Monday, March 7, 2005

Jay Masters the Stairs

The American College of Sports Medicine, which I'm pretty sure isn't an accredited university, recommends that you work out three to five times a week, incorporating twenty to sixty minutes of cardiovascular exercise strenuous enough to raise your heart rate to sixty to ninety percent of your maximum heart rate. For some reason, I'm buying into this crap.

So now I go to the gym and spend half an hour on an exercise bike. I feel like a total techno-dependant ass, pedaling for thirty minutes and winding up in the exact same place I started. You know what they should do is hook the whole exercise bike up with two wheels so you could take it outside and ride around the neighborhood. This goes for pretty much all the other workout gizmos they've got at the Y, but the absolute worst, as I discovered today, is the Stairmaster.

Now, I've been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art a couple of times, so I know a thing or two about climbing up stairs. For example, I know that climbing up stairs is a lot harder than going down stairs. And I'll bet you that if I were blindfolded, I'd be able to tell if I were walking up a flight of stairs or if I were instead, say, going up a ramp. Maybe if I weren't so astute, the Stairmaster wouldn't have been such a disappointment. (And I won't even mention how God-awful tedious the stepper is.) The theory is that you press down on each step, but I put all my weight on the steps and just sort of sank to the ground until this monster machine hovered above me, laughing. It was a horrible simulation of a staircase, unless the staircase was made of Jell-O.

But that's not the point. The point is that we, as a society, need to get away from these mechanical torture devices because they're going to take over the world someday. Like people who actually spend perfectly good money on a home treadmill, people like my family, when you figure that walking is free. It's not like they haven't already taken our water...