Monday, August 17, 2009

The Ikea Workout

I can barely lift my arms above my head. My legs are as stiff as an old NFL lineman’s.

I’m totally exhausted this morning, and I think I know why.

It’s called the Ikea workout. And it’s one of the best workouts on the planet. Forget about spin classes or pilates. Don’t bother with cross training or weightlifting. The only thing you need is a nearby Ikea and a gallon of Gatorade.

It didn’t start out as a planned workout, but rather, a trip to Ikea to buy some sorely needed storage furniture. We needed some shelving in a bad way. We were jonesing for some cabinets. We were like meth-heads - but instead of meth, it was a filing cabinet and a bookshelf we absolutely had to have.

While we were at it, we also grabbed some Swedish meatballs at the cafeteria.


Anyway, after loading up our cart with about 12 flat-pack boxes stuffed with Swedish-engineered fake veneer and particle board, it was time for an attempt to stuff it all into the car. The heaviest box was 71 pounds, and about 6 feet tall. On a side note, that’s about the size I need to get down for my wedding in order to fit into my tux - my Bar Mitzvah tux.

After figuring out how to operate the fold-down rear seats in my new Ford Fusion (took 10 minutes to figure it out, even though you just need to pull a couple levers in the trunk – totally not Ford’s fault) we started to load the boxes.

In all fairness to myself, I did most of the heavy lifting – and pretty much all of the sweating. Jaimi was a good project manager, and she did help with some of the more unwieldy items, but I didn’t see her break a sweat. Whereas, I was drenched after 15 minutes of packing the car in 90 degree heat and 110% humidity.

This part of the workout really worked my biceps, lats, glutes, and quads.

But that’s just the beginning of the workout. The next step was disembarkation of all the boxes at our place of residence. The drop-off. And it needs to be quick because I was double-parked. It would suck to get a $110 parking ticket after saving $100 on delivery charges by bringing it home ourselves.

So in an effort to get everything into the building before Five-O noticed my illegal park job, I worked up another sweat. And hit my calves, triceps, and forearms with some serious burn. No pain no gain, I always say.

And still, this was just the beginning of the workout.

The real hard part, as many a frustrated Ikea customer knows, is the assembly. It mostly works the hands, lower back, and neck muscles. This is the 10 hour segment of the Ikea workout, and not only does it work your physical muscles, but it also challenges the mental muscles that controls the desire to throw that partly-assembled cabinet out the window or through the wall. Not only that, but it thoroughly works the emotional muscles that keep you from crying during times of intense stress and fatigue.

What makes the Ikea workout such a great way to exercise is that you can really see the results right after you’re done. No, you may not look any stronger or more ripped. And you may be the same weight as before – minus a gallon of sweat. But when you look around the room and see four or five new pieces of Swedish-designed furniture – hand assembled in the good ol’ U.S. of A – your chest swells with pride just a little bit more than after doing a set of Perfect Pushups.

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JG said...

let's not forget the excellent job i did in building that filing cabinet.

The Mill said...

That filing cabinet came fully assembled.