It’s not too late to tone up before summer
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 00:02
Oh my God, it’s almost March. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the past three months burying your gross layers of fat beneath dark, dashing layers of cotton, wool, plaid and argyle alike. Unfortunately, that’s just not going to cut it for the next nine months.
Assuming you still own a pair of shorts or a skirt that actually fits, within a couple of weeks the whole university is going to be subjected to those amorphous blobs you used to call "calves." The medical term for the calf muscle is "gastrocnemius," which is also coincidentally the sound most people are sure to make when they first lay eyes on those pasty bastards you’ve been, uh, "toning" the past few months via a diet of Baconators, alcohol and Hostess cakes.
Just because you get winded parallel parking doesn’t mean all is lost though. While it’s certainly too late to get that beach body in time for spring break, when summer rolls around, you can be proud to gyrate around like an idiot on South Padre Island, shirtless (or in a bikini top), doing the Harlem Shake, that Korean horse-dance idiocy or whatever the next YouTube craze is. All it takes is a little resolve and a lot of trips to the gym.
If you’ve never been to the gym before it can be a little intimidating at first. I’ll be perfectly honest, to this day, exercising for the sake of fitness, good health or any other bullshit like that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. In my mind there are only two logical reasons to go to the gym: to get better at sports and to get better with the opposite sex.
Anyway, whatever your motivation is, make a plan and stick with it. If you can only go twice a week, fine, just stay consistent and treat it like going to class: only skip if you feel confident with where you stand and have something marginally better to do with your time.
Once you set foot in the gym, you may be wondering where to focus your energy. I’d start with the weight machines, because I personally prefer to work out sitting down. Find one that least resembles one of Jigsaw’s traps from Saw and hop on. If you can’t figure out how to operate it, don’t stress. Find another. Any gym that’s worth its salt has at least three machines that da Vinci himself couldn’t figure out, so know that it’s not just you.
Of course then there’s cardio, which is the absolute worst. Get this… the machine actually tells you how shitty you are at working out. Just yesterday, I burned 400 calories on the stationary bike, because, again, I refuse to exercise standing up. Four hundred calories is like two measly Cliff bars. Sheesh.
However, cardio does have its benefits; heart health, stress relief, better sleep, blah, blah, et cetera, whatever. The single greatest benefit of cardio is that it presents an opportunity to pretend to watch the overhead TVs while making cautiously lingering glances to scope out all the hotties prowlin’ around the gym. Can’t really do that when you’re trying to figure out exactly which of the 14 handlebars you’re supposed to grab on a Rube Goldberg weight machine.
The main point is to just put a little effort into working out and I’m sure the results will surprise you. I didn’t even mention the almost fun things to do at the gym, like scaling the artificial rock wall or swimming. Hell, even driving to campus, parking, walking to the gym and then deciding you don’t feel like working out and strolling back to your car is, in and of itself, a workout in my book.
Just don’t expect results overnight with that particular regimen.