A few days back my sweetie and I were at Target on a quest for the propane cartridges that fit our grill. Those are hidden away in the sporting goods section, and while we wandered up and down the aisles looking for them, my better half discovered the exercise gizmo department right next door. Uh, oh. We already work out three days a week, but we wanted to get something to help us on the off days. After some deliberation we decided on the TriCord Total Body Workout Kit. It was inexpensive, and since the TriCord TBWK includes three cords of different resistances, it was a TBWK that the two of us could use at the same time. “I’ll use the low-resistance cord, and you can use the medium,” my sweetie said. Perfect! Home came the TriCord.
The box contained four things: three colored rubber tubes with handles on the ends, and a DVD. The DVD is where the real value is for things like this, providing a routine that fits in a known time and provides a more-or-less complete workout.
Monday day we got into workout clothes, broke out the rubber bands, and popped the DVD into the player for the first time. The intro told us how great the product we already owned was, then introduced us to the workout. There were three people to lead us, arrayed on mats at the edge of a pond in a beautiful Japanese garden. Charles was a big muscly man, the guy whose name appears on the box, and who narrated the DVD. Advanced users, he said, people of strength and virtue, should follow him and use the high-resistance band. To his left, Eve and her large breasts were going to pursue a more aerobic workout with the medium-resistance band.
Then there’s Jim. To the instructor’s right was a graying gentleman, not tall, obviously not a “fitness professional”, just a regular guy. “For you losers out there,” Charles explained, “you fat and worthless wastes of oxygen, here’s Jim. Jim will use the lowest-resistance band and cheat on every exercise to make them easier. He will shrink from exerting himself while he ponders what TV shows he’s missing. We paid him in donuts.” (I don’t think that’s quite exactly what Charles said, but you get the idea.)
The introduction ended; the time had come to work out. I took in hand the green medium-resistance band, emulating Eve and her large breasts. I stretched the band a few times, experimentally. Feeling good. After a few limbering-up exercises it was time to start pulling rubber. Clumsily I assumed the first position and stretched along with Chuck, Eve’s breasts, and Jim. So far, they were all doing pretty much the same thing. We moved on to the next exercise. Most exercises involved combining a body motion, like a lunge, with the pulling action, so that the routine had aerobic and resistance training at the same time. Most of the real work in this routine seems to concentrate on arms and shoulders, so I’m not sure about the “Total” in Total Body Workout Kit. Still, I was starting to break a sweat, and there was a long way to go yet.
Soon I abandoned following Eve and turned my gaze to Jim, the gray-haired beer-drinking slacking cheater. The guy like me. The thing is, after a while Jim was kicking my ass, too. “Four more,” Chuck said gently while soothing music played. I made one more attempt to pull both arms up and gave up. One thing I’ll say for the TriCord TBWK, it keeps you honest. I discovered just how much weaker my left arm is. It’s easy to cheat on exercise machines. Yet there was Jim, swinging his arms up, elbows straight, a bored expression on his face.
In the end, Jim kicked my ass and didn’t break a sweat doing it. To be fair I was using a higher-resistance band, and I didn’t have some big muscly guy standing between me and the beautiful woman exercising with me, so I did score a couple of points toward a moral victory. Still, Jim kicked my ass.
But not for long, folks! I’m gunning for Jim and his wooden expression, his deceptively-toned muscles, and his stomach flatter than mine. Someday, when he least expects it, I will triumph over him, and with the green rubber band, to boot!