Monday, July 22, 2013

Working Out Is Free

I see complaints online all the time about how healthy eating is too expensive. People want to blame the obesity problem on the fact that hamburgers and pop are more expensive than salads and bottled water. And while this might be a big part of the problem, it doesn't cover the whole thing.

First of all, I'm not into forcing anyone to work out or trying to shove fitness down anybody's throat. People who want to work out will and people who don't want to work out won't. That's just the way it is. Personally, I like working out and I can't understand why anyone who doesn't enjoy it does it at all. Just learn to enjoy life as a fatass.

But I was in a SportChek at a mall in Barrie yesterday and food is not the only expensive part of trying to live an active lifestyle. I couldn't believe the prices of some of their shit. A decent pair of hiking or running shoes is more than $100 and sometimes as much as $200. A decent bike might be $1000 or more. My own mountain bike I got from Canadian Tire, which is notorious for selling shitty bikes, and it's already falling apart after only two years. The one I had before that lasted about five years but I was constantly fixing it. It's bullshit.

And people are convinced that they need to buy this expensive shit. Under Armour clothing and whatnot. Gym memberships. Personal trainers. The list could go on and on and none of it is shit that you actually need.

Barbell plates are more than a dollar a pound in most places. Fucking kettlebells are more like two dollars a pound and then you've got these clowns who are telling everybody that even after you've blown your grocery money for the week on buying one, you'd better not use it until you've been properly instructed by a certified trainer. Fuck that. If you can't swing a kettlebell without hurting yourself, you're dumb. Plain and simple. Kettlebell swinging is boring anyhow. Flipping them around in the air is kind of fun for a few minutes once in a while. Again, if you need instructions on how to toss something in the air and catch it, you should go back and redo your schooling, Billy Madison style. It doesn't take long at all to figure out how to snatch a kettlebell either. The mechanics of it are pretty simple. If it takes you more than 10 minutes to figure it out you're a moron. The grip adapts fairly quickly and you can do a lot of reps very soon. Not that there's any point though since the kettlebell snatch doesn't mimic anything else you'll ever do, nor does it have any carryover to any other exercise whatsoever. The kettlebell clean is even easier than the snatch. The kettlebell press you should be able to do the first time you even pick one up. And if you can press it more than a few times with one hand then you can do a fucking get-up. What the fuck? If you can afford to buy a kettlebell you're allowed to play with it. You don't need permission from some asshole who thinks washboard abs and broad shoulders on a woman are sexy and whose one and only talent qualifies him to do nothing but teach said talent to a bunch of bored closet dykes with penis envy.

Walking is free. Running is free. Supplements are totally unnecessary. Weights can be found for free or really cheap if you look hard enough. Push ups and pull ups are free and if you need instructions on how to do them you probably can't walk and chew gum at the same time either. Five to 10 straight minutes of jumping jacks will give most people a better workout than they've had in years but no one will ever try it because it looks so simple and, God forbid, it's free.

Stone lifting is a great exercise for anyone serious about strength. It's free too. Those mold you can buy for making concrete spheres are another example of something that's way too expensive that you don't need anyway. And then once you've got it, other people will only want to borrow it off you and make their own cement balls for free. So if you buy one, particularly if it's just for personal use, you're a schmuck. Go for a walk along any creek or to most underpasses and you'll find more stones than you could ever count of all different shapes, sizes and weights.
You can do high reps, low reps or anything in between. You can carry them, throw them, for height, for distance, for time. Most of all for fun. And none of it will cost you anything.

If stone lifting is not your thing there are fields and playgrounds everywhere. Fields are great for sprints, swamp lunges, bear crawls, pull ups (if there are goal posts there) and any kind of circuit you can come up with. Playgrounds are excellent for pull ups and push ups of all kinds. The only limit is your imagination.

Basketball nets, goal posts for soccer and football, baseball diamonds, these things are also all over the place. A lot of basketball courts have hockey nets built into their fences as well.

So while it bothers me that "fitness" has become so expensive, it doesn't necessarily have to be because there are plenty of free (or at least cheap) alternatives. And believe it or not, everything you really need to know about exercise and a healthy diet, you learned during Phys.Ed  class back in school. So there's no excuse. If you want to work out, you will. And if you don't, it's because you don't really want to.


  1. I enjoyed this post, but how do you resist the temptation to make hundreds of dollars a day telling emotionally weak people to do some pushups and some squats?

    1. I took two courses back in my early 20s on becoming a trainer. Everything I liked to do and would have liked to teach was considered dangerous, scary and ineffective. Stuff like Olympic lifting, heavy singles, high-repetition, high volume calisthenics. Even squatting below parallel and bringing the bar all the way to your chest during bench presses was considered wrong. I ended up getting so frustrated I gave up on it. I hate the fitness industry. Funnily enough though, all that stuff is really popular now.

      There isn't any money to be made by someone like me in the fitness industry. I'm not a pretty boy and have no interest in listening to how much somebody's life sucks while they half-ass their way through workouts they don't even want to do.

  2. Me and my best friend often work out in the local park. It has a one mile route marked out and one of our favourite routines is called "The Running Man" where we both wear MMA gloves and run the mile with one person chasing the other and calling out "guard" occasionally in order to catch up and then attack them for a couple minutes while they defend. Once we finish the mile we swap roles and do it again. Meanwhile there's all these lame-asses standing around in circles with some fag wearing combats in the middle telling them to do pushups and lunge walks. They pay him to do that. Stand in the middle. They call them "Boot Camp Training" or something. You have to pay about 3 grand to get certified to teach those too. When we do our pressups we do it lying on each others backs and squat sitting on each other shoulders. I like to make him put on shin pads and kick me in the torso as hard as he can for as long as I can take it. One time when we were doing that this guy stopped walking his dog and stared at us for ages from behind a tree like he thought I hadn't noticed him. I think we must have rocked his world. Totally shaken him to his core that someone would stand and get smashed in the chest by someone for fun. I bet nobody has ever trained as hard as we do in that park.

    1. I've never once had the inclination to pay anyone to tell me to do pushups. And those bootcamps are for geeks. Boot camp is what soldiers go through, not something yuppies pay pay to do once a week for fun. What kind of clown pretends to be a drill sergeant? I wonder if that's something veterans find offensive. Most of those trainers are complete dorks. They're the guys who took up working out because they sucked shit at actual sports. Look at how many of them start chasing certifications and taking night school courses before they've even been working out for an entire year. The whole industry is a joke.

  3. Glen, do you have a boner in that last pic????

    1. It certainly appears so. That must have been one Hell of a rock.