Today I embarked on a new chapter in my fitness quest.
Today I began a program called 21 Day Fix. Actually the one I began is called 21 Day Fix EXTREME! Ooh.
Let me tell you about it.
There are two parts to this baby. The first is the diet. I’ve dabbled with changing my diet before. I’ve done Atkins and such in the past. In fact I have heard it said that fixing your diet – that is, sticking to a healthy diet – is 80% of getting jacked. I heard that from my “trainer” who’s name now appears in quotes as he insists he’s not actually a trainer and may in fact be lying to me in an effort to keep me from making progress and thus seeing results to rival his. All of that is a lie, of course. I said it to get a rise out of him, you know, for laughs.
I’ve heard the old “eat smaller meals more frequently” maxim. What I ate today, though, totally takes the cake for eating like a king. At the end of the day I had yet to consume a large amount of my daily intake and was already full. This is all based on one’s height, weight, activity level, goals, etc. At one point I had to take a bunch of body measurements for the tracking app I’m using. I had a bit of fun discovering that my calves are two inches bigger than my arms. My wife’s response to that was “Well, you’ve got big calves,” not “Don’t worry, your arms are big enough for me and that’s all that counts and I love you more than any man who’s ever lived and take me now.”
Now for the exercise part of the equation…
A curious note in the app said simply “Plyo-max Extreme”. This appears to be a reference to plyometrics, a pseudoscience, the premise of which is that if you jump around a lot you’ll be “fit”. “Can’t be too hard,” I thought. I’ve been running up to five miles a days, doing crazy tabata workouts. I’ll probably not even break a sweat.”
The woman came on the screen. Her name is Autumn. I feel it’s important you know that. I think when parents give their kids out-there names it messes with their psyche and turns them crazy. Autumn lived up to my expectations. The thing is she didn’t hit me full-on crazy like I was expecting. She eased into it.
The setting was a large gym with a stairwell on the side presumably leading nowhere. That’s not a metaphor at all. In the background were prominently displayed packages of “Shakeology”, the powdered supplement that is the core of the whole program. That’s not a pyramid scheme at all. Speaking of pyramids, immediately behind Autumn were nine people. Looking at their physiques, lithe movement patterns, and attire I surmised that they were the children of Solid Gold dancers. And then there was Cat. Cat didn’t look like she belonged. Cat looked as normal as you or I. Cat appeared to be right as rain. Cat didn’t seem to give a shit that she was there. Why, Cat, why? What is your deal?
I didn’t have time to ponder that. Autumn and the Pod People all began “warming up” in sync with each other. Not Cat. She clapped her hands once, looked at the camera and mouthed “Bitches. I piss on all of you.” Autumn intoned her instructions like the pope leading the Salve Regina at the end of a Vatican mass.
“We’re Getting Pum-umped!”
On the wall behind her was a chalkboard that read “You can do anything!” Lies. Autumn, as if she was reading my mind cut in “You can do anything! Now let’s do this!” And we were off. First up was something called plyo-jumps followed by something called plyo-sumo-jump lunges. Moments later I was about to collapse. But I could do it. I think. And then Autumn said something that made me feel both sad, and confused at the same time. “Guys,” she barked at the people behind her, “if you don’t have the flexibility to do this right, just follow Cat’s lead.”
Ahhhh! That’s what Cat’s there for. And that explains why she doesn’t really seem to care what’s going on. While everyone else was literally jumping into the air, both feet together, and slapping their knees, Miss Cat was simply raising her heels an inch or two off the ground, smiling, and returning to start. She was the comic relief in Autumn’s mind, brought in to contrast fit from undesirable. Basically, she’s the Quazimodo of this film.
Set by set, movement by movement, Autumn shamed me (and her minions on set) into greater fits of sweat and pain. Not Cat. We did reverse lunges. Cat took a step and winked at the camera. We did burpees with a push up. Cat got on all fours, raised her right arm, and meowed. Autumn would chime in with some ridiculousness toward one of the dancers “Tony! If you can’t do the movements right, just do what Cat’s doing,” or “Philippine! If you don’t have the balls to get those quads up in the air while engaging your core, just do what Cat’s doing.” Meanwhile by the final set Cat was in a leather recliner eating Yodels and watching TV. I think she was watching a Richard Simmons workout VHS.
Cat looked happy. Cat is very smart. If you want to be jacked do what Autumn tells you to do and like it. If you want anything of value, just do what Cat’s doing.
More to come.