The Lazy Journalist - Back on the weights & back in the USSR

Lifting weights is, at least on the surface, a pretty stoopid thing to do.

Friday, 1st November 2019, 11:46 am
Steve Holloway

If our ancestors could see us in action on a chest press or upright rower, they’d probably be bemused, not just by our bizarre clothing and the miracle of background house music, but also that were repeatedly putting ourselves through the process, without really any good reason.

But of course there are but few horny-handed sons or daughters of toil in Brighton while the softie sedentary workers are legion, and we need our exercise wherever we can get it.

With that in mind the Lazy Journalist is fairly pleased to have a new weight-heavy (if not heavyweight) routine and is rather fond of it already.

circa 1940: 15-year-old Billie Barton, of Earls Barton, Northampshire, has gained another stone in weight in the last year in the hope of appearing in a film of Billy Bunter's Schooldays. The 18 stone youngster is seen here in training for the part. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images) SUS-190111-110709001

In recent months it’s been very much Slogsville UK at the gym, but after 40 minutes with the super-strong Freedom Leisure Health and Fitness Manager for Brighton and Hove Ryan O’Gorman (his job title is almost a big as his guns) your tubby correspondent is energised and finally enjoying gym-time again.

My new routine is simple but very immediate – five reps, starting at the lowest, then five reps of the next weight, and so on until the veins are bursting out of my fat head.

It appears to be a good way of getting the blood pumping and far better than just lolloping on the cross-trainer for ages on end.

Initially, with Ryan, I gave it plenty and nearly cracked my front capped teeth through gritting my teeth as I struggled to lift the heavy weights, and yet he still had to do that emasculating thing of helping me to finish the curl/press/row – with one hand.

Since then things have improved a bit as long-ignored muscles have begun to wake up, and slowly start to do their thing.

It helps that it’s able to appeal to my gigantic ego and I like to imagine I’m Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (for those who don’t know him, think a tree who has somehow learnt to walk, talk and box like a beast but looks like a well-turned out Norse God).

Ostensibly, I’m lifting puny weights at the Prince Regent, but in my mind’s eye I’m in a Cold War Russian facility, sensors attached to my bod while breaking power-lifting records in front of astonished technicians, quietly impressed KGB handlers and my proud statuesque shock-haired wife.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a copyright-approved photo of Dolph Lundgren (Ivan Drago) in training in Rocky IV, so you’ll have to settle for a more appropriate one – a big lad from the 1940s who has just gained another stone in weight in the hope of being cast in a forthcoming film of Billy Bunter’s Schooldays. We all need ambitions...

To find out more about Freedom Leisure’s gyms visit