Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weight Lifters Could Power the World

My gym has a kiosk doodad for a thingie called Fitlinxx. Fitlinxx is a computer record system that lets you tap in how much of a workout you've had--how hard, how long, how fast--and it'll spit back out a rating in "Fitpoints." You lift fifteen tons and you get X fitpoints. You walk a mile for a Camel and get Y Fitpoints. Once a month you get a "report" saying: "You burned 1400 calories--3.2 ice cream sundaes!" and "You lifted 8.9 African elephants!" I think the reports are a riot.

Anyway, I got a message from the gym computer system this week saying "Congratulations--you've lifted 3.5 million pounds!"

Well, golly. How much is that in African elephants?

That's just one person lifting weights, mind you. I don't even do it very often. When I do, there are guys doing back extensions over here and chest presses over there and lat extensions and triceps curls and assisted backassed chin-ups and stuff all over. And except for the barbells, they're all pulling on the handles of a machine that tracks how much work they're doing.

What tiny step more would it be take to hook the machines up to a power grid?

It's not just weigh lifting either. Head downstairs to the cardio room and you see huge long lines of treadmills with matching flippy-ponytailed goddesses and serious-looking godlets sprinting--well, for me it would be a sprint--for up to an hour at a time. Not to mention the ellipses, stairmasters, and rowing machines. All hooked up to measurement machines! In fact, practically everything but the swimming pool attaches you to a calibrator.

Where's Cal Poly when you need it? Surely the geekmasters have looked into using that power. Why couldn't you charge up your Prius with a treadmill? I want my next 3.5 million pounds to count for something.

I'm going to look into what the techie oddballs and eggheads have done to try to make use of our collective sweat equity. Just as soon as I rest up.

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