photo (3)The magic carpet ride of queerfit happens for one hour, twice a week. That, alas, leaves 166 hours a week of not-queerfit. How sad is that?! And sadder still, what about those poor souls who don’t live in Atlanta or who have conflicting schedules and can’t get to a queerfit workout at all?

I’m on the road for the next few weeks, and will be having to queerfit remotely. This got me thinking about what makes a workout a queerfit workout.  After long study and deep thought, here’s the distillation…

One point for incorporating any of the following elements into a workout. When you get up to 4 points, then you’ve turned your workout into a queerfit workout:

Use odd objects.  The real world is not a shoulder press machine with safety stops and padded seats. The real world is not a rigid, perfectly straight barbell. The real world is odd, as in asymmetrical, unbalanced, awkward. It’s queer as hell. Trees, for example. Couches that need to be moved. Kegs. Dogs. Children. All quite odd in their own way. Since we’re training for this queer real world, one point for you if the workout you make up uses odd objects. Sandbags are great, but so are tree limbs, your luggage, or your office chair. The odd object can also be you.

Do it in public. Working out inside a gym is the norm, so one point for working out in public. Look for a playground with pull-up bars, or a space with a chest high retaining wall. I especially love workouts that incorporate barriers – walls, police barriers, fences – by turning them into something to get up and over.

Go hard hard. Even though most of our queerfit workouts fall between 12 and 20 minutes, there are lots of ways to go hard for workouts lasting anywhere from 4 minutes to an hour. You can’t actually go hard hard for an hour, or even for ten minutes – it’s physiologically impossible.  What you want to do is

design a workout that lets you go hard hard for bursts of 15-90 sec throughout the workout. The tabata protocol is great for this (8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest), but there are plenty of other ways to do this. You can set up 1 minute long stations of high intensity exercise and intersperse rest or lower intensity exercises (air squats or sit-ups) in between the stations. You can create a superset of exercises that lasts for about 4 minutes, then give yourself a minute rest.  If you’re doing a long run, sprinkle in five 50 yard all-out sprints and you’ve queered it up.

Go over your head. Pushing weight over your head requires a high level of core stability, so one point for going overhead. Overhead squats, push presses, or lunges with weight overhead.  And remember that when you’re using your own body, you can go overhead by getting upside down – bear crawls, handstand holds, donkey kicks.

Be explosive. One point for throwing in some explosive movements. Some examples: one-arm dumbbell snatches, squat jumps, clapping (or just explosively fast) pushups.

Do it with a friend.  When you work out with a friend, there is a 100% chance you will work out harder. Just doing the same workout side by side with someone helps to make it more queer. But if you really want to earn your 1 point here, design a workout that has you responsible in some way to the other person, and vice versa. This morning, for example, one pair of us had a 85 yard run+ 15 yard bear walk while the other pair did one-arm dumbbell snatches. The time domain for the snatches was as long as it took the run-bear walk pair to finish their bit. Ergo, knowing our friends heaving up heavy one-arm snatches were going to continue with said heaving until we got back, we all ran-bear walked a good bit faster than we otherwise would have.

Four points = queerfit. For my time on the road, I’ll post to the FB page my remote queerfit workouts, and I hope you do the same. Tonight, you’re in the good hands of Miyoshi, at our usual spot next to the Inman Park MARTA station.