Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Balance of Power

Monday 2nd August - Monday session week 4 - Tabata

Before I get into the session itself, I just want to talk again about music. Today we had yet another trainer, who had yet another selection of music. And what do you suppose got played today? Were you thinking a punk cover of Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl?

Well this time you’d be right. This guy also played Sabotage by the Beastie Boys and a few other songs that I not only have in my music collection but that I don’t skip over when they come up on shuffle.

So that was a good start.

Today we did Tabata. I won’t say “we did Tabata again” because, after reading the wiki article and looking at what we did today I can confidently say that it was genuine Tabata, and what we did last week was something else. So this guy had the room set out in four stations, and we did 2 sets of exercise at each station, 20 seconds on 10 seconds off, for a total of 20 minutes.

As usual, after the warm up I was tired and wanted to go home and was disappointed that we hadn’t actually started yet. But start we did and it was hard. Really hard. You would think that only 20 minutes would be easy, but with no discernable break, and with us being pushed hard (e.g. no pushups on knees) it really was amazingly difficult. Once we had got exactly halfway through the routine, he told us we were halfway, and again when we had four minutes to go, he told us again that we “only” had four minutes to go. This was hard to know (because all you want to hear is that it’s over), but also good to know, as it felt like there was definite progress.

Then when it all finished, he got us to lie down in a circle, and said that we would now do a kind of Mexican wave pushup. We would all get up into the pushup position, and hold that position (on toes) as each person in turn did 1 pushup, and it would go around the circle twice. At this point I put up my hand and said “what about ‘four minutes to go’? You told us we had four minutes to go, and we have done those four minutes. You’re a liar.” He admitted that he was, and then we did the thing. Oh, did I mention he wanted us to “woo” as we did our pushup? He did. I didn’t woo at all on the first one and, because there was a danger he would make us all do it again, I wooed - albeit sarcastically - on the second.

In all it was an incredibly disappointing end to an otherwise OK session. I could have, and indeed would have, been fine with the session. It’s exercise, and I hate it, and I would rather be doing almost anything else, but it was tolerable, the music was good, and felt like it was doing good (and there wasn’t a great deal of running). But the circle jerk, the lying and the woo-ing at the end of it threw it all on its head. I ended the session angrier than the previous week, and possibly angrier than I had been yet.

It also meant that I couldn’t let go of something that I had noticed earlier. At one stage I thought the guy was wearing two watches. Then I looked a bit closer and noticed it wasn’t a watch, but it was, in fact a Power Balance Bracelet:

For those who don’t know, a power balance bracelet has a hologram that is supposedly embedded with a frequency that… no look, if I describe it I’ll probably use biased words that make it sound like bullshit and skew your impression of it. I think the best way to describe this device is to take the text directly from the website:

Power Balance is based on the idea of optimizing the body’s natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies. The hologram in Power Balance is designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body.

See? Not bullshit at all. So the wanker who is into the lying and the wooing (and the cool music) is also into magical holograms. I can’t say I’m surprised.

Those of you who know me will know my feelings on shows like Today Tonight, but nonetheless here is what they have to say on the matter (although I get from the intro that this is one of their “last week we told you how good something is, so here is the follow up to tell you how bad it is” stories. I suppose it’s one kind of balanced reporting.)

Now go wash your eyes out.

1 comment:

  1. I think the test for anyone who wants a Power Balance Band should be the same as has been suggested for anyone who wants a licence to carry automatic weapons. "Would you like to carry automatic weapons?" If you answer "yes" then your licence is denied. If you fill out an order form for a Power Balance Band, you should not only be denied the supply of one, but should have any ACTUAL technology you own removed, because you are obviously too stupid to own it.
    And this gets me back to personal trainers. I was probably a bit easy on them last time I made comment. (or if I was hip to the lingo the kids are using these days - my “last post”- which I thought was something played on a bugle at RSL clubs- anyway I digress even more than this blog, which I might point out, started out about rob and his efforts to exercise and have turned into, firstly a social experiment about an exercise hater doing regular exercise, then a commentary on the fitness industry, then something about music andhowthehelldid bob the builder get in there, and finally he has us watching today tonight. I was once told if you look anything like your passport photo your too sick to travel, I think if exercise makes you watch Today Tonight, then sit down for god’s sake before you kill your brain) where was I - that's right, trying not to digress, and bag personal trainers as well. There is not a personal trainer out there (and I am guessing with a fair bit of confidence) who had a choice of doing law at Melbourne uni, engineering at Monash or becoming a personal trainer, I am not saying they are stupid, but you don’t have to have a secure grasp of maths to say "3 and 2 and 1 and now switch legs” but we put these undertrained people of limited academic ability in charge of - wait for it - OUR BODIES. Yes that vehicle that we use to LIVE LIFE. We give them the power to inflict pain both short term (in robbs case) and often permanent actually damage (again in robb’s case) of our bits. I think the industry is turning away the people that need it and only really catering for those that don’t (if I’m wrong, tell me how many people in your local gym are overweight, surely most of them, cause isn’t that the point of being there, to GET fit, if you are already fit, then you shouldn’t have to uselessly lift bits of steel, you’d be using (and at the same time, maintaining) your gained fitness to actually achieve stuff like living life and playing with your kids and engaging in useful activity like building a billy cart, walking to the shops, or not spending 6 hours a week in an isolated sanctuary of self love like the GYM.