Well, it's not the Iron Maiden or the Brazen Bull, but the treadmill of today's fitness centers does have a "tortuous history" as Dan Kopell writes at Wirecutter
Inventor William Cubitt subscribed to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. His “Tread-Wheel,” which was described in the 1822 edition of Rules for the Government of Gaols, Houses of Correction, and Penitentiaries (published by the British Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders), was presented as a way for prisoners to put in an honest day’s labor. Prisoners used treadmills in groups, with up to two dozen convicts working a single machine, usually grinding grain or pumping water, sometimes for as long as eight hours at a stretch. They’d do so “by means of steps … the gang of prisoners ascend[ing] at one end … their combined weight acting upon every successive stepping board, precisely as a stream upon the float-boards of a water wheel.”...
This was considered to be more humane, at least compared with earlier methods of punishment, which centered on hanging or exile to British colonies. Hard labor on a treadmill for a fixed term, the theory went, could rehabilitate an offender, who could then return to society and family. Never mind that the prisoner was often left shattered by the experience. Oscar Wilde spent two years on the treadmill as punishment for “gross indecency with certain male persons.” In a poem about his incarceration, he wrote: “We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns, /And sweated on the mill: /But in the heart of every man /Terror was lying still.”
"The Torturous History of the Treadmill" (Wirecutter) Read the rest
The Sunny SF-B1002 exercise bike that I have based my DIY Peloton around is now $50 less than I paid for it!
The 49lb flywheel matched with a really affordable price brought me to the Sunny Bike. This bike is very smooth to ride and easy to use. I have ridden it mercilessly for over 2 years and not had any problems. The bike shows almost no signs of wear and has taken very little maintenance.
Set up was super easy, but the parts are heavy and you may need help if the bike has to go up some stairs.
All the gear you need to set up and join Peloton's classes is cataloged in this post.
I love this bike and the classes from Peloton. Using this set-up over the last two years I've hit my target weight and am in better shape than almost any other point in my life.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002 49lb Flywheel Belt Drive Indoor Cycle Bike via Amazon Read the rest
I've been holding steady at my target weight for over 5 months, despite numerous back injuries and setbacks. At the heart of my fitness routine is a homebrew Peloton cycle.
More often than not I forget that my Sunny Bike actually relieves back pain. When I'm sore or struggling with my lower back, the go-to impulse is to stop riding. A single ride can help release tension or trick some mildly spasming muscles into stopping. It also burns lots of calories, makes my body look a lot better and rapidly becomes addicting to the point I have to manage how many times a week I ride.
As part of local tradition, I was body shamed during a visit to Los Angeles last July. A friend pointed out that I had gained more weight than they had seen on me. I had gained about 15 lbs above where I had been comfortably sitting, pedaling away on my Sunny Bike and watching Dr. Lupo stream on Twitch 2-3 times a week. Affectionally I referred to those 15 lbs as "the Fortnite 15."
I decided I'd had enough and immediately went on a diet that I know works for me. I started hitting the bike! I gave up on Twitch and started riding along with 45-minute classes led by Dennis via the Peloton app. I also started a pretty serious regimen of abdominal workouts as prescribed during prior physical therapy. I felt great, lost tons of fat and built a lot of muscle! Read the rest
Six months ago I could not do a single chin-up. I got this chin-up bar and went to work. Perseverance developed body strength, and my vanity has pumped up a notch! Read the rest
I have posted a couple times about my DIY Peloton indoor exercise bike. I recently added weights for the arm and chest exercises. I like them. Read the rest
Bicyclists who also own motorcycles and motorscooters have come up with some clever ways to mount their human-powered two-wheeler on their motor-powered vehicles. Read the rest
At some Chinese universities, students have a fitness requirement, so that means fitness tracker cheating has become a lucrative business for a few enterprising entrepreneurs. Read the rest
A year ago I decided to piece together my own Peloton-compatible stationary spinning cycle, I still love it. I never have to go to a gym full of PEOPLE. Read the rest
A Colorado Springs running enthusiast, known locally as "The Mad Pooper," has been leaving gifts on a private lawn in a most public fashion.
Read the rest
A mystery woman in Colorado Springs, Colo. is giving runners a pretty crappy reputation. According to local CBS affiliate KKTV, this runner has been defecating outside the house of resident Cathy Budde for the past seven weeks. Even worse—her children first spotted the woman.
Budde and her family have caught the runner at least three times. However, this has not stopped this mystery runner. She continues to leave waste behind at least once a week. The woman has gone so far as to change her running schedule to avoid prying eyes. The community has nicked named her “The Mad Pooper.”
Budde thinks the act is intentional, even if she is unsure who the woman is.
“I put a sign on the wall that’s like ‘please, I’m begging you, please stop.’ … She ran by it like 15 times yesterday, and she still pooped,” Budde told KKTV.
The only thing that would make this video of Chinese firefighters jumping rope would be a Yakety Sax soundtrack.
Read the rest
I decided I needed to start exercising again, and spinning--cycling on a stationary bike--is the best choice for me. Peloton looked awesome, but too expensive. I figured out a way to enjoy the features of Peloton I care about, without spending the big bucks. Here's how you can do it, too. Read the rest
Scientists are recruiting thousands of women for a large clinical trial to find out if weight loss should be prescribed as a treatment for breast cancer in some patients.
The trial will put obese and overweight women who are 18 and older and recently diagnosed with breast cancer on diets and track exercise to see if losing a little weight could help prevent a cancer recurrence.
Read the rest
Sarah Kurchak, a personal trainer who has experienced clinical depression, offers the most humane advice for using exercise you're likely to find. Read the rest
Endorphins may have been getting too much credit for “runner's high,” that euphoric lift we get when we exercise intensely. Read the rest
These machines look like they are doing all the work.
Read the rest
A Christian exercise program from the 1980s in which a Southern lady promises to exercise your soul, as well as your behind. Read the rest