Did you know that Henry Ford came up with the idea of manufacturing cars en masse when he visited a butcher's shop in Chicago and saw how they mass processed meat?
Often, the biggestideas in the world come from combining two ideas from completely different fields.
One of my readers, John, sent me an email recently that helped me put two ideas together that have the potential to transform the fitness industry.
It's just an idea for now, I haven't implemented it yet myself, but John is already using it, and maybe this idea can help transform your life too like it has John's.
See, there are two things that I have always known but never thought to put them together.
The first is that there is nothing that makes time go faster than a good computer game.
Back in the day, when I was 18, I dedicated a year of my life to an online strategy game called Age of Empires. I would sit on my computer for 8 to 12 hours a day (often longer), and those hours would pass like SECONDS.
Nothing else I have ever done has made time go faster – not having the best time of my life with friends, not the best movie, not watching Game of Thrones, not even sex.
That's how engaging computer games can be, it's damn scary, I could easily dedicate my entire LIFE to playing computer games, which is why I've now gone cold turkey and haven't touched a computer game for over a decade.
The second thing I've always known is that time goes SLOWEST when you're doing a particularly challenging or painful exercise.
Whether you're doing weighted squats, holding the splits, or doing the excruciating stretch hold after the ultimate man boob busting exercise, a single minute can feel like HOURS.
John's email made me realize, heck, why don't we combine the two?
Seriously, it's genius, I feel like a fool for never having thought of it myself.
I'm sure we've all thought about having a set-up where we can, say, run on a treadmill while watching TV. We've all tried listening to music while running. I've tried making the time go faster by listening to audiobooks and podcasts while running.
But none of those things make time go faster than playing a good computer game.
Now, this method won't work for high intensity exercise. When it comes to doing HIIT, weight training, or calisthenics, you need to focus 100% on your exercise.
But what we CAN use this method for is low and moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking on a treadmill, and steady state moderate intensity running on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bicycle.
An idea I had just now while writing the above paragraph, one that won't require any specialized set-up with a console and TV, and that you can use on a treadmill/bicycle at the gym, is to just have a computer game on your PHONE. I remember getting addicted to this Mortal Kombat game on my phone once.
You may know that low and moderate intensity exercise aren't my FAVORITE types of exercise, you can never build a GREAT body with these types of training alone, but they CAN help.
Also, I know that I go on about how we should stop obsessing over burning more calories than we consume, but that doesn't mean that there's no value in burning some extra calories.
Calories in vs. calories out isn't the ONLY thing that matters, but it does still play a role.
Here's the relevant part of John's email for inspiration:
“BTW, another piece of advice your readers might like is, if you have a treadmill, try to set up a gaming system and a screen in front of you to play some kind of videogame, nothing that requires too many reflexes (found that out the hard way), but something engaging enough, that you forget the time passing by and you've burned a bunch of calories. Caveats: This works primarily for fast walking, and you need to hold a gaming controller, helps to have a “shelf” in front of you to put your controller on, and also your phone, whatever. I made a simple shelf that just rests on top of the horizontal hand posts on either side.
In fact the same can be applied to an exercise bike! No reason not to be immersed in a video game while you pedal. I actually did that originally in the past before I sold it and switched to the treadmill.
On the treadmill I play a non-taxing driving game and listen to a podcast. 30 minutes go by quickly, and I usually try to get about 40 minutes total with a very small break in between.
My point is: make your exercise activities as desirable and fun as possible. If you want to get ripped, you may have to listen to a podcast while you do aerobic cardio like Power90 or P90x, but to maintain, and look pretty decent, do something you actually enjoy outside, or try to combine your inside workouts with something that occupies your brain and makes the time go by faster.
PS: Thanks for your very helpful newsletter, I have incorporated many tips and workout suggestions for busting manboobs. My favs:
- Chair lifts – I do 6 to 10 per set. I have two strong small chairs that grip well to the carpet and I lean forward somewhat doing this exercise
- Turmeric, which I already take for back pains, and Coconut Oil and Pills.
- Building leg muscles – Deadlifts, Squats with and without weights. A large body section to create much metabolism boosting muscle. This was a very good tip, simple, but I never looked at it that way.”
John and I both agreed that the ultimate form of this would be some form of virtual reality computer game where your character moves only as fast as you do and hits only as hard as you do. I'm sure someone will develop this some time in the future, but meanwhile, give the ole treadmill + phone game a try and see how you get on.