It's no coincidence that the first four letters in Buffalo spell "Buff." Deep inside each one of us, past the clogged arteries and hard-earned layers of winter insulation, a body god waits to be set free.
If you read my first exercise guide, "Stop Making Excuses About the Weather," you already know that. You're probably well on your way to a toned body with such popular exercises as the Lackawanna Lat Pull Down, the Chippewa Squat and the Cheektowaga Lawn Ornament Hurdle.
But my new guide -- "Stop Making Excuses About the Weather Part Deux" -- excerpted below, features new and improved physique enhancers that promise to transform you from couch potato to Soloflex model.
C'mon, get healthy.
What are you waiting for, BUFFalo?
Tricep Blue Cheese Dip:
A Niagara Frontier variation on the classic back-of-the-arm dip. To do this, position two small cups of blue cheese on the seat of a chair about 12 inches apart. Next, place your palms on the edge of the chair. Straighten your arms and extend your legs in front of you with your feet flexed and your heels digging into the floor. At this point, slowly bend your arms until each elbow dips into the blue cheese. Raise your body back to the straight-arm position. Repeat 10 times, or until your elbows look like chicken wing tips. Now, sprint to Duff's.
One-Arm Bandit Biceps Curl:
This deceptively simple exercise requires a roll of quarters and a ride to Casino Niagara. Once inside, station yourself in front of a manual slot machine. For maximum benefit, make sure you're in a non-smoking section. Now, insert a quarter in the slot and, using your bicep, pull back the handle. (Screaming, "C'mon, cherries!" is purely optional.) OK, try again. OK, try again. And again. And ... . You will leave soaked. That's a guarantee.
Shoulder Shrugs and Falls
It's a little-known fact that no one has sleeker delts than Niagara Falls tourist information guides. Want to know why? You could dish out $29.99 for their 30-minute inspirational video, "The Natural Wonder is U!" But try this simple visualization technique based on a well-tested procedure. Close your eyes and imagine you work at one of the Falls' "Free Tourist Information" stands. Now, picture an out-of-town couple strolling in. Rather than asking for directions to the Hard Rock Cafe or the Horseshoe Falls, however, they want you to point them to ... Love Canal! Let your shoulders rise up to your ears and fall back to your sides in an "I-haven't-a-clue" gesture. Do 20 times. You'll be as sculpted as the Delaware Park David in no time.
Da' Pew Press:
Madonna's trainer says "Fitness is Religion." Around these parts, we take that motto literally. So forget about gleaming Cybex machines or fancy infomercial gimmicks. Try the Pew Press. This is a slight change on the classic push-up, with a little spiritual help from His Most Aerobic. Any pew will do. Simply find yourself a quiet church, stand in the aisles as if you were collecting envelopes and stretch out your arms until each hand is gripping a pew. Then bend your elbows and lower yourself as if you were performing a traditional push-up, but stop when your body is at a 45-degree incline. Now, return your body to a standing position. Repeat three reps of five presses. For a bonus, maintain the bent-arm position while repeating 10 Hail Marys. Reward yourself with a fish fry.
The Weight-of-Western-New-York Bench Press:
Unlike a standard bench press, you don't lift barbells in this exercise. To begin, lie on your back. Then, imagine that everything weighing this area down -- high taxes, sagging economy, politics as usual -- has come to rest on top of your chest. Feeling stifled yet? (It doesn't take long.) Good. When you can't stand it any longer, push all that dead weight up with your arms, raising them to the ceiling. Lower your arms and repeat for three sets of 10 reps -- or until you feel the urge to call your sister in Charlotte.
Billy Blanks' tapes have nothing on this self-defense regimen. It not only builds muscle, but boosts your self-confidence, too. When someone jabs you with the Bills' four Super Bowl losses, throw him your best right hook. If he beats you up about our blizzards, send him to the ropes with an upper cut. When he starts pummeling you with the pathetic lack of white-collar jobs in the area, bust his gut with a roundhouse kick. That's it! Now you're fightin' proud! Warning: This is a high-intensity workout. Consult your doctor -- or in this case, your therapist, before starting this exercise.
Nicole Peradotto, a writer at The Buffalo News, is still working on her one-arm push-up.