These days Playboy is much more than a top-shelf nudie mag; it’s a lifestyle brand peddling everything from trashy television to keyrings. No surprise, then, that it’s moved into fitness, partnering with Gymbox to create Playboy Bunny Bootcamp. Perhaps a jaunt to Harley Street is the swiftest way to get a body like Hugh Hefner’s latest wife but this new 45 minute work-out promises to “help women achieve their Bunny Beautiful body.”
The class isn’t that different to regular aerobics (you sweat it out in normal gym gear – no ears required), except for the instructor hollering, “C’mon, you gotta earn your tails!” There are some saucey sequences we’re told are signature Playboy Club Bunny moves. And the music is more fun than average exercise class fare: modern upbeat tracks with a vintage twist from The Great Gatsby soundtrack and beyond.
I thought I’d hate it. I thought I’d find it demeaning and sexist, but, whatever my opinions on Playboy’s objectification of women, I actually really enjoyed the work-out and it’s less titillating than you might assume. Just as some people insist they browse Playboy “for the articles”, maybe you’ll find me again at Bunny Bootcamp, insisting I’m only there “for the work-out”.
Playboy Bunny Bootcamp at GYMBOX. gymbox.com
Cheapskate’s version: Watch re-runs of The Girls of the Playboy Mansion and do a lunge every time Hugh goes to bed early.
The bicyclist: Relativity theory
Cycling quotes are so numerous that wheeling them out can steer us towards cliche. But let’s do it anyway. Who said “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live”? Mark Twain. Smart guy. What about, “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race”? HG Wells. Bit strong, but then the bike boom of his time was pretty crazy by all accounts.
Hemingway had one of my favourite lines: “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them… While in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through...”
He’s right, you know. The wonder of the bike’s mechanics allow the rider to cover the kind of ground before lunchtime a runner, say, could only dream about. Moreover the position of the head delivers the eyes and ears sights and sounds that any driver would miss.
I thought of this on a recent ride in Sussex along unmarked lanes only a local or a student of maps would know existed. Rides like these can inspire infinitely profound thoughts. Your last quote: “I thought of it while riding my bicycle” (Einstein on his theory of relativity).
By Simon Usborne
Takin' it easy: ‘Tiki tactical’
By Larry Ryan
You’re in a kickabout at the park. Five minutes in – you’re wheezing. Don’t worry. Stop the box-to-box running by imposing tactics. Suggest with gravitas that everyone holds a position; zonal marking; pass, not move; tiki taka and such and such. You’ll seem like a Dalston del Bosque. And, of course, you can hang back, like late period Matthias Sammer, to marshal proceedings.
Modern gym rules: Drying
The Hair dryers provided are for your head only; downstairs hair must always to be dried with a towel.
Fit kit: Rikoset Elite Shin Guard, £89
Chances are most five-a-siders don’t need a pair of bullet-proof shinnies, but these 4mm-thin pads feature a Kevlar shell which could take a hit from both a Walther PP and Jonathan Walters. Unless your legs are insured for millions, probably best sticking with a budget pair from Sports Direct.