. She’s totally faking.
So I shut the thing off and did some push ups and other things on my own. It was much more fun and felt a lot better.
I still hadn’t hit my goal for work out time (an hour and a half) so I went back on demand and found another segment on upper bodies. I think it was called Explosive Upper Bodies. It was the same guy and girl from the other arm video, but this time I didn’t even attempt to follow it. The first move was enough to turn me off completely. She stands on one foot and swings the other foot as high as she can (so it touches her forehead pretty much) and grabs it with her hand. Yeah right. If I could do that move, I wouldn’t be holed up in my living room hoping no one knocks on the door until I quit sweating! What are these people on?
I’m still not done with the exercise thing. I find one on working out your butt. Should be easy, right? 12 minutes of bonding time with my rear end, shouldn’t be too complicated.
I shut it off after thirty seconds. She was doing some kind of crazy lunge with a back kick and a hop and a squat combined and I’m sure she was using one of those invisible harnesses to keep her from falling on her face, since that move is not humanly possible. She also kept saying, “Just relax and open up,” and all I could think about was my last appointment with my gyno, so it was so not happening. At least that appointment was something I could actually accomplish. It’s easy to lie still and take a deep breath; not so easy to jump a hundred feet while holding one foot with one hand and lifting weights with your knees and dribbling a medicine ball with your chin.
So in conclusion, I guess what I’m trying to say is that there needs to be a fraction of the work out industry directed at middle age, over weight, completely uncoordinated people who want to start working out and actually feel like they aren’t wasting their time. It would also be nice to not hear the words “Just relax and open up.” It was also be wonderful to be able to take the people on tv seriously and not have to think about how that chic can’t weight more than ninety pounds and you’ll never get that size. Dignity, people, that’s all I’m asking for!