Hump Day Brain Break: ‘John Smith Fitness’

Tom Berklund in 'John Smith Fitness'
Tom Berklund in 'John Smith Fitness'
Tom Berklund in parody video ‘John Smith Fitness’ (screen capture)

Sometimes, when I need a mid-day brain break, I fire up Instagram for a few minutes to scroll past some InstaHunks for a momentary man-candy distraction.

You know the accounts: woofy workout guys paired with some casual commentary of aspirational uplift. And yes, positivity is a good thing in these wild and crazy times.

But, I can admit – every now and then – some of the motivational messaging can seem a bit by-the-book. Still pretty but perhaps a bit ponderous.

A trio of funny guys collaborated on a short video that takes a playful poke at those accounts complete with faux ‘inspirational’ messaging.

“Two roads diverged in a wood…one of them goes to the gym.”

“Just recite my wisdoms, and the muscles will follow.”

In the clip, New York City actor Tom Berklund plays ‘John Smith’ of John Smith Fitness, who’s ready to pump you up.

Tom Berklund in 'John Smith Fitness'
“This isn’t a scam – I’m not selling sex, I’m selling motivation. So buy my motivation today.”

“I’ll start your program easy with a daily running regimen of only six miles a day,” says our hunky fitness guru. “Just a little jog to get the blood pumping.”

“Because at John Smith Fitness, it’s inside that counts – because inside the skin is muscle. So, muscles are the insides we’re talking about here.”

The comic short was conceived and directed by Eric Blume, a former writer/director at Comedy Central who’s created tons of commercials and narrative projects.

New York City actor and writer David Morton (Upright Citizens Brigade) penned the script, and the buff Berklund is an experienced Broadway actor (Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, The Addams Family).

The creative team offers a cheeky disclaimer that “one of the three of them went to the gym extensively to make this little project happen.” Wonder which one…?

Hit the play button for a bit of Hump Day distraction. Warning: some slightly NSFW content.

Adding Games & Grapes To Your Home Workouts

Celebrity fitness trainer Craig Ramsay

With so many people doing the stay at home thing, we’ve seen a lot of YouTube and Instagram guys offering home workouts to keep us fit both mentally and physically.

But one of the things we’ve noticed is they can get to be a little boring after a while, and we need a new twist on things.

Woofy fitness guru and Bravo star Craig Ramsay is pairing his passion for exercise and online social gaming together to break up the monotony and bring some fun to home fitness.

Well-known as the co-host of Bravo’s “Thintervention” with Jackie Warner, Ramsay was also half of the fan-favorite gay couple on Bravo’s “Newlyweds The First Year.”

SciPlay, one of the world’s leading social gaming companies, reached out to Ramsay to help launch the Fitness & Slots YouTube channel.

A fan of SciPlay games for years, Ramsay has developed exercise programs that match-up with the games. For example, if you get a bonus on the game, you get a bonus exercise as well.

“Exercising is always important, but recent events and restrictions have made our society even more stressed than before, and people all around the world have difficulty maintaining a normal daily routine that includes movement,” says Ramsay. “That stress has a negative effect on us, and physical movement has the power to make us feel de-stressed and calm.”

Ramsay says the combination of exercises and gaming has helped motivate clients to move their bodies, feel physically and mentally great, and positively impact their health and wellness while walking, stretching, performing bodyweight exercises, and more.

The YouTube channel features workouts based on SciPlay’s gaming hits. Viewers will learn all about Ramsay’s fitness philosophy, participate in weekly challenges, and get inspired to ‘gamify’ their workouts.

Ramsay also mixes it up by doing Instagram Live sessions focusing on stretching with a nice pour of wine called “Stretch – A Reason to Wine.”

Check out some of his recent Instagram posts from Palm Springs where he’s currently sheltering in place.


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Playing with Jugs 💪🏼 What kind of workouts are you doing at home? #workoutathome 🏡 🏋🏼

A post shared by Craig Ramsay (@craigramsayfit) on

Home Workout: If I Can Do This…

Sam Cushing’s 8-minute workout

I know I’ve seen lots of workouts on the interwebs during the stay-at-home quarantining, but I wanted to share this one from fitness guy Sam Cushing.

One, no equipment needed! It’s under 8 minutes and includes core, legs, abs, chest, and a bit of arms.

Two, easy on the eyes 🙂

Daily Dance: 1984 Morning Show Workout

Tony Britts on BBC’s Breakfast show in 1984 (screen captures)

Oh, take me back to the 80s!

The BBC Archives shares this golden goodie (16 million views since Thursday) from an episode of the Breakfast show in 1984 in the UK.

“It’s day 4 of the BBC Archive quarantine fitness regime! Time to don some tight clothing that doesn’t quite fit and limber up with the one and only Tony Britts!”

Tony’s got a quick little routine consisting of “side to sides,” “ball changes,” and “hands and hips,” although when he puts it all together that “hands and hips” move gets some complicated rhythm going.

I’ve got to say, back in the day – and I was there – being ‘fit’ for most folks meant being lean and toned.

While today’s InstaHunks might have more size than the venerable Mr. Britts, he’s looking pretty jacked for the early 80s.

Over on YouTube, my favorite comment about the clip reads, “He’s so cute, and what a body! How could he get that ripped just by moving sideways?!” #srsly

Fitness InstaHunk Nathan McCallum is feeling the energetic 80s – check out his latest post.

And remember, as Mr. Britts says, “Work hard, play hard, rest hard ok. Lots of fun. Have a good week ahead.”

News Round-Up: September 17, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

KIT212: Kenneth-in-the-212’s ‘Tennis Tuesday‘ serves up some serious booty workout tips from hunky Australian trainer, Coach Clayton (above). Definitely worth the click here.

NewNowNext: The 5th season of the acclaimed sitcom Schitt’s Creek will debut on Netflix on October 10, with the sixth and final installment to drop in January. The series, heralded for its positive portrayal of LGBTQ life, is nominated for 3 Emmy Awards this weekend. It is the first Canadian sitcom to receive an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Series.

Variety: After snagging another Emmy Award this past weekend (for her guest appearance on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) Jane Lynch told reporters she and Cyndi Lauper are set to co-star in a new Netflix series that will be “a Golden Girls for today.”

The Sun: Nicole Scherzinger has accepted a reported ‘multi-million pound’ offer to rejoin her former Pussycat Dolls band mates for a 10th anniversary reunion/world tour.

Merriam-Webster: The venerable dictionary has announced a new definition for the word ‘they’ in referencing the gender identity of nonbinary people.

PBS: Longtime ABC News political reporter Cokie Roberts passed away at the age of 75 from complications due to breast cancer. She was NPR’s congressional correspondent for more than a decade beginning in 1978, and co-anchored ABC’s “This Week” from 1996 to 2002.

•  Roll Call: 13 House Republicans have announced they will not be running for reelection in 2020.

TVLine: Shortly after comedian Shane Gillis was announced to join the cast of Saturday Night Live this season, footage of racist and homophobic ‘jokes’ by Gillis surfaced and SNL reversed their casting decision. Gillis initially issued one of those ‘I apologize if anyone was actually offended’ statements, but then followed up with a bitter little tweet saying he was “always a MADtv kind of guy” anyway.

p.s. MADtv got cancelled, too, so…maybe he is that kind of guy.