As much as I usually like running and I like the treadmill and I like working out, this week I have been fighting some kind of internal treadmill rebellion. The very idea of running - of hurling myself forward - is exhausting, and I don't want to do it. And lately, the rowing machine just feels like a pathetic approximation.
So, instead running or fake rowing, I've been doing workout videos on Netflix Watch Instantly. It's TV! I love TV! There's a finite time to the workouts. Bright colors! Cheesy music! Bad outfits. And hey, even if it's not the optimal workout, I'm moving. There's sweat. Glutes get clenched.
After making my way through several workouts on Netflix, I've come up with a formula for the perfect workout video.
- Combine at least three previously popular forms of exercise to create a brand new workout. Don't worry too much about the actual exercises. It's really all in the name. A stray kick here and there totally qualifies as kickboxing. Similarly, all yogic arts and philosophies can be distilled into a modified lotus pose.
- The title should promise the workout is only 10 minutes, even if, when you add in the warm up and cool down, it takes 45 minutes to complete.
- Set the video on a beach, by a stream, at the base of a mountain, or in a funky looking studio with a weird drummer (who plays constantly, even though the music track is mysteriously light on drums).
- By all means pan to scenery or drummer when the person leading the workout is switching moves, so viewers will have no idea what to do for the next set.
- For added bonus, film legs while doing arm moves and vice versa. Keep viewers guessing!
- Find the most ripped woman on the planet - one who looks like she could make He-Man say uncle in three seconds flat - and assign her the modified moves for less active viewers. People who can't do full lunges will totally be able to identify with a woman who's ass is made entirely of muscle.
- The woman leading the workout should constantly promise "just one more" after every rep, no matter how many reps are actually left.
- After a step combination so complicated that it would take Baryshnikov a few tries to learn, make sure the workout leader says, "You're doing a great job!" while looking directly at the camera, so the viewer, who has possibly just dislocated something she didn't even know she could dislocate, feels even more ridiculous about all the flailing she's just done.
- Make up ridiculous names for moves like, "Double Aardvark Metronome," and "Power Snake."
- Ridiculous names for body parts are even better. Refer to arm stretches as "releasing your angel wings!" It will totally make the viewer feel like she can fly (if she ever stops gagging).
- At least one of the extras working out in the background must have her hair in pigtails.
- If the scenery or the drummer doesn't provide enough interest, make sure another of the extras is wearing yoga pants cut low so low that it looks like she'll expose her girl parts on camera if she lunges any deeper while doing the "Downward Orangutan Blitz Twistie." Ongoing drama!
- Bonus points if it looks like her boobs might slip out the bottom of her sports bra.
- Everyone's stomachs must be exposed. Even the drummer. It's the law.
- The cool down stretches should be the hardest and most complicated part of the workout.
Actually, if I were to make a workout video, it would probably involve a few chest presses followed by the Molly Ringwald dance from The Breakfast Club, followed by some light stretching while groaning like an old man. And instead of a drummer, we'd just listen to Boston.
Speaking of which, I may or may not have promised @dot2dott that if STAY hits the NYT Bestseller list, I'd do the Molly Ringwald dance on camera and post it here. And she may or may not have said she was going to hold me to it. This, people, is why you don't drink and tweet.
Actually, I wasn't even drinking. . .