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.