As you can probably already guess from the title of this article, I hate exercise. I like to progress through life at a stately and modest pace.
Jogging is not for me – I don’t even run for busses, dagnabbit. In my view, a gym is simply a modernised, sanitised version of the medieval torture chamber accompanied by a faint whiff of Deep Heat and PE teacher about the place.
This is not to say that I sit in front of the television all day, only being turned once in a while to avoid developing sores. I do exercise but only accidentally.
I keep slightly fit by walking the dog twice a day, running up stairs if I’m in a hurry or getting off the bus a few stops early to avoid Edinburgh’s seemingly interminable tram building works. I haven’t set foot inside a gym for years and now I’ve reached a reasonable level of self-determinism have no intention of doing so in the foreseeable future.
I think the main thing that puts me off is the sheer tedium of it all. Thirty reps on a thingy-ma-gummy, followed by ten minutes on a rowing machine, followed by stretching and jumping. Dull, dull, dull and – like anything dull – best avoided.
However, from time to time I do have to do more than the accidental exercise I mentioned above. After a longish period of doing nothing I do feel my insulin resistance going up – I seem to end up in the twelve’s and thirteen’s before bed, even though I’ve put in more than enough to cover my evening meal. Like a car running on sludgy old oil, I feel that from time to time I need a bit of a work out to blow out the cobwebs and get the insulin resistance down again.
Rather than resort to the horrors of a gym I’ve come up with my own exercise routine – which I’ve named “The Iron Maiden Workout”. Here’s how it works:
The first part of the workout consists of twenty minutes on my bike, which I put up on one of those indoor roller things. So far so dull, but to make it interesting I listen to Iron Maiden at full blast on the old hi-fi I have in my garage.
I warm up with a longish but gentle song – perhaps Hallowed Be Thy Name from the Killers album or To Tame a Land from Piece of Mind. Then an explosive song – The Trooper or Number of the Beast from one of the live albums (my preference would be for the tracks on the Rock in Rio double album) to which one rocks out and peddles hard and fast.
Then another long and slow one – The Clansman from Virtual XI (crap album, aside from this one song) or Paschendale from Dance of Death. Rinse and repeat with another fast track (let’s say The Alchemist from The Final Frontier).
Then we move onto ten minutes of Shovelglove – “the sledgehammer workout” – during which you fling a sledgehammer around the place. This is dangerous and therefore fun – especially when accompanied by more Maiden turned up to eleven.
And that’s pretty much the size of it – after a good half hour of the Iron Maiden work out my insulin resistance returns to normal for a week or more and all is well in the world. I say if you have to exercise it may as well be fun. And dangerous. And possibly cause premature deafness.