GYM Class: THE DIY, DIFNF Thesis
Our modern America is a no longer a producer’s economy but a consumer economy. That’s not conjecture or philosophy, it’s a sad fact and the reason for the current credit crunch in equity, debt and housing markets as well as the reason George W. Bush wants to give you $800 bucks in a rebate check so you can go straight to Circuit City, Target or wherever, to “boost” the economy.
It’s tricknology folks.
And what I mean by that is that a lot of times as consumers we are compelled by false shortages, told to go shopping, lest the terrorists win. Moreover we often buy things more for piece and peace of mind than for utility. And corporations count on us to buy items and let them collect dust so that when we see the dust, we are convinced that the good we purchased is obsolete. A lot of treadmills bought for the home serve as laundry hampers, dry-wall holder-uppers and post modern art as a case in point.
This is why from late November through late April of every dual calendar year, exercise machine firms, fitness centers and gyms -- I like to call them, one-way banks or reverse ATMS -- see their greatest uptick in revenue. Many are determined after Thanksgiving to get that weight down, but too busy or cold in the post-Super Bowl, pre-spring doldrums to care that 24-Hour Fitness, Bally’s Total Fitness, Gold’s Gym and Equinox are getting direct deposit like they’re employed by you. Hence, the reality: physical fitness is an $11 billion industry and the weight loss business tops out at $30 billion. That’s $41 billion clams for just about the most indulgent, fattest country in the history of mankind.
What gives? Apparently us, in time and money.
Now if you go to the gym to be seen, look cute in your new jogging suit, get premium advice from that ripped dude or that hot chick who is so cut she needs a band-aid, then more power to you. If you’re disciplined and have a certain fitness goal that can only be attained by being motivated by others, then fine. The gyms I mentioned are all decent places to do these things.
Just realize that for a 30-minute workout, three to five times a week, you will likely spend an average of $200 a month in both real and opportunity costs. Not everyone is a between jobs actor, an independent contractor or a M.I.LF who doesn’t work and stays home with the kids. Many really don’t have time for fitness as most of America is working to buy the ab-flexer rather than actually use it. Here’s how many gym routines tend to work:
So to go to the gym you get in your car, you park, you go in, you check in, you get dressed, you come out, you stretch, you do some measly cardio workout on a machine or lift weights wrong or go to a class that works up a sweat. You shower, you get changed, you get in your car, you sit in traffic and maybe you buy a burger and you get home just in time to go to sleep. If you do it in the morning, repeat process and rinse down with Mocha and a scone. You could potentially drop $5,000 per annum in this routine if you’re not careful and be the same porker/flabmiester/wasteful gym rat that you were after Turkey day.
This blogger’s advice: DIY, DIFNF. (Do it yourself , Do it for Nearly free)
Run: That’s it. Go somewhere and run ‘til you get tired. Walking fast is also good.
Get a rope: Buy a cheap plastic or leather jump rope: 300 repetitions everyday, you’d be surprised at the results.
You take the weight: If it's too cold to go outside, wear small weights on your wrists and ankles and run, jump or walk in place.
Smooth-E: Eating fruits and vegatables will shape off pounds immediately. If you don't like the taste grind it up and drink it down.
Use Rubber and/or YouTube. Allusions aside, find some rubber tubing and do resistance stretches and lifts. Internet research will show you how if you're interested. Not using that bike you bought? Slip the bike's clean innertube around your upper back, stretch it out in front of you with your hands, get down and crank out 200 reps of pushups! Same for sit ups. And forget workout tapes and DVDs, if you have the technological capability, YouTube has an extensive library of workout jerks for you to mimic. Someone mentioned in the comments section that podcasts are good to listen to as well.
Hit the pipe: Not that pipe, you'd probably get skinny faster than you want to. I'm talking a metal 3/4" PVC and connectors with pipe insulation for the handles that will set you back less than ten bayzacs. You can use this to make a push up bar, or chin up bar, which can be built in a half an hour.
In the bag: Buy a heavy bag for your house and punch the crap out of it with some padded gloves or some handwraps-- with controlled compact punches and sharp breaths -- until you're soaked with sweat or can barely lift your arms. Punching it 100-300 times a day is the equivalent of a really good workout, probably the best cardio and conditioning excercise around actually.
The gym is cool, just like eating out, just like going to a bar instead of a liquor store. But if you employ the DIY, DIFNF method, when you make the summer debut that you worked out all spring and winter for anyway, your pockets will more than likely be fatter than you are.
BTW, if you have a fitness center at your apartment complex or are close with someone who does -- a relative, a girlfriend/boyfriend or good friend --- and you still pay to workout, (picture me shrugging my shoulders and wagging my finger) you should do some serious thinking.
It's time to beat tricknology and look good doing it!