Last week Delts and I each had had a hard workout. I had just reached my goal of 20 pullups, and Delts had just topped 400 in his bench press. We decided to have a celebratory cocktail afterwards. Over at Rosie Malone’s, we laughed and were talking some trash about our friends, people in the gym, the game on TV, and Delts’ latest questionable exercise equipment purchase. Soon I was whining about the impressive list of excuses people have for not exercising.
Undercoming Obstacles to Exercise
“I could almost name more excuses for avoiding exercising than I could for doing it,” I said. “Let’s see… not having enough time, not having support from others, not enough money to join a gym, not enough energy, health problems. Oh, and too many annoying jocks in gyms, fear of pain, fear of exercising in front of people when you have a not-so-hot body, boredom with exercise, memories of bad experiences in gym class, addiction to donuts.” Delts, seeing that I was on a ranting roll, started to zone out and watch the game on TV.
“Wait, I’ve got it!” I exclaimed. “A new job for personal trainers! You know surrogate mothers?”
Delts gave a questioning look. “Sure, when parents can’t have kids on their own.”
“How about a surrogate personal trainer?” I asked.
Delts frowned. “Help get surrogate mothers get into shape?”
“No, you pay your surrogate trainer to work out for you instead of working out yourself,” I said, smiling at my idea.
“Hear me out,” I continued. “These are hard cases, who won’t exercise for any reason. This way they get credit for exercise that they’re not doing. There’s a psychological benefit. And I wouldn’t charge that much, maybe half of a regular training fee. After all, I get benefits, too, extra exercise of my own. I can give them a pep talk to help them feel good about themselves. ‘Great workout yesterday, nice job!’ And if needed, I could sign a form that they could submit to their insurance company to get a discount.”
“Are you out of your mind? You want to become a criminal?”
“Forget that last part. I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention. Anyway, this is a completely original idea, and I think it might work. It’s proven every day that you can sell any product with the right pitch. Look at the Shakeweight.”
Delts winced at that, as he’d bought one, and I hadn’t let him forget it since. “OK, Dave, but then they wouldn’t have the rush we get after a really good workout. And they’d miss actually accomplishing something. What about that?”
Friends With Workout Benefits
But I was warming to my subject, especially now that I was into my second beer. “There’s also prestige if you have someone cool doing your workouts for you. And imagine the improved body odor situation. Not to mention having more time at home with your spouse – relationships will improve!”
“OK. Say you talk somebody into that and they pay you. What happens when they don’t get into better shape? Take their money and leave town?”
This was hard to counter, and I had to think about it. “I’ve got that covered, too,” I finally responded. “You just take advantage of the placebo effect, and the non-exerciser gets more fit. Think about it – you could have the first franchise!”
Delts smiled and slowly shook his head. “If you’ll buy my Shakeweight,” he said, and turned to watch the game. I had another swig of beer and began to plan my infomercial.