Straight Lesson #12- The Total Body Work Out

I was non-revving from New York City back home to Austin on a full flight.  I was lucky to get on as a stand-by.  I had a window seat but a girl was sitting next to me, reading a fitness magazine.  She read that thing for over four hours.  I  had no idea there was that much to actually read in a fitness magazine but apparently there is.  I read over her shoulder some of the time and I hoped that she could tell that I was reading over her shoulder and not looking down her blouse.  I hope her dad across the aisle just didn’t see anything at all.  One article was about a basic work out cycle for the week:

Day 1- Upper body

Day 2- Lower body

Day 3- Day of Rest

Day 4- Upper body

Day 5- Lower body

Day 6- Cardio

Day 7- Cardio

I’d love to be in better shape and maybe drop a few pounds but I just can’t get myself to join a gym or go out and play sports, mainly because no one will play with me.  I literally have a trunk full of sports gear that never gets used.  It’s always too hot or too cold or too this or too that or their kid needs to go to the frickin’ Emergency Room because their fever won’t break.  It’s always SOMETHING!

So I decided to come up with a workout routine that any flight attendant can follow.  On the days you’re supposed to work out your upper body, those are the days you work the galley.  You move heavy racks of food from the carts to the ovens.  You open a dozen of bottles of wine.  You carry inserts full of soda to the middle of the cabin and leave them there for use inflight.  You break the massive brick of melted and then re-frozen ice catering gives you into normal sized cubes.

Then you can just move things around for the fun of it.  You don’t really have to move all the other inserts of soda from the Supplement Cart to the cubbies in the galley but you can in the name of health.  During boarding, you can get out there and actually help the passengers with their heavy bags.  We’re not supposed to lift anything that’s not ours, but we’re going for a look here people, so it’s worth the risk of injuring your back and being out for a month, uncovered by insurance because we were doing things we aren’t supposed to.  When everyone is asleep you can do dips using the jumpseat to work your triceps.  In the hotel room we can do some push ups and sit ups to further the cause.  If you’re not ready for proper push ups, start by doing some 45 degree angle ones in the bathroom against the sink.  It’s a start.

On the Lower Body days we’re going to be in the aisle.  We’re going to pull those carts up and down the aisle all by ourselves.  If someone asks to help, we’re going to say “Get Away”, we’re working our calves!  To really feel the burn we’re going to pull the carts up right after take off, while the plane is still climbing at a steep incline.  Make sure you’re capable of this though, if you accidentally let go of the cart, someone will get a knee shattered when the cart hits them.

We’ll also help out with closing all the overhead bins right after boarding.   We’re going to step on the seat and concentrate on working our legs.  Often times that’s the only way for short people to close the middle overhead bins, to elevate on the aisle seat.  Most people recruit a tall man to get up and close the middle overhead bins but we’re working on our Adonis body so we’ll do it ourselves, up and down on every single row until all the bins are closed.

Once we get to the hotel we can take the stairs instead of the elevator.  We can go balls-out and do the stairs with our luggage in tow but that’s not recommended for beginners.  Word of advice:  don’t take the stairs too quickly, you can make yourself dizzy and nauseous going around in circles like that.

For the cardio days we can start by actually answering some of those call lights and doing our fifteen minute walk-arounds that we’re supposed to do.  If you answer every call light that goes off, right when it goes off, you’ll find that you’re up and moving around the entire flight.  So instead of rolling your eyes when the chime goes off and thinking, “I’m sure they meant to turn on their overhead light,” get out there and check it out!  Go the long way if you have to.  If the call light is right by you at 43J, go all the way up the A/B side to the front of the cabin then back down the H/J side until you get to the seat in need, whatever gets the heart pumping.  If you’re on a spacious plane you can do a variety of calisthenics in the coach galley.  There’s room for several people to run in place, do jumping jacks, or throw down some yoga mats.  On the layover you can take long walks or better yet, jog.  if you’re in a nice neighborhood, take a run and check out your beautiful surroundings.  If you’re in the hood, just pretend that someone’s chasing you.

The most obvious solution to getting a killer body without joining a gym is to go to the hotel gym whenever available.  Barring that, these everyday exercises on and off the plane can get you in shape and healthier without doing anything out of your normal work routine.  Of course having a healthy sex life never hurt anyone either.

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12 responses to “Straight Lesson #12- The Total Body Work Out

  1. And for balance work, maybe you can surf the isle on a serving tray.

  2. I work out my triceps by using the linen bag as a replacement weight and performing the vertical french extension in the galley after the first service. Want to work out that area before I become a haggard hostie entering the prime age bracket for bingo wings formation.

  3. To be fair, you have been invited out to play sports at the big park several times…we have even talked about putting your trunk full of equipment to good use…and alas not once have you made it out.

    • It doesn’t count if I’m out of town! And it also doesn’t count as sports if I’m watching your little boy play baseball. It’s settled then, we’re going to play something next time. And I’m surprised you didn’t mention all the exercise we get playing PS Move.

  4. For an advanced lower body workout, do lunges while pushing the beverage cart 🙂 for super-advanced, do the lunges on your tip-toes!

    I’m surprised that stirring up crew juice didn’t make it in the upper body workout 🙂

  5. You can get a good number of squats in by picking up all the crap that pax drop on the floor- plastic headphone bags, menus, sweet wrappers, cups etc

  6. Heidi Bloebaum

    2 things…1. Suggestion for future entries with descriptions of the inside of a plane: For those of us who aren’t frequent flyers or flight attendants, a glossary of terms (or a link to such) would’ve come in handy! Lol! Even better…provide a photo as a visual for those of us who can’t fully picture the inside of a plane in our head…it’s been 10 years since I last flew! Lol! In addition, a photo would help those of us who are visual learners! 2. In regards to playing sports & other layover activities of a physical nature, your playing soccer for me (due to my physical limitations) when on layover counts, but it doesn’t count when you play sports for me when you’re home, right? Hey, so if you’re playing sports for me on layover counts, that kinda means you’re doing double the workout, right? Lol! If that’s the case, too bad you can’t reap the physical benefits of exercising for both of us, and vice versa! Don’t You agree, Brian?

  7. this was cute and hilarious! just starting folliwing your blog…can’t wait to read more!

  8. You, my friend, are a bona fide genius. I am going to be a new flight attendant in a few weeks and one of the scariest things to me — apart from dumb Air Marshals and crash nightmares — is the notion that I’d be giving up my fitness routine. You should know that your write-up here serves both as comic relief and kinesiologically-correct advice. I might be gay, but I’m also a liberal arts major, so your ability to illuminate the FA’s humanity makes you the best blog out there in my opinion. I look forward to your book.

    • wow thanks alot. You are actually making me feel more motivated to get off my ass and finish the book. I have 35 hours in Rio tomorrow and maybe I can use that time. As an update, the air marshals we’ve had this summer have been really cool. I’m not sure what happened but I’ve kinda enjoyed having them on lately. Congrats on your new career, and let me know if you start having those dreams/night terrors!

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