A lot of people join a gym to get fit. They go along to a session, and see people who have been going longer doing rather better than them. There’s a pervading aroma of sweat and the machines look like torture devices rejected by the Spanish inquisition! There are running machines and cycle machines that give you a spectacular view of other sweaty people in pain, a brick wall, or through a window at a scene that never moves!
Personally that is boring and somewhat pointless, expensive too! I also don’t see the point of buying a bike and then mounting it on a car to go somewhere to ride. Your mode of transport IS the bike, so use it to go somewhere worth going. Your destination is your reward!
Having said that I am going to take my getting fit VERY seriously and here is my guide to a MAN’s way to get fit!
First of all, avoid running, unless you’re playing football… and I mean proper football, where the ball is round and not shaped like a handbag. The clue is in the name of the game, so use your feet not your hands!
Running for leisure is a fast way to damaged knees and ankles and an early heart attack. Only run if someone is chasing you, or you are slightly late for your train. Otherwise get a bike, it’s more civilised, ask the Chinese.
If you’re going to cycle to get fit, don’t go for a fashionable racing bike with a razor blade for a saddle. That is both expensive and makes you look silly. As does lycra clothing, which never looks good with a gut, or on anyone over 30!
Get a proper heavy bike, after all, you’re trying to get fit, so work a bit harder! Wear normal clothing and sweat properly! Sweating is good. It’s nature’s way of shedding weight and keeping annoying people away from you! It also proves you’ve been working hard to suspicious loved ones who think you just ride down to the pub.
If you want to take this a step further, make your own underwear from bin liners! I am modelling bin liner long johns and long sleeved vest top in this pic. I also put elastic bands on the sleeve and legs to collect my sweat. It also helps if you find yourself caught short on a ride and can’t find a public lavatory.
(The pained expression is what it technically known as saddle sore, although I now recommend others actually fit their saddles before setting off, which can reduce the need for this expression as well!)
I empty it all into a bucket when I get home and water the garden with my own body fluids. You may find your flower beds dying back a bit and your veg tasting a bit odd, but they are resilient buggers and will grow back eventually!
I intend to start riding in steel toe-capped boots and with a heavy coat to improve my sweat production. I intend to add a set of proper mudguards and a carrier so I can add lead filled saddle bags to make it a REAL man’s bike!
You might wish to start dragging a car tyre behind you too, to prove you’re a real man! By the way running is permitted on a beach if you’re wearing bin liners and dragging a car tyre behind you. Terry Yorath used to do that and he produced Gabby, so proof, if any were needed, that bin liners are the way to go!
Now a lot of people will tell you to watch your diet or to drink energy drinks… Rubbish! Real men have a plate full of grease and if you follow my exercise regime you’ll soon burn off the calories. Drink lots of sugary fizz too! The extra buzz will give you all the energy you need and burping is manly!
How far should you ride? It depends on how serious you are about getting fit. Five miles is a decent ride and if you aim for a country pub you can stay for a few pints and the bin liner underwear will make it look like you’ve been riding all day, and the smell will ensure you’re not bothered by anyone!
I go 12 miles each way to Chester and back, which is a proper man’s ride because there are hills and other things to impress people about when you get home. Of course, you could put on your bin liner underwear and ride one mile to and from your nearest station to go the same distance.
I shall keep you all updated on my fitness regime on my Twitter account @NeilWinnington, and look forward to comments from other manly men who are following my MAN’s guide to fitness!