NO CLASSES AT THE GYM
BARBELLS. DUMBELLS. THE BENCH. THE TREADMILL. That's it. That's the list of authorized gym equipment. No giant rubber bouncy balls that look like they've been stolen from Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. No thigh masters. And above all else, your trip to the gym may not involve a class.
You're not quite sure what happens in those so-called classes, but they seem to include lots of spandex, lots of pink, and lots of women writhing on the floor like they're auditioning for a Christina Aguilera video.
You view these classes with deep suspicion, lumping them in the same category as cricket, ska music, and imported cheese that doesn't need refrigeration. The one thing you know is that each class has only one guy. And it's not you.
Five classes you want no part of:
(1.) Cardio Kickboxing. You like the idea of kicking something... as long as it's to crack a dude's ribs or bust down a door. Granted, if you were in Will Ferrell's truth tree (the one in Old School with the little birds), you'd concede that you've never kicked anyone - much less broken down a door - but you understand, instinctively, that kicks are reserved for violence and bloodshed, not opening up chakras.
(2.) Pilates. No man's exercise should focus on "centering." It shouldn't be about your core. Exercise must involve powerful, brutish, injury-inducing motions that build raw muscle. You might be tempted to infiltrate the women's class so you can be that "sensitive guy." Good idea. Here's a better one: pretend to use the same gynecologist.
(3.) Yoga. (See MAXIM #36.)
(4.) Step Aerobics. Like Rocky, you frown on precise, sophisticated training that can just as easily be performed outdoors. If you want to climb steps, you'll sprint up and down the bleachers, dammit. If it gives you pneumonia or shatters your ankle, so be it. Better to get fat and injured honorably than get trim, healthy, and attractive the wrong way.
(5.) Pole Dancing. No.
MAXIM IN ACTIONIt always begins the same way. You're having trouble hitting the gym on a regular ("regular" meaning more than twice a baseball season) and your buddy tells you about this awesome class that toned his abs, dropped his weight, and ripped his delts. You're intrigued. You remember what it was like to have abs, all those many years ago. You're not quite sure where your delts are, but you know they could be a little bigger. So you go for it.
Once you're in, you're in. Soon you're signing up for "Abs boot camp" (boot camp is for the Army, Navy, Marines, and nothing else) and "Jazz Aerobics." You drink wheat-germ shakes. You start matching your workout tops and bottoms. (You've long since stopped calling them shirts and shorts.) And none of this strikes you as weird.
MAXIM EXCEPTIONSThis is a gray area and somewhat controversial, but you are allowed to join a cycling class. True, it's better to do this alone - on a real bike on a real road - but if you absolutely must take a gym class, you may save face in this torture chamber. Why's this different? Because there's nothing patronizing or emasculating or gimmicky about it: the goal is to sweat. And sweat and sweat until you're Ted Striker from Airplane!
From The Maxims of Manhood