Cranky Fitness readers who are intrepid enough make their way down to the comment section may recognize Dave's alter ego, Fitness Tabby. Fitness Tabby is much beloved here for his wit, common sense, and all-around nice-guyness. Plus, bonus: unlike other felines, he never grosses us out with tuna-breath, coughs up hairballs, or leaves a smelly litter box to scoop out!
And since Cranky Fitness has been quite remiss about covering celebrity exercise trends, Dave/Fitness Tabby offered to tackle the topic. (Note: Crabby McSlacker will be back soon with an actual post of her own! Probably. Possibly. Er, you never know, it could happen!)--Crabby
Isn't it fun to find out what your favorite celebrities are up to? Or even what some disliked ones are doing?
When the drug-addled meltdowns, outrageous public disputes, and humiliating arrests have simmered down, the celebrity industrial complex may turn to a celeb's workout routine for tabloid material.
Rather than just jumping on their workout bandwagons, let's play a game. I've picked out a few personality quirks and habits of some famous people, and will relate them to workout scenarios. See if you can identify each celebrity. Maybe you can relate to them, or even gain some inspiration. I've given them phony initials, which helps my premise of making up or exaggerating details about them.
Will the judge take my selfie as payment?
F.F. is a person of extremes. Despite her acting talent, she often parties hard and gets into trouble. After repeatedly getting caught and promising to do better, she has a great deal of trouble complying. Similarly in the exercise world, people have real trouble adhering to what their trainer or doctor has advised them to do.
Imagine this scenario: after yet another substance abuse arrest, a judge orders F.F. to work at a soup kitchen on 20 different days. Instead, she goes to a club, has 20 friends feed her Cristal from soup bowls as she tries to beat her previous 1-hour personal binge record. She finishes with a belch that exceeds the legal decibel level, and passes out cold. Appearing in court after a hospital stay, she submits the 8-minute YouTube video to the judge as proof of compliance, explaining to the judge, "I'm sorry I'm 2 hours late, but my new technique video demonstrates leadership, self-reliance, and showing people in soup kitchens how to get served faster! Besides, don't I look hot before I stop moving?"
I think we've all come up with excuses to avoid doing what's healthy, and F.F. is a role model for that. Are you a champ at coming up with excuses? Got any favorites? I'm not too bad at it:
- The gym's too far away
- Oops, I forgot
- I've got this hangnail
- I'll start next week
- Workouts interfere with my TV and snacking schedule
- Workouts will make me look bulky, I just want to tone
- My friends will stop liking me if I get in better shape than them
A Posteriority Complex
A great woman once said:
I'm a pretty good cook, I'm sitting on my groceries.
Luminary B.B. is not especially known for exercise, but she is known for her butt, with which she made a valiant attempt to break the internet. She could represent the large coterie of people who are obsessed with the appearance of their own buns. This can lead to things like people wondering if the wafers they're eating will go directly to their hips. Of course it does - I can just tell!
With B.B. boldly broadcasting her bounteous booty, I would go so far as to say that this has some positive effect (except on webservers). It has become more OK to have a posterior larger than starvation size. If this reduces people's body image anxiety, I'm all for it. It's also useful to know that there are plenty of people who are in very good shape even though they "got back".
Method Men, And We're Not Talking Rhythm
Method actors will do just about anything to prepare for a role. Years ago, M.M. put on a lot of weight to play a fighter. Just recently, fellow actor H.H. lost a large amount of weight for one role, then turned around and put on pounds of solid muscle to play a fighter in his next role.
While dedication to one's craft is certainly admirable, you have to wonder if this will have long-term bad health consequences. In the fitness world there are those for whom it's more important to be hardcore than to be safe. I consider myself somewhat hardcore, in that I enjoy some pretty difficult exercises, but not as extreme as what these actors are putting themselves through. Oh well, at least they're getting huge money for taking on serious risk. Another variation of this is yo-yo dieting.
Boy Toys R Us
This guided missile is less focused than Q.Q. doing her exercise routine.
Famous Q.Q. seems to have machine-like discipline, doing everything possible to stay in shape and defy aging. I've heard that she exercises for hours a day, or maybe that's just PR, but she always looks very fit. It seems like much of her motivation is to simply retain fame. Whenever her fame wanes a bit, she arranges to make out with some female celeb, and boom, she's back in the news, her Q rating restored!
Her bodyfat percentage could be a negative number! (not really) You know how people with solar-powered homes can sell unneeded power back to the grid? Maybe Q.Q. could find some way to graft her cells into other people to automagically make them lose weight (for a handsome fee, of course, and if you order now, you get the coffee table photo book).
When you're that focused and motivated, there's no likelihood of exercise avoidance. Someone like her is rare, though, and it doesn't hurt that with her success she can easily afford a coaching staff, chef, custom diet, etc. This type of person may have a tendency to overtrain rather than not training enough, although with professional guidance, they may be safer than the "method actor" approach.
Head Slap Leads to Healthy Rap
Entertainer O.O. has struggled for years with serious personal issues, some of which came to light in public altercations. Fortunately, after things got out of control, she called time-out, owned up to things she had done, and got help. After some honest self-examination she shared her experiences publicly, including revealing that she had an eating disorder and describing how she was working on mending her family relationships.
It was brave of her to admit weakness and seek help. Many people with problems are not able to handle them on their own. It may be due to excessive pride, embarrassment, a lack of close friends, denial, or plenty of other complex reasons. Having someone famous tell their story of falling and getting back up may be just the permission some people may need to get help and heal.
So who are these crazy celebs? And which one(s) do you relate to?
Dave Chu took up fitness seriously after getting unusually sick one time. He realized that not only did he need to pay more attention to his health, but also that having multiple random exercise routines that always ended after 1 month was leading nowhere. Finally the good habit stuck, and it even lead to his getting certified as a personal trainer by the NSCA. In a career of twists and turns, including years as a professional musician, now he is a web developer and fitness blogger, often inspired by his mysterious muse, the Fitness Tabby. He likes his exercise with a pinch of silliness, a tolerable testosterone content, and fun as well as rewarding work. His latest passion is brain training.