The Worst Ideas. Updates every Monday!

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Tag: empire strikes back

Stop exercising! Instead: re-enact scenes from action movies! Burn off fat easily with this one weird tip that movie executives do want you to know! Fitness instructors hate it—the one totally untested secret to weight loss!

Background:

Exercise routines are often extremely dry and boring.

But they can be made more engaging by making a “themed” workout, with each part of a workout helping to accomplish an imaginary goal.

This is not a totally new idea. For example, the game “Zombies Run” motivates a person to jog faster by providing a virtual zombie horde to chase the player.

Proposal:

We can make a more general exercise program (i.e., not just running) by adapting scenes from major action movies.

Some movies actually already have a “workout routine” that could be used as-is, like the training montages in the Rocky series, or the rock-climbing sections of Cliffhanger (1993).

But almost any film can be adapted into a workout routine with sufficient creativity!

Examples below:

  1. Star Wars (1977), figure 1.
  2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980), figure 2.
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), figure 3.
  4. Dances With Wolves (1990), figures 4 and 5.

star-wars-trash

Fig. 1: Star Wars: for the “Death Star trash compactor” exercise, you push against a large metal plate, while it tries to push back towards you. The plate could move back and forth several times. The exercise would be completed either when R2-D2 turns off the trash compactor or when you are pushed to the opposing wall by the plate.

star-wars-yeti

Fig. 2: This Empire Strikes Back-themed exercise requires you to hang upside-down from a pull-up bar, so it’s a bit inconvenient to set up in most gyms. The menacing ice creature (left) is an optional component, but that role could easily be filled by any fellow gym-goer.

 

boulder-sprint

Fig. 3: Action movies contain plenty of scenes that could be adapted to an exercise program. The rolling boulder escape from Raiders of the Lost Ark makes a great high-stakes sprint.

pull-horse-and-grind-coffee

Fig. 4: Dances With Wolves features a number of suitable inspirational scenes. Left: pull a bunch of heavy dead animals from the water supply (good for exercising a wide variety of muscle groups). For public health reasons, this workout would use sandbags instead of actual dead animals, even though this reduces the verisimilitude somewhat. Right: grind coffee.

dance-with-a-wolf

Fig. 5: You can’t really have a Dances with Wolves-themed exercise program if you don’t dance around a bonfire with a wolf.

Conclusion:

Movie studios should immediately seize this opportunity to release tie-in exercise programs (similar to the way tie-in novels / novelizations of major films are released).

PROS: Makes exercise more engaging and serves as an effective marketing / promotional tool to advertise a movie.

CONS: People might over-exert themselves when trying to escape a rolling boulder in a way that they wouldn’t in a normal exercise routine.

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Five ways to improve your climbing wall (actually just two ways)

Background:

The goal of most climbing walls it to simply get to the top. However, there is no reason not to make the goal something more elaborate.

The inspiration:

There is a video game called “Shadow of the Colossus” in which your goal is to guide a man with a sword as he clambers on top of building-sized beasts, with the eventual goal of stabbing the beast in a specific weak point. Secondary goal: do not fall off the beast and be trampled underneath.

weird-logo

The symbol that you have to stab in the game is always some kind of weird looking glowing rune.

 

The idea:

Take a normal climbing wall and use a standard LED projector to project a bullseye somewhere onto the wall. The climber’s goal is to clamber over to that target and hit it with their hand. (Or a sword, if the climbing wall is in a country without the legal concept of “liability.”)

climbing-wall-default

Fig 1. A normal climbing wall. The red dots are handholds/footholds.

 

climbing-wall-projector

Fig 2. A projector projects target images onto various locations on the wall.

 

Alternative scenarios also present themselves, where the bullseye could move around, or multiple ones would have to be hit in sequence.

If extra faithfulness to the source game is desired, the climbing wall could also be mounted on a hydraulic platform that could shake the wall in an attempt to throw off the climber.

A slight modification of this idea would also allow the re-enactment of the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker ascends a wire (or rope, in a climbing gym) and throws a grenade inside one of the Imperial Walkers on Hoth. Presumably there are many other movies with suitable scenes. (The climbing of the cliffs in The Princess Bride also comes to mind.)

PROS: Would be amazing. Total cost for non-hydraulic version: only the cost of the projector!

CONS: Might be too amazing.