Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bikram can bugger off

I have just got home from a Body Pump class. As a result my hands have gone into solid claws from gripping the bar and I can barely type.

For anyone who has ever done a Body Pump class, you will understand. Others will no doubt be thinking this is a spot of melodrama for comic effect. Think again.

Body Pump is, to coin a phrase, pretty flipping evil. The correct term is endurance training, where participants, to the background of hard-house music, work all the major muscle groups via a series of weight-bearing exercises including squats, presses, lifts and curls.

I haven’t been to Body Pump in quite some time. Let me think. 3 years. The last time I went I was unable to drive my car home due to leg shake. I remembered this around 3 minutes into the class, but my path to the door was blocked by a knucklehead squatting. Tonight, after reacquainting myself with the ‘pump’, I was gaily walking home and hopped, with a skip of smugness, off the kerb. And my leg gave clean away.


I have friends who partake in Bikram Yoga. For the unenlightened, this is yoga performed in a room heated like a sauna. Roasting hot and 40 per cent humidity. Why? God, why? A friend summarised Bikram Yoga to me, saying, ‘Putting aside the mental pious vegetarian stick insects and the fact it’s massively overpriced – it’s amazing, and will change your life forever.’

Well that’s me sold.

I mean do we really loathe ourselves this much? From StairMasters to kettlebells, Rosemary Conley to Natalie Cassidy, we understand and expect that getting in shape is going to require serious effort on our part. But we pump, pose, zumba, shimmy and now even part-cook ourselves under the loose heading of ‘exercise.’ I fell flat on my face in the street this evening thanks to squats. Is it worth it? Is it really?

I mean you can’t blame us. If I hear one more of the most beautiful women in the world, size zero, preened to within an inch of her life, tell me that ‘she’s just like everyone else and hates her tummy too,’ I am going to go to Hollywood and force feed her Ginsters Pies.

I can’t listen to one more starlet complain about her body.  Cheryl Cole says she has big bum days too. Oh spare me, that woman does not need magic pants. Angelina Jolie herself has moaned that she feels her lips ‘take over her face’. 

Do these women think it's endearing to complain about their appearance? If they put themselves in our size 12 jeans, they would understand that it just makes us want to smack them in their perfect little faces.

A survey by American Glamour magazine found that 97 per cent of readers had negative thoughts about their body every day. I wasn’t surprised, but I’d quite like to be in the other 3 per cent. Every day is a lot of time to commit, life is short.

So for now I will be resting my exhausted (and utterly seizing up) size 12 self, slapping my cellulite with enthusiasm and rejoicing that wobbly bits or not, at least my lips aren’t too big for my face.

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