Mike Zielinski

Mike Zielinski

It obviously takes a disciplined workhorse to hit the gym on a regular basis.

We all want awe-inspiring six-packs, watermelon deltoids, bionic biceps and carved calves. But all the tedious torture required to assemble them scuttles our good intentions.

Consequently, very few of us are the worth the sacrifice of making eye contact with.

But the smart ones among us are realizing that you can fight the eternal battle of the bulge at home or a parking garage if you’re homeless.

Once upon a time, workout warriors sneered at such basic exercises as pushups and sit-ups in combating the consequences of too many peanut butter-and-marshmallow sandwiches washed down with too many milkshakes.

May I digress for a moment and ask all the grammarians among you why in the world pushup is one word and sit-up is hyphenated?

Pushups and sit-ups have made a big comeback, regaining their popularity in part to their convenience. There is no equipment and minimal space is required. Bodyweight exercises are great for anytime, anywhere workouts.

Now they’re part of an entire arsenal of bodyweight training such as squats, crunches, planks, lunges, lateral leg raises, marching glute bridges, mountain climbers (a floor exercise that doesn’t require actual mountains to scale), skater hops (requiring sneakers, not ice or roller skates that could slice up your family room carpet), donkey kicks (animal activists should relax, you do not kick actual donkeys), high knees (can be executed even if you have short legs) and froggers (no frogs, dissected or otherwise, required).

The charm of bodyweight exercises is they can be incorporated into the latest fitness trend termed high-intensity interval training or HIIT – a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

More fitness buffs these days prefer to keep things simple, somewhat surprising in our tech-obsessed world in which wearable technology such as activity trackers, smart watches and heart-rate monitors are standard workout wear.

The renaissance of bodyweight exercises is refreshing in a fitness industry that not too long ago seemed to be going off the rails with erector sets of monstrous machines, barbells bigger than oak trees and ridiculous routines.

Who can forget those fitness classes that had folks prancing around in stilettos or bouncing on pogo sticks? Fortunately, the stiletto aerobics were gender specific. The sight of beer-bellied bearded dudes high-stepping in 3-inch heels should be cloistered in caves.

It remains a mystery why they never combined wearing stilettos while bounding on a pogo stick. That would have done wonders for your coordination.

And thank the Lord that jumping jacks on hot beds of coals never really caught on even if they were great at melting off a few pounds, not to mention the balls of your feet.

Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

comments powered by Disqus