Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Make a Treadmill Workouts More Exciting

Due to Veteran's Day being my first day off for a few month's I decided to do the workout shuffle. I moved my weights and recovery run to today in order to get the yard work done yesterday. After I lifted I needed to decide how to do my run- run my normal 5k route, three laps around my block, or just use the treadmill. I decided since I was already at the gym I would go ahead with the treadmill.

An odd turn of fate has happened. Last year when I started running again I used the treadmill exclusively, I even trained for my first 5k using only the treadmill except for one run. I didn't even start running outside until this past summer.

Three miles takes entirely too long on the treadmill and I get really tired of staring at something like this:

The treadmills at the my Y are kind of outdated and although I have seen the super fancy ones with TV's, IPOD docks, Internet connectivity, and networking to training peaks, I think there is more we can do. Below is my first idea:

I think this would improve the gym and treadmill experience 10 fold. However I saw a few problems. First, the gym, especially the YMCA is supposed to be a family environment, no go. Second, even though this would entertain me it would not stop me from working out, but I realize that there are guys (and girls) who could not concentrate with pole dancing going on at the gym. Lastly, I think this would lead some to try to show off and in turn we would see an increase in hernias or possible other accidental........nevermind.

With this ruled out, my four other best choices are below:

Coloring book and crayons, integrated into the treadmill screen. Maybe a rack next to the magazines so you can choose your coloring book maybe you prefer transformers over Hello Kitty. The down side I saw with this was the thought of bending down to pick up a dropped crayon without thinking. Belt burn sucks!

A magnadoodle that can flip over the screen. Enter your program and then flip this over from behind and draw birds, bees, or whatever floats your boat.

Video poker built into the screen and then networked to the other treadmills. Poker tournaments while you run. This could even be networked into the bikes and ellipticals.

Lastly, this jewel. If you do not recognize it, it is a tennis ball cannon from the Assault round of the original American Gladiators. This was my favorite round, if you can imagine. Think about this mounted to the top the treadmill. How entertaining would it be to concentrate on shooting tennis balls at the weightlifters? Wait for someone to load the squat rack with 550 pound and then time the bottom of their rep and beam him in the head with a ball and watch him collapse and the bar fall on top of him. Personally, given the guys that were in the gym with my tonight, I would have had a great time shooting guys that looked and were dressed like this-



Patrick Mahoney said...

Funny dude, I'd say video poker is the way to go...

Moving Mertle said...

HAHAHA love it. At my gym, the treadmills just face the window, no room for poles or tennis ball shooter. My favorite activity is watching Jeporady/Wheel of Fortune and yelling the right answers. Yes if I scream loud enough they will get the right answer. The other gym goers love it and are greatly impressed by me I'm sure.

Also a warning if you get distracted and drift to one side you may fall. This has happened to me previously during a enthralling round of Wheel.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Ugh, I hate the treadmill. I would sign up for a gym with the tennis ball machine in a heartbeat though. All of a sudden treadmill-ing would be my new favorite thing.

Pretend this is real said...

Tennis ball cannon. 100% Or paintball gun. Then you'd really leave a mark.

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