I started working out when I was a teenager. I don’t remember there being any gyms where I grew up at that time. I had a weight set in the basement. The collars were secured by screw. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I grew up in Olden Tymes.
When the ’80s rolled around there seemed to an explosion in workout “technology.” A slew of Nautilus® machines were installed at a local racquetball club. I remember the spiel about how the nautilus shape of the cams perfectly mimicked the power curve of your muscles or some such bullshit.
Running shoes were also taking off. No more running in Keds. Reebok and Nike were on the scene. I’m sure there was some explanation about why they were so much better. All I remember is those things had cushioning so my feet felt much better transporting my pudgy ass.
I don’t remember what brands followed and supplanted Nautilus® but they came fast and furious. It seemed as though free weights were outmoded. Only a Neanderthal would bother with them. Getting on the ground to do a pushup was positively antiquated. There’s no reason to run when you can hop on a Stairmaster.
Infomercials pitched all sorts of fitness products or, as I think of most of them, garbage. There was Soloflex, Bowflex, and a ton of other crap I’ve mercifully forgotten. I’m not sure if the Thighmaster was introduced in the late ’80s or early ’90s but… whatever. Of course, there were also any number of workout videos. You can thank me later for not linking a Jazzercise video.
Getting back to it a couple of years ago, I had no idea some of that retro stuff was ridiculously effective. Part of the conditioning I do is jumping rope. Jeebus I learned a lesson the first time I did that. Lesson 1 was I was really out of shape. Lesson 2 was rope jumping is a lot more exhausting than it looks.
The ab wheel looks like a joke. And it is if you do it wrong. But with a little coaching to do it right, I found out what a killer it is. It’s not part of the program but it is something I occasionally work in.
I never got stability balls. They look like a lot of fun for bouncing with little kids. For exercise, what’s the point. Right? Wrong.
The Shake Weight™ looks like a joke but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, I couldn’t keep a straight face. Yeah, that thing was garbage from day one.
OK, Gliberinos, tell me in the comments what dinosaur age exercise turned out to be a great exercise for you.