Shugg It

Urban Dictionary variously defines “shugging” as: going to the toilet while half asleep (and missing the toilet), furtively masturbating, or searching through a bag of marijuana leaf shake for enough bud to roll a joint.

This post is not about any of those things.

This post is about exercise.

A couple of months ago Jonathan came home with a sledge hammer. Jon’s not really a “knock stuff down with a sledge hammer” kind of guy, and also, we live in a co-op.

Turns out, the sledge was for exercise. He’d found a website for a program called “Shovelglove.” The exercise itself was called “shugging,” and it amounted to swinging around a sledge hammer wrapped in an old sweater for 15 minutes a day while pretending to do things like dig a hole, chop wood, and churn butter.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH! I said. And also, good luck with that.

Eight weeks later he’s got the beginnings of a six pack (it’s a two pack right now), his posture is amazing, he’s got shoulders like a blacksmith, and he’s lost about 15 pounds.

And I have a new sledge hammer.

Big Daddy sledge hammer and Little Mama sledge hammer

It sounds crazy, but it is the dream workout — it takes 15 minutes, it’s free after your initial sledge investment, and you can do it naked if you feel like it (What? The word gymnasium comes from the Ancient Greek  gymnós, which means “naked.”)

And it works! You get the music cranking and start waving your sledge around, and within seconds you are sweaty and trembly and using all kinds of muscles that you forgot you had.

I’ve assembled a 20 minute playlist (15 minutes of sledge work and 5 of stretching on the floor) that includes these songs:

Animal (Glee cast version), I Only Want To Be With You (Bay City Rollers), All The Small Things (Blink-182), Love On Top (Beyonce), Fuck You (Cee Lo Green), The Middle (Jimmy Eat World).

As for the movements, I’ve found that adding a little narrative helps me with my form and endurance, so I have “Digging a hole to plant a tree at my Berkshires country home” (which I do not own), “Churning butter with Ma Ingalls”, “Chopping a hole in the door of the burning building to rescue Emmy from the fire” (excellent motivation to keep going), “Chopping wood on a tree stump with Pa Ingalls”, “Chopping down the big tree”  (this is a side to side motion, as opposed to an over-the-head one), the “Bicep one”, and the “Damn you dinner lady arms”.

Oh, what’s that you ask? Do I actually stand in my living room naked waving around a sledge hammer while listening to the Bay City Rollers? No, of course not. I wear a sports bra and underpants. I’m not even Greek.