Another week, another round of The Torture Room.
I nearly didn’t go in today. The thing is voluntary so in theory I can opt out any time. Unfortunately I suffer from a severe conscience, so if I say I’ll finish the course then I am duty bound to do so. Of course I ended up going in.
The regime starts of with what they call “warming up exercises”. This consists of marching on the spot interspersed with such delights as leg stretches [in all directions], sideways dancing where we invariably collide with the bloke beside us and breathing/stretching things. By the end of that, I’m sweating like a stuck pig and ready to go home.
But that’s only the start.
Next comes the cycling machine where I have to do a kilometre or two [I close my eyes and pretend I’m cycling down for a pint]. They up the resistance on that each session so I have to cycle harder to get anywhere.
Then I have another cycling machine where I have to use my arms on the pedals. Again, I’m off to the pub, but that is becoming harder to imagine as I never actually get a pint at the end.
Then there is the sideways march where I have to march sideways across the room while swinging weights. At this point everyone else is on their cycling machines, facing in my direction and they can all have a laugh at me.
After another session on the bike again, I head for the naughty step [as they call it] where I repeatedly step up onto a box and back down again. That’s a real sweat maker.
Next is the boxing where I have to march on the spot while doing boxing thrusts. The snag there is that I have to hold on to elastic ropes which is hell on the shoulders.
Last is the Chair of Death [as I call it]. All I have to do is sit down, stand up, repeat. That sounds easy enough, but try doing it while clasping a weight to your chest! It is fucking torture.
At this stage [and I think I may have missed out on a couple of stages] all my muscles are screaming and I must have lost about five pints of sweat. Time to go home? No fucking way. We have to do our “cooling down” exercises which is basically a repeat of all the marching, stretching and twisting that we started with.
Finally they measure blood pressure again [they did that before the start too]. Mine had dropped from 140 down to 100 whatever that means. We unhook ourselves from little portable monitors which we have to wear with wires going to horrible sticky electrodes that rip off all my chest hair.
And finally we go home. Naturally all the windows in the car steam up as soon as I get in as I am glowing at this stage.
I presume any heart attack victim has to go through this torture, presumably as some sort of punishment or deterrent for inconveniencing the health crowd and the use of their ambulances?
My advice – don’t have a heart attack!