Hips of Steel

How kids too cool for exercise keep the winter pounds off

Five dollars

Of course, when the hallmark of a top-notch ripster is that his ripster status can't be detect-ed, there is no shortage of danger. This explains why ripsters stay away from the weight machines and stick to the cardio—the mere appearance of muscle would discredit their ripster status. But more frighteningly, at every gym in America there is at least one man or woman—the personal trainer, or reverse ripster—who threatens to turn ripsters into gym monkeys when all ripsters want to be are gym rats. I saw it happen once:

illustration by Jillian Tamaki

"You're not getting every-thing out of your workout."

"Thanks, but I'm fine."

"Listen, I'll give you a Level 4 workout at a Level 3 price."

"I don't know what that means."

"Five dollars—let me pull your legs behind your head."

I was there

I'm up at the St. Marks Kmart with a few friends from high school. They've heard about my new beat, and want to get in on the ripster game before it's too late. It may be too late—seasonally.

These days, in these Kmarts, it's really tough to find gym clothes that aren't too athletic (like running shorts) but aren't too impractical either (like a pair of cutoff chinos). Bottom line—ripster line—is that it's not worth not working out unless you're dressed like you're not dressed. Winter slacks rule the men's racks; no shorts are in sight.

Granted, we haven't checked the boyswear section yet. Some of the pants for the shorter, fatter children—those might work out.

Nick Sylvester sometimes calls the South Beach Diet the "South Bitch Diet."

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