health

"We need to mock people with rock-hard abs - for their own good."

New Year’s eve. The time for resolutions. Of course “resolutions” is a misnomer. Pretty much everyone has a resolution of the same type: lose weight, or the more extreme version “get ripped”.

Our society lauds the sculpted body, especially those that used to be obese, the “ripped again”. They star in late-night advertisements, adorn the walls of the local gym, and their selfies dominate our social media feeds. In heralding them as models of human spirit we ignore the reality: these people have a problem with exercise, which we ought discourage through “fit-shaming”.

Now, if your bizarrely toned body is in aid of a physical job or your love of sports, great. If you’re trying be a bit healthier rather than a Spartan specimen of human perfection, all the best.

However, if you want to have rock hard abs and gigantic arms, just because, you’re a weirdo.

“If you want to have rock hard abs and gigantic arms just because, you’re a weirdo.”

People do not just get ripped. It requires extraordinary commitment. You have to build the muscles with regular weight lifting. Then you have to drop the fat with extreme cardio (possibly an hour a day) and a serious low calorie diet (no sugar, no beer, no fun).

Spending endless hours exercising in a world with so many amazing books to read, art to see, natural wonders to absorb, people to meet, and delicacies to try is not a sign of health but rather a sign of sickness.

This is the funniest post we’ve ever read about avoiding the gym.

About now the ripped people (if they even had time in between work outs to read this far) are objecting: but being strong is useful! This is true. Being strong can be useful. Strong quads means we can stand-up, a core means we can hold ourselves upright. But I’ve never heard any medical practitioner equate being ripped as necessary to good health.

“Being strong can be useful.”

I’m sure you can do incredible things, like lifting furniture above your head, which might be useful if someone ever challenges you to a furniture lifting competition. I’m sure you can plank for hours, which will come in handy when your family needs a park bench in a pinch. But lets face it, your high definition six-pack and associated extras are mainly fashion accessories.

How not to be a d**khead at the gym.

It would be remiss of me to omit one of the main uses of abs: scoring with the opposite sex.  For men and women fit and healthy people are attractive.

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However, we overestimate the value of ripped-ness. In most situations potential partners cannot see your abs (e.g.: night clubs, bars, BBQ). While randomly exposing your abs in public may see you marked up on the “fit” criterion, you’re likely to lose as many marks on the “creepy” scale.

Stop it, Zac Efron. You just look creepy.

Moreover, have you ever really looked at a healthy fit person and thought, “would be attractive, needs a bit more definition”? That is shallowness our subconscious cannot reach without a little. Any person for whom visible abs is a deal-breaker is probably an ab-fetishist, and who wants the stress of dating an ab-fetishist? Who could keep up?

You may say “I would not marry an ab-fetishist, but I might enjoy a shag!”. That’s fair, but would you spend hours toning and curating your feet on the chance a foot-fetishist crossed your path?

Switching to this gym routine could save you thousands… and cost you your dignity.

We must do away with the double standard whereby people with eclectic interests such as knitting, model trains, and online gaming are labeled odd whereas those who spend inordinate amounts of time (often alone) to sculpt the perfect body, are peaks of virtue.

Rock hard abs and gigantic arms without purpose is like owning an elaborate model train set, but less interesting and more vain.

People with such ridiculous bodies ought be mocked. Not out of jealously (okay, partly out of jealously) but mainly for their own good.

Disclaimer: Mathew Kenneally is not a Doctor or fitness instructor. All of these opinions are based on some googling, casual conversations at bars with people who have googled, and personal prejudice. Before commencing a fitness regime consult your Doctor, not this article.

Mathew Kenneally is a comedian who moonlights as a lawyer and vice versa. His comedy focuses on politics, social commentary, and his constant struggle with modern life. Currently, he is trying to figure out how to live an active social life while abstaining from Facebook. He is the co-author of the satirical blog Diary Leaks and co-founder of the comedy room politicalasylum.com.au