Since posting my box of wonders, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my lifting philosophy. Like that one guy in college who reeked of patchouli, I borrow heavily from Thomas Hobbes.
Pink Weights are a Tool of the Patriarchy
First thing is to ditch the ladymag wisdom of using pink weights to tone one’s way into a designer strapless dress that cost more than tuition at a state school. I mean, c’mon, let’s get real. “Tone” is one of those words bastardized by the glossies to mean “sell more pink weights, fake foods and strapless dresses.” Second-rate DudeBro personal trainers use “tone” in their sales pitches. “Tone” is a manufactured lie, like Santa Claus, free energy or Zooey Deschanel.
Also, my 17-month-old slings around 2.5 pounds in each hand like it’s nothin’. After you watch a toddler tote around a fifth of her body weight for funsies, you’ll side-eye any adult who thinks they’re getting any benefit from waving a dumbbell that weighs less than a venti frappuchino.
Congruent to the pink weight patriarchy is the personal trainer who leads a lady over to a weight machine and gives her the low weight/high rep spiel. This is the KA-CHING! workout. The lady comes in week after week, not seeing any result, which makes her pay the gym and the trainer because maybe she’s not doing it right, or maybe she’s not being motivated enough. Now the club-affiliated trainer can sell cardio classes, supplements, more training sessions — none of which will move her to the end goal of being stronger. The only thing getting smaller is her bank balance.
Nasty, Brutish and Short
My mantra is “I can do ANYTHING for twenty-two minutes — so long as I have a sitcom streaming on Netflix.” (I like the company.) On lifting days, I pop on a random episode of 30 Rock, crack open the wonder box and get with it. Twenty-two minutes later, I’m drenched in sweat, feeling good and finished.
Since the beginning, the heavy weights/low reps/compound lifts/toddler wrangling school of thought has kept me interested for six months and counting. When the bar is loaded with every weight I own, just counting to three can be a Zen exercise. The feeling of pulling something heavy away from the earth, of flipping the bird to that weak force of gravity is damn satisfying. “FUCK YOU, ISAAC NEWTON!” I shout, belying my working ignorance of physics, and startling bystanders. It’s a fine feeling.
Not having to do it more than twenty minutes is just the icing on the cake. Shorter time commitments mean more time knitting. It’s about priorities.
Keep it heavy, my friends. Just Hobbes it.