Iron Maidens: A Spring guide to cardio machines


March is upon us, and the weather is getting slightly more pleasant. Soon, it will be so warm that it will be difficult to justify eating macaroni and cheese three meals a day (difficult, but not impossible). As you emerge from the dead of winter, idle thoughts of going to the gym may float across your mind. Supposing you decide to get the blood pumping in service of your vanity health, you will be faced with a wide variety of cardio machines in the campus gyms. If your diet is 120% protein and and you can discuss the finer points of squatting form, perhaps these machines are of little consequence to you, but for the rest of us who answer “Do you even lift?” with, “Well, no, now that you mention it,” cardio is our bread and butter. Or method of burning the bread and butter. Clichéd metaphors aside, there are a variety of options for your distance workouts. Like other areas of life, most of these choices are wrong.


Old reliable. The treadmill is the bane of excuses everywhere. “It’s rainy.” “It’s -2 degrees Fahrenheit out.” “I went to Kabob and Curry last night.” Whatever reason you can come up with to dodge running outside, the treadmill is always there to remind you that you’re a lazy bum. The only excuse left is that the weather is too poor to even get to the gym, which is unlikely in the event that the gym is actually open. The treadmill offers the wonderful experience of turning oneself into a hamster, running forever while gazing at the same stretch of wall (though many models come equipped with TV screens). On occasion, you meet the person, clearly the scourge of public restrooms everywhere, who elects to use the treadmill right next to yours, despite the fact that there are a dozen others available. Miscreant.

In spite of its monotony, the treadmill does have several key upsides. The first, which it shares with running in general, is that your treadmill music can never be too ridiculous. Running is a stressful enough activity that no one can ever give you shit for your tune choice. If “Call Me Maybe” dubstep remixes are all you want to listen to, the treadmill is your machine.


Another advantage of the treadmill is that it puts less strain on your joints than running outdoors, which is great if you, like me, are secretly a geezer in a 22 year-old, hip injury prone body. Also, the machine takes care of your pacing for you, so you can run more or less without thinking.

Bear’s Lair Treadmill

These deserve their own section, nestled as they are in the carpeted-gym madness of the Graduate Center. Firstly, only 2 of the 4 will be functional on any given day, so either run in the wee hours of the morning or perfect your cage fighting skills to capture one by force. If you live near or in Grad Center, there’s probably  part of you urging you to put in some extra effort and go to Nelson Center for your workout. Pay heed to that voice; it is your friend. Continue Reading

Blogify: Resolution Revolution

You’ve made it to February, which means you’re 1/12th of the way to successfully fulfilling your New Years Resolution! Probably the most common New Year’s resolution for lazy college students is to work out more, so we’ve concocted a playlist to keep you going at (and to) the gym. Here’s a little inspiration so your 2015 doesn’t end up like Drake’s.

Brown gets buffer: 5 more ways to work exercise into your (cold) day-to-day life

"I'm a star!" "I'm a star!" "I'm a star!" "Why did I sign up for this?"

“I’m a star!” “I’m a star!” “I’m a star!” “Why did I sign up for this?”

As the days get shorter and colder, it’s harder to find the time or energy to run outside or even make the trek to the closest gym. Yet, it is more important now than ever to stay active and energized, to help fight off sickness or the desire to hibernate. Luckily, you don’t need to go far out of your way to fit a workout into your busy schedule. Here are 5 more ways to work a little exercise into your (cold) day-to-day life:

Exercise 1: Shivering
Reps: Until you show signs of hypothermia? Recommended: 20-min sets.
Where/when: On your way to class, in the middle of the night, anytime. In the SciLi/CIT wind tunnel for the hardcore gym rats.
Muscle groups exercised: Full body cardio.
How to do it: As you may have learned in AP or IB Bio, when your core temperature falls, the body compensates by shivering, increasing heat production by rapid contraction/relaxation of muscles. Capitalize on this heat mechanism by walking around outside naked or in your underwear. Your body will respond by shivering, kicking those excess calories to the curb.

Exercise 2: Cough crunches
Reps: Until you throw up or get tackled and led to Health Services. Suggested: 20 coughs per set.
Where/when: Anytime, anywhere, preferably on other people.
Muscle groups exercised: Abs.
How to do it: Ever notice how your abs hurt after a good coughing fit? Capitalize on this by coughing a lot to get a good ab workout in. Each cough equals a crunch. Cough specifically on other people. Ignore the glare they’ll probably give you. You’re getting swole, and they’re just jealous. Plus, it’ll almost certainly help them discover your effective new exercise technique for themselves!

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Brown gets buff: 5 ways to work exercise into your day-to-day life

Brown students are extremely busy, and it’s often hard to fit a workout into our schedules everyday. Luckily, life on College Hill is surprisingly conducive to a bit of on-the-run exercising. In reality, you don’t need a personal trainer, workout tape, or any fancy equipment – all you need is your body and a few easily-obtainable objects. To help you fight off that freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior 15, here are five ways to work a little exercise into your day-to-day life:

Rebel Wilson knows where it's at.

Exercise 1: Bicep Curls
Reps: 10, repeat 3 times
Where/when: A hydration station
Muscle groups exercised: Biceps (sort of)
How to do it: After filling up your Nalgene or Brown “Beyond the Bottle” water bottle, give it a couple of pumps to shape those biceps. Don’t forget to breathe!

Exercise 2: Butt Clenches
Reps: 10 x (#) of floors
Where/when: Walking up the stairs to class or your dorm
Muscle groups exercised: Glutes, Buttocks
How to do it: Clench ‘dat booty as you walk up the stairs. That’s right – clench and release, clench and release. From my experience this gets vaguely tiring once you pass the third floor.

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Stop working! It’s good for you.


Don't become like her.

Need an extra reason to stop studying? A Brown Med School professor posted Monday about a recent metastudy of over 12,000 6-18 year-olds that found “a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance.” Although specific GPA increases numbers weren’t included, the researchers point to “increased oxygen flow” and endorphins as possible factors for this correlation (among many other things that also release endorphins).

At the same time, Brown researchers at Butler Hospital have discovered that adults who had high levels of anxiety during childhood have genetically-modified stress responses. Although their DNA isn’t changed, the way their genes are expressed is (epigenetics FTW), and as a result, they have “greater stress sensitivity and fear in stressful situations,” according to Audrey Tryka MD, PhD.

All this to say that no matter how much work you can get done sitting in the Ratty for four hours straight, “you should probably get off your butt and go get some fresh air.” [Thanks for the quote, Mom.] So, snow football tomorrow anyone?

Image via.

(Another) Study break of the day: December 14, 2011

Remember that time you saw that hamster working out in Toms and a vintage The Clash t-shirt at the OMAC? Maybe it’s a little more mainstream now, but Bon Iver frontman/hamster god Justin Vernon might be giving these kids a reason to spend a little less time discussing the newest Tumblr and a little more time werkin’ it.

Vernon teamed up with his personal trainer and biffle Jeff Rogers to create a straight-to-DVD workout video that follows Bon Iver as they run up and down stairs, lift weights, and do sit-ups, all while still looking appropriately apathetic. Don’t be fooled — an indie folk star doesn’t do squats to J-Lo. The trailer is set to the soothing melodies of We Are The Willows. Maybe this will motivate you to take a study break at the Bear’s Lair?