Tag Archives: Fitness humor

TBT! Hey Guys, We’re In Trouble

(09/27/14) If you’re a guy, reading this may save your life. Ladies, you should read this because you’ll thoroughly enjoy the perspective.

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Guys, we’re in trouble. Throughout history men have been the dominant gender because of our advantage in size and muscle mass. I think that may be changing. In my never-ending quest to live forever I’m continually trying to stay in shape. Recently I joined a new gym. I tried a couple classes that approximate Cross Fit. Do you know who’s in these classes? Women. Every class, no matter how physically challenging, is about 80% women. Typically you think of fitness classes at a gym and you think of women in fluorescent spandex jumping around to peppy music like this:

aerobics2

That may have been true twenty years ago. The women in classes at gyms now aren’t “normal” women though. They’re some sort of super-breed of women. You know who’s going to survive the Zombie apocalypse? Female fitness instructors and their followers. Guys, we can do curls and chest presses all we want, but I’m telling you, the women in these classes can kick our asses. These women are doing chin-ups and juggling medicine balls in time to music while standing on one foot. If the women at gyms across the country decided to band together and take over the country there would be nothing we could do about it. We can’t even out-run them.

Some of you more crass and low-brow type of guys might be thinking, “But Phil, isn’t it awesome being in a class full of fit women in yoga pants?” No. No it’s not. It’s awful. Imagine yourself in a room with walls that are completely mirrors. Imagine everyone in the room moving fluidly and smoothly around you. Now imagine yourself flopping around on the floor, gasping for breath like a fish that’s been tossed on the deck of a boat. And you can see yourself in the mirrored wall. And everyone else can see you in the mirrored wall. It feels like that dream where you find yourself in public in your underwear and there’s nowhere to hide.

step

That picture above is how I feel after every class. Like I said, I’m not looking around at any one else. I’m just trying to survive. Guys, the reason we should be worried is 1) I’m convinced all the women are more physically fit than us. (You know, fantasy football isn’t exercise) and 2) About 20 minutes after the class ends and I can breathe normally, I feel like kicking the crap out of somebody for the rest of the day. I don’t care how attractive they are; I want no part of a pre-menstrual woman with more muscle mass than me. What if more and more women do these classes? And what if at one of the classes they realize that they don’t need us to open their jars anymore?

ecard

You know what? Screw the Marines, Special Forces and Navy Seals. If President Obama and the rest of the civilized world want to obliterate ISIS once and for all, they just need an army of fitness instructors and their followers. That would be the real definition of terror. Guys, for the good of all of us and for the survival of the male species I’ll continue to attend these classes in the hope of at least gathering intel so we know when the women plan to take over.  Wish me luck.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor or just hope to survive the Aerobics Apocalypse, feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. ~Phil

TBT! The 5 People You’ll Meet In The Gym

It’s that time of year again! Time for many of us to join a gym for three weeks. This is a classic post from 2013 that is always appropriate this time of year.

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Was your New Years Resolution to get in better shape? Did you sign up for a gym? You may not know it by looking at me, but I belong to a gym. I think there was a law passed stating that the more popular a gym is, the louder the music has to be. If you were to notice only the music and people on cell phones you’d think you were out at a club. I’ll be damned if I can find someone to give my a beer though. That’s why I fill my water bottle with beer before I go.

There are several categories of people that go to a gym. I think that the smallest number belong to the group of normal people who go to the gym a few times a week just to stay in decent shape. That’s the group I’m in. There are several other types. Which one do you fit in to?

1.  “Three-weekers.” You may be one of these and don’t know it yet. I call them this because they probably won’t use their membership for more than three weeks. You can always spot one of the three-weekers because they are so clueless about exercise that they actually accept the complimentary session with the personal trainer so they can learn how to use the equipment. Another way to spot the three weekers is that you’ll see them sort of drifting around the gym watching people use equipment as if they are watching animals at the zoo. The three weekers do this to try to figure out which pieces of equipment they might be capable of using without becoming a danger to themselves or others.

2.  Locker Room Nudists. Who doesn’t hate these people? These are the people who are obviously way too comfortable with their bodies, and in general they’re usually the people who shouldn’t be. For God’s sake, put on a towel when you walk from the shower back to your locker! And do not, under any circumstances, talk to ME while you are naked. We’re not that intimate!

3. “Women” at the gym. Some of them scare me. When women start doing things like wearing weight belts and bench pressing, doing pull-ups, and curls, I get a little scared about getting too close. I want no part of a pre-menstrual woman who has more muscle mass than me. That is not a safe combination.

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4. “The Bicep Bunch.” Just imagine the theme song, “The Bicep Bunch, the Bicep Bunch, that’s the way we became the Bicep Bunch!” There would be the t.v. screen full of the little picture squares, except instead of looking at each other and smiling they would all be looking at their flexing biceps and smiling. In that scenario I would be Alice. The Bicep Bunch has a uniform too. It consists of work boots, denim jeans and a black muscle shirt. They literally walk around the gym in groups of several guys in this identical outfit. I call them the Bicep Bunch because they’re only interested in working out their upper body in hopes of impressing women. Not that impressing women is a bad goal. For most of these guys though, their bodies are disproportionate. They spend so much time on their upper body and none on their lower body that they just have little stick-like legs. I imagine in a fight they’d be pretty easy to take out if you just “sweep the leg Daniel” they’d fall on their back and like a turtle be stuck that way with their little legs flailing helplessly in the air until the rest of the Bicep Bunch flipped them over.

5. Cell Phone People. I have no freakin’ idea how they can even hear anyone on their cell phones over the din of the music. The only exercise these people are getting is exercising their mouths. I’m sure they can’t do real exercise because they’re so winded from talking. It’s always a temptation to drop a big weight on these dopes. Not that I’m carrying big weights, but maybe I could persude one of the Bicep Bunch to do it for me because after taking out their leader Karate Kid style I am now their king.

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TBT! The Super Annoying Friends

Image courtesy DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera

Image courtesy DC Comics and Hanna-Barbera

When I was a kid there was a cartoon called The Super Friends. It involved Superman, Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman working together to fight evil. I dreamed of becoming one of the Super Friends one day and maybe casually dating Wonder Woman. As I grew up I realized two things; when I got older, Wonder Woman would also be older and maybe not filling out that low-cut suit quite as well. I also realized that we all have Super Friends too, except our Super Friends powers aren’t all that super. Sometimes they’re just plain annoying. Some of them don’t even realize they have a super power. I now call these The Super Annoying Friends!

I first introduced the concept of friends with super powers in a 2006 post titled Captain Retrospect! that I used as a Throwback Thursday post last year. You can see it here. Captain Retrospect is that “friend” you have who always has great advice, after the fact. After a situation has gone wrong somehow, Captain Retrospect is compelled to say something like, “You know what you should have done is…”

The other day at the gym I ran into another Super-Annoying Friend. Ok, this guy isn’t my friend, but we all have friends like him. A few weeks ago I injured my left shoulder, so for a couple weeks I’ve limited my exercise to cycling classes. Yes, I know, there’s probably a series of posts I could devote to that. Usually I walk into the room for cycling class about 5 minutes early just to sit on the bike and pedal a little to get warmed up. When I walked in on Tuesday, there he was in all his pseudo-super hero glory, Mr. Intensity! 

cascadecrossfit.com

cascadecrossfit.com

When I walked into the cycling room a few people were on bikes casually warming up and chit-chatting about their holiday plans. Not Mr. Intensity. He was already hard at work warming up as if his life depended on it. Mr. Intensity was wearing what I assume is his super hero uniform. He was in cycling shorts, a skin tight cycling top and special cycling shoes! Wow, that was impressive, but not as impressive as him on a bike all alone in the front row, pedaling furiously with veins bulging on his forehead.

Don’t we all have this friend? Sometimes their super-power of intensity just comes out in one particular type of activity, such as recreational sports and games where Mr. (or Mrs.) Intensity will play beer league softball, basement ping-pong, or Pictionary and compete as if lives, gold medals and years of training are on the line. This may have been the Mr. Intensity I ran into at the gym the other day.

Once the class started he locked his special shoes into the pedals and focused his laser-like intensity, not on the instructor, but on his own reflection in the mirrored wall. This guy pedaled with such furious intensity throughout the class that I 1) worried his head might explode and 2) wanted to get off my bike, walk over, shove him off his bike and yell, “Knock it off you moron. It’s not the Tour de France and your super intense sweat is flying all over and getting on the rest of us.” Of course I didn’t shove him off his bike because with his special shoes locked onto the pedals the bike would have fallen over on him and I’d have been responsible for damages to the bike.

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We all have our own Mr. Intensity friend. Sometimes he or she doesn’t want to give up on the debate at work about which side of the break room the water dispenser should be placed on. Sometimes Mr. Intensity uses their super-power to worship a television show. God forbid you disturb them during their show. Don’t breath or speak or move in the the same room as them while they’re watching their show. I bet some of you are even super intense about your blog. I’m sure their powers of intensity are well intentioned sometimes and maybe even a little useful, but the rest of the time don’t you just want to punch them in the forehead? These people remind me of Ben Stiller’s character Mr. Furious in the 1999 classic movie Mystery Men.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

So who is your Mr. or Mrs. Intensity? Are you perhaps blessed with the super-power of intensity? I’d love to hear your intensely important answers in the comments. As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor or maybe have a Super-Annoying Friend of your own you want to share this with please hit the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog button below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

It’s Definitely Not The Cult of Personality

I joined a cult recently. I knowingly and willingly joined this cult. Don’t worry, it’s not Scientology or the Amish. It’s a different, newer cult. I yearned to be let into their ranks, and now that I’m in the cult I’m certain it will drive me crazy. OK, crazier.

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It started the day before Valentine’s Day. My wife knew I wanted into the cult for about three weeks, but I wasn’t willing to spend the money. So, for my  Valentine’s Day gift she bought me entry into this exclusive cult. She gave it to me the day before Valentine’s Day so that I could “enjoy it for the weekend.”

She got me a Fitbit. Yes, I’m one of those people now. I’m wearing the thin black wrist band. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing.

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All day every day I now know how many steps I’ve taken that day, my heart rate, how many flights of stairs I’ve walked up, calories I’ve burned, my current pulse rate, and the time. The only problem is that it sometimes distracts me from checking how many blog views I have that day. I remember back in the day when people just exercised until they were too tired to exercise any more.

My problem with this thing is that I don’t consider walking to be exercise. Walking is how our bodies were designed to get from one place to another! Now, if I walk a lot in a day I’m expected to feel good about it. I’m told to feel that I’m slimming down. I walked before I had this and I didn’t think anything about it. Now if I exceed my highest step record I’m a champion! Woo! Go me! That’s ridiculous. If you’re a completely sedentary person who gets winded walking around the house, then wearing a wristwatch that measures your steps doesn’t suddenly make you into David Beckham or Ronda Rousey.

You know what would be awesome? If in addition to counting my steps it also gave me a little electric shock when I did something bad for my fitness. Like for instance if, like a dog’s invisible fence, it could shock me if I got too close to a McDonald’s. Or maybe if it sensed that I was about to eat pizza a little message would scroll across it’s tiny screen: “Are you frickin’ kidding me fat ass! That slice is like a thousand calories! Put it down!”

Another problem I have is that I’m not entirely sure that I’m not on house arrest. I know that I’m not on house arrest yet, but like the felons that have to wear an ankle bracelet so they can be tracked if they leave their house, how do I not know that I’m being tracked by the government? That my movements aren’t being entered into a data base some where? We’re all being tracked every day by our cell phones, our GPS’s, public video cameras, and our cars, so I guess that although Edward Snowden and the American Civil Liberties Union would both have fits (but not Fitbits), I don’t care if the National Security Agency knows what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’m pretty sure they don’t give a crap how many steps I’ve taken today.

So here’s where I’m at: so far, three weeks in I’m kind of addicted to my Fitbit, I like to check my pulse and my steps at least twice hourly. I like keeping score. I like feeling like I’m doing well even if I’m not doing anything different than I was before. Isn’t that what modern life is about with all our “likes” from strangers on the interwebs? Yes! More false and meaningless affirmation from an outside source! Excellent, now I don’t have to develop my own self-esteem!

So what are the cults that you’ve willingly joined and enjoy? Now don’t be stingy with the meaningless affirmations; give me lots of likes and comments! Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Hey Guys, We’re In Trouble…

(09/27/14) If you’re a guy, reading this may save your life. Ladies, you should read this because you’ll thoroughly enjoy the perspective.

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Guys, we’re in trouble. Throughout history men have been the dominant gender because of our advantage in size and muscle mass. I think that may be changing. In my never-ending quest to live forever I’m continually trying to stay in shape. Recently I joined a new gym. I tried a couple classes that approximate Cross Fit. Do you know who’s in these classes? Women. Every class, no matter how physically challenging, is about 80% women. Typically you think of fitness classes at a gym and you think of women in fluorescent spandex jumping around to peppy music like this:

aerobics2

That may have been true twenty years ago. The women in classes at gyms now aren’t “normal” women though. They’re some sort of super-breed of women. You know who’s going to survive the Zombie apocalypse? Female fitness instructors and their followers. Guys, we can do curls and chest presses all we want, but I’m telling you, the women in these classes can kick our asses. These women are doing chin-ups and juggling medicine balls in time to music while standing on one foot. If the women at gyms across the country decided to band together and take over the country there would be nothing we could do about it. We can’t even out-run them.

Some of you more crass and low-brow type of guys might be thinking, “But Phil, isn’t it awesome being in a class full of fit women in yoga pants?” No. No it’s not. It’s awful. Imagine yourself in a room with walls that are completely mirrors. Imagine everyone in the room moving fluidly and smoothly around you. Now imagine yourself flopping around on the floor, gasping for breath like a fish that’s been tossed on the deck of a boat. And you can see yourself in the mirrored wall. And everyone else can see you in the mirrored wall. It feels like that dream where you find yourself in public in your underwear and there’s nowhere to hide.

step

That picture above is how I feel after every class. Like I said, I’m not looking around at any one else. I’m just trying to survive. Guys, the reason we should be worried is 1) I’m convinced all the women are more physically fit than us. (You know, fantasy football isn’t exercise) and 2) About 20 minutes after the class ends and I can breathe normally, I feel like kicking the crap out of somebody for the rest of the day. I don’t care how attractive they are; I want no part of a pre-menstrual woman with more muscle mass than me. What if more and more women do these classes? And what if at one of the classes they realize that they don’t need us to open their jars anymore?

ecard

You know what? Screw the Marines, Special Forces and Navy Seals. If President Obama and the rest of the civilized world want to obliterate ISIS once and for all, they just need an army of fitness instructors and their followers. That would be the real definition of terror. Guys, for the good of all of us and for the survival of the male species I’ll continue to attend these classes in the hope of at least gathering intel so we know when the women plan to take over.  Wish me luck.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor or just hope to survive the Aerobics Apocalypse, feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. See you Saturday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! I Was Cross with CrossFit

(09/13/2014) I’ve always gone to a gym or done some kind of exercise to keep in shape for nighttime crime-fighting on the rooftops of the city.  I went to the gym the other day and encountered my worst nightmare. Last month, bored with my usual gym routine, I decided to try a CrossFit class. First I had to find the CrossFit class. It wasn’t in a gym. It was in the back of an old, dingy warehouse that looks like the kind of place terrorists plan things. It was filled with black and gray fitness equipment. There was loud heavy metal music and lots of grunting and sweating going on. (insert sex life joke here) The atmosphere said, “This is serious working out. You’re either going to die or be able to lift a Buick when you’re done.” The class was great, intense workouts which I loved.

Picture credit: www.lolpix.com

Picture credit: http://www.lolpix.com

I got the first month of Cross Fit for only $35 through Groupon. When the first month was done I told the owner I’d sign up for two more months. He said, “That’s great Phil. Please hand over all the money in your 401K.” Thinking that this was too pricey I decided to shop for other options to vary my workout routine.

For the last five years I’ve gone to a basic, no frills gym because it’s near my house. This week I looked at other gyms and settled on a new gym. The gym where all the pretty people go. I walked in and there was a chorus of angels and a bright light shone down on me from above. It was the neon sign above the juice bar. I felt like I had walked into a shopping mall. Bright colors, shiny new equipment. Shiny new people. Shiny, happy people.

The gym had all the other stuff I usually do, plus some classes that at least by the title on the schedule looked like they might approximate CrossFit. That’s where it got interesting and the nightmare scenario played out.

The first class I tried was called Bootcamp something. It was suitably challenging and by challenging I mean that I thought I might die by the end, which is a good thing. The challenging, not the actual dying. Avoidance of dying is why I work out. I’m trying to make my heart strong enough that it will never stop beating. Yeah, I know that’s ridiculous, but have you got any better ideas?

Also, apparently the key to being fit is incredibly loud music. At CrossFit there was heavy metal music. Here, at the pretty people gym, there was dance music blaring. I think after dark it turns into a night club. So the Bootcamp class was good. Then next I tried a “Body Works plus Abs” class. That’s when the nightmare startedIt was some kind of aerobics class. The psychotic instructor, Buffy,  wore a wireless mic and every two minutes, between shouting peppy instructions at us, she would give a “Whoop! Whoop!” At first I thought she had Tourette’s, but then each time she did it one or two people in the class would whoop back to her.

Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk

Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk

The nightmare was my attempt to get in rhythm with 15 other people who seemed to be doing the moves in time to the music. I’m not good with rhythm. It’s not my thing. Each time Buffy would start a new move I’d watch her, concentrating, trying to pick up steps of the move and the beat of the song and then jump into motion. I was terrible at it. Terrible to the point that the class held me down on the floor and put a stick in my mouth so I didn’t bite off my tongue during what they thought was a seizure. It wasn’t. I was just that bad. I’m lucky they didn’t send me to a psych ward for being a danger to myself or others. I was the equivalent of someone who doesn’t know how to swim being thrown into the ocean. I just flailed about and waited for the end.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share by Facebook, Twitter, or re-blogging. Have a great Thursday. See you at the gym!

The Gym as a Microcosm of Society: It’s Full of Weirdos

Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you by using the word microcosm.  I’m just going to make fun of stuff. I’m sure many of you have a New Year’s resolution about getting in better shape in 2015. My blog may be able to help with that by allowing you to learn from my mistakes.

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Before I go any further, I must clarify. Although I occasionally write about my adventures at the gym, I am not some big muscle, workout nut. I’m a normal, average-sized guy just trying to stay alive forever. That’s my goal at the gym; to keep my body healthy enough that I’ll never die.  Ok, enough personal disclosure. Let’s make fun of gym stuff!

The Men’s Locker Room: I’m forced to go in the men’s locker room at the gym. I don’t go in the women’s locker room for two reasons: 1) All the high pitched screaming in there is really irritating,  and 2) It’s embarrassing getting beat up by women stronger than me, which is usually what causes all the high pitched screaming. (I’m a natural falsetto) I hate the men’s locker room for two reasons. First, it’s filled with naked men, which I find aesthetically unappealing. Secondly, you need to wear a gas mask to endure the smell. No, not the smell of sweat. The smell of body spray and farts. I’ve been to night clubs that smell less like body spray. As soon as I turn into the hallway where the men’s locker room is located I can smell the cloud of body spray emanating from fifty feet away. If someone lit a match in there the whole place would turn into a large enough ball of flaming gas that it would qualify as a new sun. Fortunately for me, I have teenage boys, so I’ve already developed a Herculean tolerance level to body spray and farts.

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Exercise is hard: I discovered this week that there is no form of exercise that is easy. There are many types that are fun, but none are easy if you want them to be worthwhile. My shoulder is already injured and after overdoing it on Sunday one of my knees was sore as well. I wanted to get some kind of workout in that wouldn’t stress those particular joints, so I decided to try a yoga class for the first time in my life.

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There were plenty of funny yoga pictures I could have included, but I couldn’t resist the yoga cat. So back to exercise being hard. Much to my surprise, yoga was hard too. I went in expecting some new age music and an instructor with a soothing voice telling me to breathe while I did some relaxing stretching.  There were those things, but stretching was not relaxing. Trust me, I didn’t look as cute as yoga cat. I was relieved that there were about four other guys in the class; of course they looked like guys you’d expect to be in a yoga class. A couple of the poses required balance and strength at the same time. That’s the thing with my body; it only does one thing at one time. (You should see my dancing) So there I was in the middle of a placid yoga class flailing in the air as if I was trying to prevent myself from falling off the roof of a high building. Which, fortunately for me, is how I feel going through life most days. I’m sure that was more irritating than relaxing for the other people in class.

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Then there’s the downward dog pose, also called “head down, ass up.”  That seemed to be the base position from which we moved to all others. How is is that relaxing? Suddenly all the blood in my body rushes to my head and my blood pressure shoots up until we move to another pose. And in the other pose we were holding our hands as if we had a gun. Between the yoga gun pose and some of the Cross Fit kicking and hitting moves, I’m starting to think that it’s not the terrorists we have to worry about, it’s the workout nuts. Every time I try something new at the gym I feel like I’m being trained for combat.

Ok, I promise, no more stories from the gym for a while. If you liked #ThePhilFactor and want to exercise the muscles in your finger trying clicking the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. That’s a great workout. Have a great weekend! ~Phil