One afternoon, after a lazy day at the beach, I saw the most curious thing.
A female prison chain gang was setting up for work, right outside the surf lifesaving club. Or were they road and safety workers? It was hard to tell.
They had chains, giant ropes and a tire, and they were being very physical and sweaty. Their neon, high-vis clothes were trés council worker chic or Orange is the New Black.
Then I got the shock of my life: these women were exercising. They were there by their own will, and it turns out that their ‘prison guard’ was actually a personal trainer.
It was the strangest workout I’d ever seen. Women were picking up enormous, heavy ropes and flinging them about. Some grabbed what looked like very heavy kettles and were heaving them up and down. And then they tried to flip a giant tyre over!
Look, I’m in my mid-thirties, and back when I used to exercise at the gym (pre-kids – what a life!), it was all about having the biggest, most high-tech and expensive gym equipment with millions of lights and buttons.
So why the hell are people using rubbish and farm equipment to exercise?
I turned to personal trainer and fitness expert Lachlan Hollis of Hollistic Fitness to help explain why lo-fi, low-tech fitness equipment is all the rage today.
Could simpler gym equipment be better for you?
For Hollis, the appeal of simpler equipment is that it works more muscle groups, while giving the biggest muscle – your brain – a much-needed break.
“Flipping a tyre is a lot cheaper than therapy,” he enthuses.