No Fun, No Gain

As a regular gym-goer, I can report (just in case any of you were wondering) that the experience of working out is not all that interesting. Why else do so many have such a hard time making exercise into a regular habit? Any sensible program necessarily entails a lot of repetition.

Imagine, on the other hand, if your gym experience went like this: maybe you're hanging from a pull-up bar, going for your nth rep. The walls around you carry a projected image of a craggy landscape, while beneath is a yawning chasm. In front of you is a cliff face. You hear the howl and feel the bite of a chill breeze. With each rep, the images show you climbing a little higher up the cliff face. Wouldn't this make work-outs a little more diverting?

Here you have this week's million-dollar idea, something I call the fantasy gym. How about working out on the Stair-Master and seeing yourself approach the summit of Everest? The summit is attained only by reaching your goal. The actual level of difficulty is up to you. Oxygen deprivation is optional.

Swim in a pool with sharks. Run around a track with CIA assassins chasing you. Build a pyramid by lifting stone blocks into place. The possibilities are endless.

There are plenty of gaming arcades out there, and plenty of health clubs, but so far as I know no one has attempted to combine the two. I find this a little hard to believe.

On the other hand, perhaps this idea fails from a business standpoint. Perhaps gyms would rather have you sign up for a monthly membership and then not show up--it let's them collect more money with limited facilities.

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