My Friday evening step class suffered a rash of absenteeism this week. I normally have eighteen people poised to rumble through my inane maneuvers. On Friday there were merely four. Numbers like these concern me. They give the self respecting instructor cause to reflect on whether his popularity is waning for some reason. I wondered, “Is my class too complex? Is it not complex enough? Are they tired of my one and only joke? What gives?”

I took the direct approach. “Where the heck is everybody?” I asked

It turns out that my missing participants were at home in bed with sore backs. Two spring time pursuits cause back injuries. One is neck whiplash suffered by men who become unnerved by those new spring fashions. This usually happens while driving. As a man’s gaze becomes transfixed on that new halter top, his foot hits the brake and the following car plows into his bumper.

Few men come to my class. This means that my missing members were suffering the effects of the other seasonal disorder – that most physically treacherous of pastimes, gardening. People don’t realize that while gardening is a pastoral, sensual, and even sensuous experience, it can also be very physically demanding. In the interests of preserving those vulnerable backs, I devised “The Mighty Hunk’s Pre-Fit Class for Gardeners.”

1. The Warm Up Before doing anything physically demanding, it is important to warm. I recommend starting the gardening warm-up is rounding up all the tools. This involves carrying them, one-by-one, from the storage area to the garden. Inspect, sharpen, and repair them. Gently jog to the hardware store to buy a new pair of gloves.

2. The Cardio The cardio section is shovelling. The class will be assigned areas of the garden to be shovelled. Shovelling will be conducted in a safe and orderly fashion. It will train the cardiovascular system. I recommend rhythmic shovelling to challenge the muscles by offering balance. Participants will change their shovelling sides occasionally to give all the muscles a work out. They will also practice their bobbing and weaving as they duck the handle. It is difficult to change sides while shovelling.

It is important to have an instructor who is also an archaeologist. This way class members can be advised of shovelling trivia. For example, the participants learn that one calls the depth of a shovel in the ground a ‘spit.’

3. The Post – Cardio Warm – Down. As in regular aerobics, The Hunk’s Pre-Fit Class for Gardeners recognizes the importance of the warm-down phase of the class. This involves a moderate routine such as rhythmic raking. Again, balance is important. Change hands once in a while.

4. Strength Training. My class incorporates a variety of strength training exercises for the whole body. These include weeding, rock picking, root clipping, moving manure about in a wheel barrow, and spreading compost about the freshly spaded garden patch. The instructor will advise participants to stretch those muscles after working them. Do this by standing up, holding the small of the back and saying, “Uuuuaaannnngggh!” at prescribed intervals. This not only stretches those working muscles, but also allows even air intake.

5. The Cool Down Put away the tools. Drink some water. Smell the rich aromas of the freshly turned earth, the budding flowers, and the manure.

6. Evaluation. The Hunk’s Pre-Fit Class for Gardeners can end all the misery of spring garden preparation. It gives me a chance to get my yard work done under way with little effort.Next week, we’ll start in on the pool.

 Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive   

You can reach him at home at or at re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all the above, he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia



  1. Aerobics – The Best Way to Burn Fat | Aerobic Exercise Says:

    […] AEROBICS FOR GARDENERS « SpinDoctorResumes […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: