New Year's Repetitions

Somehow it found me: Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Body Workout. And work out I did.

"You think you're finished, but noooo, not at all. We're doing five more repetitions! Arnold calls them the Fooorrrced Reeeps -- ha, ha, ha! Let's go." Dude, fuck you. Fuck off, Arnold. Dick.

At this point, because I am lazy and out of shape, and because Arnold, with all his patronizing, is starting to bug me, I'm feeling unmotivated as we move into the sit-up portion of the workout. But, like all good Kennedys, Arnold has some tricks up his sleeve, and I'm not just talking about Total Workout producer Michael Case Kissel's "Love Not War," an Afrobeat-inspired '80s stinker that I've never heard of. "Concentrate on all those calories you're burning off," Arnold pleads. "Concentrate on how slim your waste is getting, how sexy you're gonna look!" And to hear Arnold say "sexy" -- pronounced with his slight lisp, like a TV announcer saying "zesty" -- makes me want to push through these last exercises. I'm gonna look so zesty! And so I gnash my teeth though the sit-ups, and then some crunches, as Eddie Money's "Think I'm in Love" nudges me along and strange visions of Michael J. Fox and Van Halen, Transformers and Ronald Reagan, dance through my head. When it's all over, when my abs are burning, Arnold tells me, oh so sincerely, "You did really well. You should be proud of yourself. I'm looking forward to training with you again at our next session."

Just to drive the point home, the music switches to Deniece Williams' "I'm So Proud," a droll torch song about, um, being proud. And Arnold's telling me, "Always remember: The importance of my program is not just exercise, but also always visualize yourself in the perfect form. This will motivate you to exercise until your visions become reality."

Now that's why I love Arnold. He's one of the most full of shit guys ever, and he's always been that way (he "guarantees the results" of working out to this record). But there's no denying the simple fact of his life. He visualized himself in the perfect form, and his visions became reality. Does that make this CD worth buying? No, of course not. Sure, it's kind of funny to hear Arnold say, "Squeeze your buttocks," against the backdrop of a Journey song, but the novelty begins and ends there. If anything, the album screams out for a DJ or producer to sample this and other quotes to humorous ends. Aside from that, about all it's left me with is some sore abs and quads, a broken closet door, and the desperate hope that next week -- as 2004 picks up its slow chug toward better shows and new releases -- there will be something slightly less stupid to write about.

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