Back in the mid-sixties, my high school basketball coach had a creative and inventive side. He not only wrote and directed plays for a local theater company, he also invented and tried to market a piece of gym equipment that he claimed would put rippling biceps on each member of the team.

The machine, which we named ‘Suck’ because of the distinctive slurping sound it made, looked like a tire pump. In fact, it essentially was a tire pump with a plugged air hose. Instead of air coming out to inflate a tire on the down stroke, the column of air in the cylinder would expand on the up stroke. The resulting pneumatic vacuum would provide sufficient resistance to give the whole team rippling biceps.

Our team motto: Scoring doesn’t matter since we have rippling biceps. Rippling biceps gave us the competitive edge on the court by giving us confidence. Rippling biceps looked cool. As a result, we all eagerly lined up in front of Coach’s office. We wanted Suck to work its magic on our spindly arms. Suck filled our hallowed halls of learning were that characteristic sound of slurping.

Once, I lined up at Coach’s office early. I had a date that night, and I wanted to make sure I had rippling biceps. Recognizable slurping noises came from behind the door. I reasoned that Coach was working on his biceps. Opening the door and, instead, I saw Coach and the girl’s gym teacher doing a substantial imitation of Bill Clinton in the Oval Office.

Thinking that I could have been having all that fun if I had rippling biceps (as the Summer of Love was quickly approaching) I started working out on Suck, ignoring Coach and his early morning rendezvous. It was the first time I’d ever been called a “four-eyed twerp.” I suppose I overestimated Coach’s dedication to rippling biceps.

As a fitness instructor, I have always been dedicated to the tone and condition of biceps and other muscle groups in the human body. I too have an inventive side. I once linked five elastic bands together and called it a Mikee Band that I use in some of my classes for resistance training. I also wrote a poem about it and included it in my book “Awakening the Hunk Within” Here it is, reprinted by permission of the author (me).


I often thought the way to make some money was combining,

One thing with another, so I set about refining,

A way to take two separate things, like eating and aquatics,

A way to blend resistance work, with Reebok Step aerobics.


I often find the weight room folks rarely ever go,

Into an aerobics class to get that glistening glow.

Aerobics class participants typically do hustle,

Home, before they have a chance to train a single muscle.


“Should I use weights,” I asked myself. “That would not be best.

“They’re good for arms and shoulders too, but not the back and chest.”

“The track is right,” I thought again. “Put something in your hands.”

Then I said, “Eureka! I’ll use elastic bands!”


At the Stationery store on Broadway, they had the size and weight,

Of rubber bands the mail room clerks use for shipping freight.

I bought a case of Apsco brand – Number eighty four,

Then started my experiments, And looped one to the door.


I measured its resistance, and found it was too great,

For most of my participants, and all of them would hate,

The way it snapped on greater stress, and yanked my door from hinge,

And launched it through the window. Made an insurance agent cringe.

“Chain them together, idiot.” I was in invention mode.

“Chain five of them together, Then take them on the road.”

“And show them to do biceps curls, shoulders and triceps too,”

“And chest and lats, rhomboids and traps,” “They’ll beat a path to you.”


I called them my Mikee bands, and used them in each class,

That called for more resistance, and had each participant pass,

The word along that Mikee bands, gave you vigour and pep,

And if you don’t believe me, I’ll snap you off your step

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 michael_broderick@telus.net or at michaelb@neilsquire.ca. 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. 33 weeks pregnant leg cramps Says:

    Interesting. Thanks for that, however that is not the limit of my appreciation. I am afflicted with color blindness (deuteranopia in my case). I mostly use Safari browser (unsure if that changes anything), and far too many websites are hard to comprehend on account of a poor range of colors used. In your case, as the selection of colors is fine, the site is amazingly tidy and easy to read.

  2. incredible workout machines reviews Says:

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  3. http://xkorpion.wordpress.com Says:

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing
    all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

    • mikebroderick Says:

      Then there’s applying for a job online. That’s even worse than my blog. I think that a new psychiatric ailment will soon result: Online Application Anxiety Disorder

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