Hate Cardio? Who Cares?
By now everyone, or at least everyone who cares and doesn’t have their heads shoved securely up their, erm, sorry, I mean…in the sand, knows that one of the devices that BODYWORKS has recently procured is simply known as “The Beast“.
OK, so what The Beast is is a motorised stairmill, a modern Jacob’s Ladder. A sort of big chunk of part of a revolving and continuous staircase escalator. This thing is in no way a piece of passive exercise equipment. You can’t fall asleep or otherwise fake it or take it easy when you mount this piece of devilment. For, if you do, it will not end well for you, I promise.
A great deal of what a gym is about is the creation of a strong, secure sense of energy, positiveness and motivational qualities delivered in a straightforward, businesslike and reliably consistent manner. Not always an easy task. Especially when a crucial ingredient to producing this particular feeling is the proper set of tools, and lots of them. Most of which are reasonably expensive and take more than a little maintenance. An area composed of sufficient space and light also contributes significantly to that much sought after but rarely achieved gym feeling.
So as some things wear out and lots of good & useful things need to be bought and paid for, you strive to keep the gym fed and watered properly, bright and shiny, while also keeping your eye on the bottom line, making a living.
SLIGHT ASIDE & DETOUR NOTE
As a guy who’s been building and running gyms for the last quarter of a century or so, you not only have the regular issues of business survival but various social issues, as well. You sometimes appear to be a large target for PA or passive aggression (“why on earth be passive aggressive, when you can just be honest-in-your-face-aggressive?” is a question I often ask myself).
This PA can take on a variety of very strange and unusual forms, but it is fundamentally someone’s mask for insecurity, shame or jealousy. And it is usually dressed up and disguised as something else.
To make this point less obscure, here is a short sample of some brief examples:
[Start of Rant. You can skip this part, if necessary]
“The gym is just soooo F-iiiinnnggg boooring! Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! I don’t go for all of that cardio junk, I simply don’t have time for it! I walk my dog, that’s enough. It’s ok for you, you love it.”
Well, at least your dog receives some benefit.
Yes, of course I do, but not every minute of it. It’s not all “Girls & Glamour”, often very little of it is, and being in this business involves long stints of dealing with dishonest suppliers, picking up after slovenly customers, cleaning toilets and scrambling to pay the rent.
While this may be an unexpected point of view, it is sort of the point of this blog. Or, eventually it will be, once I get through a few other comments and concerns:
“Grown Ups still do this sort of thing, seriously? Come on, you’re not still training yourself, are you? Well, gee you are getting on a bit. Isn’t it about time to stop trying to keep up with all these youngsters? Why can’t you just be normal, behave yourself, sell it off and retire?”
Sorry about that, Geez, but you’re really not handing me a very attractive option here. But if it was, I undoubtedly would end up sitting around watching stupid TV, eating crap, drunk most of the time, putting on a pot belly and so on. The most probable subsequent outcome then would be just to die, a miserable, tired old has-been…like some people I know.
Oh, and how I just love this next one. I most often get this little morsel around party time, at some social function, or occasionally from a taxi driver on a trip up to the airport :
“You know I trained a few years back. Yeah, got good, too. Really big and ripped. Ha ha, I was bigger than you.”
Glad to hear it, mate. Shame you had to let it go. So tell me…what happened?
Et cetera, et cetera, etc.
So, fundamentally after a little close scrutiny, what all this thinly veiled criticism boils down to is lack of motivation, feelings of powerlessness, insecurity, shame and dissatisfaction delivered up to you in a rather unappealing way by people too lazy to do anything about the hazy shroud of unhappiness that they constantly move around in. In your opinion, doesn’t this description seem to just about cover it?
In their heart of hearts most people want to have it all done for them. They want the process of getting fit and going to the gym to be like walking into a bar or restaurant. They want to be invited to sit in a comfortable chair and have their health, fitness and conditioning served up to them, without having to work, feel pain, or struggle for it. Some of these people even think that they should be paid for going to the gym, and even if I don’t have to pay them, I should at least be the one willing to provide it to them FREE of Charge.
Nope, sorry. Marks & Sparks doesn’t provide me with FREE food, nor does that guy at the Petrol Station feel very comfortable when I don’t really want to pay for my litre of milk and a fill-up.
[End of Rant.]
Anyway that rather long and boorish aside, back to The Beast. One of the problems with cardio is that most people find it repetitive, dull and pointless. They’ve seen all this gear before and found it disappointing. They begin to feel like gerbils on treadmills, automatons operating X-Trainers and blithering idiots peddling away on stationary bikes. Well, one reason for these unnecessary, uncomfortable and pointless feelings is that potential users continue to remain unchallenged and cowed by the difficulties encountered attempting to use these things properly. Potential users have yet to work out how to really effectively these devices in a practical manner and see results.
Another reason that some people see gym cardio through crap coloured glasses is that most of these old school cardio devices don’t have very good ergonomics and require some inventive and imaginative strategic use decisions to get any lasting fitness conditioning sense out of them.
Enter The Beast
This motorized 10HP, 650 kg, 2.2m high, 3m wide, 2m deep startlingly impressive device is an answer to our pitiful, sad and silly dilemma.
But be forewarned, it was truly forged in Hell by a Hellish Blacksmith.