The Weight

Fitness trends come and go. But the weight, about as low-tech and simple as it gets, is an anchor in the shifting tides of culture. As workout equipment has become canonized within the realm of home appliances, this heavy metal object aids in our dual — and sometimes conflicting — pursuit of athletics and aesthetics.

In season 2 of the Nice Try! podcast, show host Avery Trufelman heads inside the home, interrogating how individuals channel utopian ambitions through the lifestyle technologies and home goods that determine the ways we clean, cook, exercise, and sleep in order to lead better lives. But the problems these objects are designed to solve, and the way they solve them, promote a distinctly American ideal that prioritizes personal betterment over improving society as a whole.

For more, check out the Nice Try! podcast as well as 99pi episodes by Avery Trufelman, including her Articles of Interest series.

  1. BNelson

    How this episode missed including Arthur Jones who was twice the personality of Hoffman and Weider through his creation of Nautilus as the beginning of machines as the link between free weights and the need for something less brutish is quizzical?!

  2. While Arnold Schwarzenegger unquestionably elevated body sculpting from the shadows to what is today a wildly popular leisure activity. The documentary made Arnold a fitness icon and led to his successful movie career.

    However, before Arnold, Charles Atlas was thee pioneer of muscular proportion and symmetry. His ads graced the back and inside covers of all different types of magazines throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.

    Here is a classic ad of legendary “He-Man” Charles Atlas:

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