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Bluff The Listener

BILL KURTIS: We know you like to listen to our show while lying quietly in a room in the dark so as not to be distracted from a single word. But here are some suggestions on how to get some exercise.


BROOKS MOSTUE: Hi, this Brooks Mostue from Lincoln, Mass.


Hey, Brooks, how are you?

MOSTUE: I'm great.

SAGAL: I'm glad. I hear your Boston accent, and I admire a Boston accent so much I want to emulate it.

MOSTUE: Well, thank you.

SAGAL: It's nice to have you on the show, Brooks. Right now you're going to play the game in which you have to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Brooks's topic?

KURTIS: Let me see your body talk.


SAGAL: So we've all had it up to here with these gimmick fitness trends - your Zumba, your SoulCycle, your FedExercise (ph), where you just carry other people's packages.


SAGAL: This week, though, we read about a hot new workout that’ll definitely get you in shape. Our panelists are going to tell you about that. Guess the real one, you'll win our prize - Carl Kasell's voice in your voicemail. Are you ready?


SAGAL: First, let's hear from Mr. Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: Melanie Kahn and Bo Ford have built their yoga studio business over many years of thoughtful instruction and clean floors. But there is one problem they have never been able to crack - getting more men into the studio and onto the mats. “We see about 3 guys for every 10 women and two of them just came to meet the women,” said Ford. “Some guys get talked into it by their wives and girlfriends, show up once and never come back.” Ford and Kahn's breakthrough idea came when one of these guys complained, nobody wins at this game, what's the point of it?


BODETT: Say hello to boga, competitive yoga for men who don't do yoga. Not to be confused with broga, which yoga for annoying men who do do yoga.


BODETT: Unlike yoga yoga, which is done on sticky mats, boga yoga is done on slippery mats that are soaped down before every session. Contestants are required to hold standard yoga poses, such as downward dog and tree, without falling down until the whistle is blown. There are three rounds, with the final round being a last-man-standing bent over on one foot closer. Extra points may be awarded for endurance, sounding most like a buffalo and deepest plumber’s crack.


BODETT: Winners get a boga beer mug filled with ibuprofen.


BODETT: “Three weeks in and the classes are all full,” reported Mrs. Khan. “Men are idiots.”


SAGAL: A yoga studio figures out how to get men into class by making it competitive yoga. Your next story of a new fitness craze comes from Mr. Adam Felber.

ADAM FELBER: You know the feeling - you've just signed your level 72 dwarven hunter off the "World Of Warcraft," you've got two hours before your Dungeons and Dragons group meets for weekly Star Wars trivia night and you'd like to get some exercise, but those muscley (ph), accursed jocks in the gym are like kryptonite, keeping you from obtaining your true form. Well, now there's help. The new gym Nerdstrong in North Hollywood, Calif., is here to make geeks sleek. You can take, for instance, the Eye of Sauron workout, wherein you must continually duck the Dark Lord's roving eye and do step-ups with weights to simulate Frodo and Sam's trek with the heavy burden of the ring up the stairs Sauron's uncle.


FELBER: So whether you're hoping to finally fit into that Harley Quinn outfit at Comic-Con or you just want to bring your weight down within shouting distance of your IQ…


FELBER: …For those who dare, Nerdstrong awaits.


SAGAL: Nerdstrong, an exercise program specifically designed for nerds. Your last story of a bold way to work out comes from Amy Dickinson.

AMY DICKINSON: After watching her class of 2 to 4-year-old students play during recess, nursery school teacher Avala Shickle devised You're Not the Boss of Me, the nursery school workout. “I noticed how incredibly hard young children work when they play. They run, jump, climb and pull themselves up, and they're incredibly flexible. I wondered if adults could do it,” she says. Shickle filmed her students during playtime and came up with full-sized workouts mimicking exactly what the kids do. Athletes moved quickly through a circuit doing the hand-over-hand monkey bar challenge, climbing up the slide and pushing a group on a merry-go-round before jumping on themselves. They played chase for 10 minutes on foot and then for another 10 minutes riding big wheels.


DICKINSON: …In “Duck, Duck, Goose,” participants sit down cross-legged and then stand up quickly without using their hands to stabilize and run around in a tight circle. Toddler “Tug-Of-War” imitates a toddler on a leash pulling one way while someone bigger pulls the opposite.


DICKINSON: Athletes can only hydrate using sippy cups and then only if they ask very nicely.

SAGAL: All righty.


SAGAL: So let's say, Brooks, you need to get in shape and you're tired of the old ways; you want something new. Well, here are three choices. One of them from Tom Bodett, competitive yoga for men, another from Adam Felber, Nerdstrong, workouts designed for the geek in you, or from Amy Dickinson, You're Not the Boss of Me, the nursery school workout where you get to play and sweat like you did when you were too young to actually sweat. Which of these is the real new workout you could actually go do right now?

MOSTUE: Wow, they're all very plausible. But I'm thinking, as a male, that I would go with Tom Bodett's.

SAGAL: Really?


SAGAL: You're going to choose Tom's school of exercise, competitive yoga for men? Well, we actually spoke to the individual who actually created this new exercise craze.

ANDREW DEUTSCH: The Eye of Sauron workout mimics that time Frodo had to drop to the ground...


SAGAL: That was Andrew Deutsch. He is the owner of the Nerdstrong gym out in LA and…

MOSTUE: Oh boy…

SAGAL: …The creator of the Eye of Sauron workout that Adam described.


SAGAL: So yeah, you didn't win our prize. However, you did help Tom win a point and maybe launch a whole new exercise craze. Thank you so much for calling, Brooks.

MOSTUE: Thank you.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

BODETT: Take care, Brooks.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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