R8D11 – Fat = Useless? Yet Another Chin Up Bar.

Apparently people are getting the message that fat people are not only fat, but also incompetent. I saw this coming long ago, however now with the renewed attacks on obesity some are calling the propensity for weight gain as not just a weakness or an accident, but an indicator of incompetence in your work. The example is from the Huffington Post which goes on to say that the fact that new Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is “excessively, can’t-blame-it-on-big-bones, dangerously fat” indicates that he can’t possibly be a good Mayor, after all, someone who routinely and purposefully ignores the long term consequences of their eating habits probably has the same cavalier attitude towards his job. It would appear as though they have a point, looking at what Mr. Ford has done since he came into office however we once again sail dangerously close to the rocks of the distinction between correlation and causation. Yes he’s fat, yes, he appears to exercise bad judgement at his job but the two are not necessarily related. It’s interesting to note however that being fat makes him a bigger target, both literally and figuratively. People who are significantly (let’s say severely or morbidly obese) overweight are seen as many things including lazy, messy, dirty and stupid. It makes sense then that the correlation between their weight and their competence at work would come into play at some point.
I believe that there is a psychological effect that comes with being overweight, and anyone who has ever lost 50lbs or more will surely attest to this. When you are big you often feel defeated, out of control and unable to escape the feeling of persecution, both external and internal. Losing weight gives you back that feeling of control, it empowers you and makes you feel more successful. These are all things that you would naturally want in your career also, so the parallel is there to be drawn. Just like back in the 80’s when the aerobics generation was in full swing, there will be a certain amount of backlash against the obese. It’s already gaining momentum and I think people are starting to lose patience with the obese among us and not only the cost medically that our taxes pay for but also with the general apathy that seems to go along with the condition.

I’m not going to personally weigh in on this one, I have been on both sides of the fence and I know which one I prefer. It’s hard enough to control your weight without having your professional conduct or proficiency called into question. But then again, if you can’t see the long term dangers…

Yesterday I installed my rafter mount chin up bar on the deck. It makes a huge difference having a bar that doesn’t turn or move about when you are doing your pull ups. It also has 3 different grips which means I can finally get into the switch grip chinups that I have never actually done. I’ll take pics when I can but it means I have a total of 3 sets of chin up bars and a set of gymnastics rings on my deck. It’s like a mini crossfit box out there! I proceeded to stress test it with a 34543 RKC workout with the 55lb KB including 10 swings between each set. I have to say that 10lbs doesn’t sound like much but it is a full 22% more than the the 45lb and upping your weight by 20% on anything is significant. I was surprised how tired it made me to include the swings, but I am happy I managed to make it through, and I have to say I love my newest chin up bar!

Round 2 Rest Week 1 Ends – Quit the gym, build your own.


I am not claiming to be the best handyman, you won’t see me on the next season of Handyman Superstar Challenge but I was impressed with myself at getting the chin up bar installed in the garage. It is nailed to the rafters and is high enough so that a) my feet can’t touch the ground and b) it is above the garage door when it opens. This also keeps my ego in check and will prevent me from doing workouts in the garage with the door open. Not that I would dream of doing that now… but who knows about the summer. I am also going to build some crossfit boxes that you use to jump up onto in order to increase leg power and in addition, I am thinking of building some dumbell holders that I can then install in the basement to get the dumbells off the floor.

I also quit the gym this weekend. I have put the membership on hold indefinitely so that I can spend the next few months on my DVD based fitness and taking full advantage of the gym I faithfully built in the basement. It will also save us $70 a month which will, I assume, go towards a cloth diaper service and not towards a new exhaust or HID headlights for the Jeep or Tony Horton’s 1 on 1 fitness.

The buildup was pretty simple, I suspended 2×4’s from the ceiling joists using 4 large nails each. I will eventually put a lag bolt through each one but for now they are OK. I had bought a hollow metal bar, 48″ long and drilled a similar sized hole through each 2×4 as you can see. I simply threaded the bar through the holes and as you can see, the last support is a little off in alignment. That was due to the fact that when I drilled the holes, at least one of them was at a slight angle. I am not sure how you would combat this without the use of a drill press but it doesn’t seem to have affected it in any way.

The bar was around $25, the wood I had laying around as spare pieces as I did with the nails. I will have to buy the lag bolts / carriage bolts.

I am around 260lbs right now and the bar I set up in the basement (which I will discuss at a later time) has a very slight bow to it now after some vigorous use. However, that one is across a 36″ door frame. I don’t expect this one will bend at all given the 3 support points.

My plan is not to hang from between the 2x4s since I would bang my head on the central support, but rather to use one hand on the outside of one end support and the other between the two far supports to give my head room to clear the bar.