Saturday, August 16, 2014

Newsflash: Not Everyone Needs to be a Badass

A friend of mine posted a video of a Kangoo aerobics class on Facebook today.  What is a Kangoo aerobics class, you might ask?  Well, it looks a lot like this:

And, of course, the strength community was raring to make fun of this (as with many aerobics-type classes).  Of course they were.  It's not badass.  And one person even ventured to say that it's "not exercise."

I'm going to share something with you:

I own a pair of Kangoos.

An ex of mine gave them to me for Christmas many moons ago.

And you know what?


No joke.  The main reason they've been sitting in my closet ever since that Christmas is that it's not nearly as much fun Kangooing alone, and I don't know anyone else who owns a pair.  And they freak my dogs out.

That having been said, I wanted to share with you my comments about this, because I really think this is an important subject to broach.  So, at the risk of the strength community shaking their collective head at me in shame, here's what I wrote:

In response to "I wouldn't call it exercise..."

It depends on your definition of "exercise." Does it get your heart rate up? Yes. Does it encourage good movement patterns? Not really.

And my further comments:

It certainly won't make anyone stronger. But it will burn calories. A lot of people just need to move. If it's fun, even better. The average person doesn't find lifting heavy weights inherently fun (well, maybe till they try it, anyway  ). Most people do find bouncing around fun. Hell, I find bouncing around fun. I'm like Tigger. The Western culture desperately needs ways to get people off the couch. I think this is one of many ways that *could* make that happen. Like the SkyZone chain of indoor trampoline parks. Like Zumba. Like going out dancing at night. Like romping with your kids or your dog or your cute neighbor. Whatever. If it gets people moving (and doesn't get them hurt), I'm all for it. Not everyone needs to be a powerlifter. I mean, I do. But not everyone does.

I think a common problem we make as fitness professionals is thinking that in order for something to be "legit" it needs to be badass. It doesn't. It just needs to get people moving more than they sit. We have a horrible culture of sitting. It's killing people. Some of this stuff looks ridiculous. Some of it is ridiculous. But it works in that it makes people move, makes people want to do more of it, makes people smile and laugh and get the hell off the couch. I am a big believer in the "does it make you better?" mantra. In this case, does it make these people better at not sitting? Yes it does. More power to them.

Bottom line:  Have fun.  Look silly.  Freak out your neighbors.  But move.  Please.  Just move.  As far as I'm concerned, Sloth is a much bigger sin than happily bouncing around like Tigger on crack.

I will leave you with this picture of me from 2010, after receiving my Christmas gift.  And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to organize a Kangoo race.  There's gotta be someone else out there with a pair.

Questions?  Comments?  Post 'em here!


  1. Welcome to a load of Bio-mechanical problems, injuries and visits to the Doctor.

    1. You could say the same to anyone who goes rollerblading or rollerskating, dancing, skiing, bike riding, backpacking, rock climbing, trampolining, etc. I'll take it over a sedentary lifestyle any day.

  2. I agree with you Melody. If it's fun and gets them doing something, it's a beginning. Often I see people who have just started doing some fun activity and it's the beginning of becoming aware of their body. Maybe they do get an injury - if so, hopefully, they start considering their body and how it moves and get some assistance in better movement, whether its personal training, massage, whatever.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Personally, I am a competitive powerlifter and I bend steel for fun. One might say that puts me at a biomechanical risk, too.

    2. I like your passion and fame is most value things for all.

  3. Being sedentary always gets me. I fought hard to lose over 115lbs. Then over the past 2 years, it crept back up. I've since gained back somewhere between 60-80lbs....I'm afraid to check anymore....and I know it's because I gave up on moving and gave up eating. I've shoved anything and everything in my mouth.
    I'm now 6 months soda free......I was a Dt. Dew addict BIG time....and as of today, I'm 3 days free from "crap". That meaning sugary snacks. No cookies, no cakes, no pudding, no ice cream (this one hurts!) and no candy. I feel like a million bucks!! I went from a RKC to a tank and I'm taking accountability. Dusted off my bells, taking my fat arse to the track for some running and hitting the trails for some killer hills of hiking!!!
    You're right Melody.....just moving is where we have to start!

  4. I have GOT to get a pair of those. I never even knew they existed, and I'm of a firm mind that any extra movement counts toward exercise that is worthy. Besides which, that looks REALLY fun.

  5. Actually, people who have blade prosthetics get the same benefit anyone would who put these on, they actually give you an edge, not detract from your potential.

  6. I couldn't agree more with you! Sure lifting weights gives you great benefits but for example I'm greatly inlove with bodypump. Many bodybuilders look at me like I'm a joke when I do go lift weights but there is something about it that I simply love. It's not heavy weights which I also love lifting but there's something so enjoyable in lifting weights to a music with high reps. Any other cardio type I hate, which is fine. We all got different things we like. Some enjoy running, some jumping ropes but aslong they are working out and enjoying it is what matters. Because if you aren't doing what you enjoy, it won't make you happy and you will more likely quit it after some time. ;)