Like a terrible plague was cast over every Gymnauseum in the US, lasting well over a few solid years and leaving a trail of Otomix shoes, and neon-striped spandex onsies; the remaining onlookers throw themselves on the stairclimber machines; summarily executing themselves with swan-dives; eternally relieved of misery now, it seems but another passing. A few of us look on and shake our heads as we continue a quadricep ripping set of hack-squats, now playing ‘regular people’ by Pantera or perhaps even ‘Peace to my 9’ by Spice 1, the details are irrelevant. The plague of the Gym Douche (and Gym Douchette) is on us and the entire ‘gym culture’ is now mutated into an ugly pus-filled cyst; that actually requires medical attention (because the white-head is the size of a buffalo-head nickel) and proper, sterile lancing is required, leaving only a small scar in place. The current gym culture of: Warriors, Rhabdo Ronnies (Cross-Fit Enthusiasts), Eternal Contracts, ‘BEEN SQUATIN’ Yoga pants — appropriately on the ass of a douchette, the physique division: complete with board shorts, orange tans, atrophied legs and vomit-inducing teenbeat smiles, SUNS OUT GUNS-OUT, religiously counting macros (FOREVER!), Gym date-night, Dr. Oz, Flags and Fails?, and Motivational Fitness Memes you can ‘like’ on Facebook after purging 3 Quest Bars.
Most plagues go away in due-time, of course only leaving a terrifying number of casualties; yet some may last for over 15 years, as was the case of the Antonine Plague taking the lives of two Roman Emperors and countless thousands in the first century. The possible eradication of the current gym-culture plague is a seemingly and impossible task, yet absolutely essential for a sane and stable mental psyche for the rest of us. It is evident that they are lurking in mass quantities in every gym in the US. They stand behind the water fountain, throw back their blue-streaked raven-black hair, subtly adjust their flags of fail attire, -breathe in-, ipod turned to volume 15 (Panic! at the disco now playing), and pray to Madre Dana; all the while they will be weeping tears pf bipolar manic-depression, and spraying sugar-free breath spray to hide the subtle smell of puke and pre-workout, howling to attack the esophagus. The stare at themselves only, oblivious to the other cretins, board-short enthusiasts, Brosef Stalins, Rhabdo Ronnies, and Iphone Instagram overlords. Chain gyms have become a nightmarish dystopia of bros in cut-off Tapout Shirts, and the femalien equivalent is to be found pledging devotion to the Cult of Dana, their duck faces in place, hands forward, praying in a kneeling position to their rippling goddess.
Thankfully, an alternative has arrived. An alternative that embraces powerlifting free-thinkers, bicycyle riding riot grrrls,narcisexual bodybuilders, godbuilders, afropunks, vegan pugilists, hispanic kids over-training their arms and wearing black metal t-shirts, roller derby smashers and the whole host of others to be found in our dysfunctional family. A genuine movement taking place, that perhaps had its roots with the musicians Glenn Danzig, Henry Rollins, Doyle Von Frankenstein, or Heavy Metal Muscle-Overlord Kane Roberts. Perhaps, even sooner when the OCD Vince Gironda displayed a punk rock ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude towards his critics, developing nutrition and bodybuilding science eons ahead of its time. As with most genres or sub-genres of music, the actual date when Alternative Fitness was conceived would be hard to pin down.
The horde that encompasses ‘gym culture’ is too populated to take on full force. We must instead swell up the ranks of our endeavor, creating a new phenomena that empowers ‘the others’ that usually find gym culture quite repugnant. We will wage the ‘war of the flea’ and recruit possible comrades at the water fountain, or squat rack. What we lack in numbers, we will certainly make up for in intelligence and good taste in music. Alternative Fitness can and will incorporate the same DIY ethics utilized in punk rock and other music on the margins. Later this month, the first Danny Manslaughter training video: ‘Demon Deltoids’, will appear on Youtube. I had my friend Roadkill Roger meet me at Strength and Health Gym Bakersfield. We interviewed some random people to add the humor element, and I completed a shoulder workout, demonstrating some of my techniques .The DM show, just as DIY as always, now will start branching out even more, with training and nutrition footage. It’s fun and it’s something different, and certainly not for everyone. That’s what Alternative Fitness is about, no matter what your personal slant or image of it might be; it’s going to be something different for everyone. 1991, was the year ‘punk broke’ according to this documentary I recently watched, chroniciling the success of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’, and its subsequent influence on allowing independent punk bands to break through the mainstream. Let’s make 2014, and 2015 the years Alternative Fitness break through and allow genuinely unique and informative sites like Iron Affinity, lead the way.– Danny Manslaughter For More Manslaughter: IronAffinity.com/category/Danny-Manslaughter