It’s probably hilarious to most people that whenever I talk about technology it rarely has anything to do with the new and better gadgets out there. No, you see the problem with old farts like me is that my idea of great new technology doesn’t mean that it fits in my pocket or on my wrist, but simply because it was invented and it makes my life better. I have talked about “Squatty Pottys” and “Waterless Urinals” and many other things that aren’t the newest and greatest but do require some sort of discussion. It dawned on me today though that the most prevalent part of my life has new technology constantly and I almost never talk about it, and that would be the gym.
Now I am a stereotypical “meathead” in the eyes of most people who don’t treat the gym as an integral part of their life, but as most of you know I am a lot more than that as well. I love to build muscle and help others to do it too, and one would think that I am one of the old timey bodybuilders who just grabs a barbell and gets it done. In most cases I am a dumbbell and cable guy, but I have also learned over the years that there are things better than dumbbells and cables. This is where going to a nationally branded gym actually comes in handy. I mean I used to go to one of the hard iron gyms where everyone made noise, and the machines, stacks and towers were basically primitive, old stand bys, and I thought I was in God’s Country for quite a while, but as I mentioned above, new technology always seems to come along and make things easier.
Your typical “branded gym” always seems to have a certain level of credibility that it must maintain. It also has a lot of capital that it can invest into newer and better. Whether it is Gold’s Gym, World Gym, Retro Fitness or heaven forbid, Planet Fitness. There is a certain need for these places to stay ahead of the curve and keep memberships. In my area whether I like it or not Planet Fitness dominates the landscape. I was one of the first 50 members of the original one in Dover NH that moved in where the Gold’s Gym closed its doors, and it was that place or the YMCA. Now there is one in every city in New Hampshire, but this is only a bad thing if you let it be. At 2am in the morning when I work out, you have the place to yourself, oh and every other gym is closed.
Now of course every year they take out a half a dozen machines and replace them with something new and improved. We like to take a few minutes to point and laugh at them because they look like toys and then sooner or later curiosity makes us have to try them. Inevitably they always work better than the ones they replaced. This year they brought in an abdominal machine that looked SO stupid with two rubber tubes that you throw over your shoulders, and then crunch in a sitting position. When I finally tried it my abs hurt so bad the next day I could use my Squatty Potty at all! Throw in the new ab gliders that they brought in (yeah those stupid looking things) that are suspended instead of on tracks, and I ripped up my abs in half the time it used to take me when the load season was over.
Yeah I know most of the new technology effects the “cardio” equipment, but even a hard core lifter has to hit the cardio equipment now and then. The new “Stair Steppers” that are basically escalators? Yeah it was a new way to kick my own ass, but now I am addicted to it, because it not only carves some of the calories off, but it gives me another day to throw some pain into my legs and glutes. Technology is neither a bad thing or a good thing, and it definitely has nothing to do with making things smaller. I mean I understand that this is what a lot of people consider technology to be, but for me and my friends technology is something that makes YOU bigger and bigger, and not in the way that involves a better television and beer.