The Suburban Workout
Work it out
Last month, a certain men’s health magazine arrived in my mailbox addressed to a former resident. I flipped past the “Lose Belly Fat Fast!” and “10 Gadgets You Can’t Live Without!” articles and was about to toss it in the recycling when I came across an article entitled “The Prison Workout.”
The article described the fitness routine of a former cocaine dealer who runs a boot camp in Manhattan called ConBody. He puts execs through the same exercise regimen he used to get swole while confined to his narrow cell. To build his triceps, for example, he did dips with his hands on his bed and feet on his toilet.
I’ve always hated gyms, so ConBody got me thinking. If a guy locked in a cage managed to get a great workout, why can’t the average suburbanite get in shape during everyday activities?
If you want to get ripped but can’t get to the gym, try these seven handy fitness hacks:
Grocery Line Squats: Sweat out while you check out! While other customers zone out on their phones, grab an armload of fashion magazines and do deep squats until the checkout clerk badgers you for your discount card.
Sidelines Shuffle: Sure, you couldn’t care less about soccer, but you’re not gonna get in shape with your butt in that camping chair sipping a latte. Embrace your inner alpha. Run the sidelines yelling like those hyper-competitive parents you can’t stand. For an extra challenge, really work the hand gestures.
Bicep BS Wave: As you wait in yet another interminable school pick-up line, wave at the other parents until it hurts. Don’t drop your arm until you either reach the front of the car line or they send the school counselor out to check on you.
Gas Station Squeegee Toss: Grab the squeegee from the soap bucket and heave it at the dumpster on the far end of the lot. For extra fun, bring a friend and compete for distance and accuracy.
Social Media Rage Thrust: Each time you read a friend’s poorly researched partisan political post, raise your keyboard, phone, or tablet overhead as if to smash it to the ground. For an even more challenging workout, do this whenever a friend humblebrags about a recent vacation, car purchase, or home renovation.
ABC Store Wall Sit: Doing a vodka price comparison? Can’t choose between tequila and mescal? Don’t just stand there. Find a patch of cinderblock wall and get your burn on!
Chain Restaurant Discus Toss: When she hands you that vibrating plastic thingy and says there’s an hour wait, the hostess expects you to sit at the bar and pray for the buzzer to go off. Instead, head out to the parking lot and play catch with that thing. Bonus workout if you have to elude security guards.
These seven tips are just a start. From parent- teacher conferences to AA meetings to colonoscopies, now you can turn any sedentary activity into a gut-busting workout!
Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.