Like Japanese toilets and the Cronut, a workout regimen is what happens when you merge a basic human function with postmodern nonsense.
There is an inherent ridiculousness in picking up heavy things or running to nowhere. But the stupidity of sweating in pain to make your body a couple inches wider or a couple inches narrower is more palatable if this fact is embraced (see: Billy Blanks Tae Bo) rather than concealed behind a humorless veil of faux spirituality (see: hot yoga).
I know of no better absurdist exercise manifesto than the YouTube video entitled “Scientific 7 Minute Workout Video with Songs.”
The song manages to both playfully mock the concept of exercise while also motivating you to stick out the grueling gauntlet of the workout. The bizarre lyrics make apparent the insanity of intentionally enfeebling yourself in your living room. But through some strange process akin to exposure therapy, they also make the physical motions easier to perform. By the end of the song, you’ve reached total exhaustion with a smile on your face.
(If you watch at home, make sure to turn annotations off and be aware that the last minute could be considered obscene.)
Forthwith, we present the five best stanzas from Jonathan Mann’s workout masterpiece.
You are holding up this wall/If you didn’t hold it/It would fall/Hold it up/Hold up the wall with your super strength/The people in the building/That you’re holding up/Depend on you/And they admire and love/You so hold this wall
Flap your wings/Flap flap flap your wings, oh/You’re a little bird/Just learning to fly/Your mama is pushing you out of the tree/Out of the nest/And into the sky/It’s time to be what you were born to be
Push so hard/On that door that’s been closed/For so long you don’t know/What’s behind that door/What’s behind that door, better push it
There’s lava/Beneath your head/Better sit up/So you don’t burn your head/You’re in mordor
Going to see the guru/Climbing up the stairs/Her legendary temple is at the top/Just a few more, just a few more/She’s gonna tell me the meaning of life/She’s gonna teach me all the secrets/Now we’re at the top