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
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
The Fitness Marshall has over a million subscribers and over 150 videos on his channel. His paltry take after three years of work comes to about $20 a video after record labels and everyone else take their cuts. Read the rest
My preferred way get in shape involves mercilessly tracking my effort and results. I have a mishmosh of fitness trackers and gadgets I use to monitor my daily progress towards, or away from, being physically fit. Integrating all that data into one place? Oy vey. 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 little over a year ago I pieced together my own 'low-rent' Peloton spinning cycle. This cheap spinning bike has become an invaluable tool managing my so-called fitness, as well as the pain my degenerating discs provide. Read the rest
Without changing anything else in their daily routines, three people set out to discover how much they could strengthen their bodies just by doing 100 squats every day for 30 days. For those inspired to start their own 30-day challenge after watching this video, here’s the proper way to do a squat:
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Strava is a popular fitness route-tracker focused on sharing the maps of your workouts with others; last November, the company released an "anonymized" data-set of over 3 trillion GPS points, and over the weekend, Institute for United Conflict Analysts co-founder Nathan Ruser started a Twitter thread pointing out the sensitive locations and details revealed by the release.
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I grew up in a family where competition and winning meant everything. Throughout my childhood, my sister and I were pitted against each other in games of chance and skill, with prizes of heavily salted snacks for the victor. Over the years, we fine-tuned our gamesmanship, for whomever won was punished rather than rewarded. Decades later, we have a whole new generation of competitors in our family, but this year my sister and I tried something different. We introduced a trojan horse for fitness called the Stealth Core Trainer.
The trainer is just a device on which to plank upon, but its competitive nature makes it fun. For those who don’t know, a plank is an exercise where you hold your body up by your forearms and toes as straight as possible.
Planking exercises different parts of your body, but to someone who’s just been given a Nintendo Switch for Christmas, it’s rather boring. Below is an image of my nephew multitasking in his natural habitat. Note that he's eating cereal while video chatting with a friend WHILE playing a networked game with yet another friend.
It's a ridiculous site to behold and a difficult one to tear him away from. Luckily, the Stealth Core Trainer [Amazon link] 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
The yoga pants are $42, and the swim shorts are $45; either one will turn you into a Renaissance hunk. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
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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
Do you like the idea of riding horses? Do you want to get fit? If so, check out "Horse Riding Fitness Ace Power!," a portable, flexible A-frame on wheels with a seat to allow the operator to sit on it like a horse—then perform squats, thrusts and pelvic oscillations, to whatever ends or purposes the operator intends. Read the rest
The best part of the video is the increasing happiness and confidence you can see on his face as his body transforms. (Isou Dw)
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The Facial Fitness PAO is a rubbery device with weighted wings that you put in your mouth and then, apparently, shake up and down to train your face muscles to look young. [via JWZ] Read the rest
Starting with this awesome shot of Bettie Page pretend-ladyfighting with a sexy foe, here are some wonderful photographs of female wrestlers from the 19th century through the 20th, all the way up through the '80s and '90s. Read the rest