Since our parent company, NBC Universal, is celebrating Healthy Week this week, we've been trying to get healthier (by doing away with those 50-taco Star Trek marathon sessions, for a start), which has led us to check out sci-fi for unique and futuristic ways of working out.
We discovered that not only is the future full of hilarious nutrients (like Soylent Green), but it's also rich in comedic gold. For instance, why do people have to train so hard on these futuristic machines? Why hasn't the future invented a means of working out that doesn't involve people, for lack of a better term, "doing stuff"?
Here are some of the wackier machines our sci-fi heroes have used to build their rippling muscles.
The 360-Degree Loop Treadmill from 2001
We're pretty sure this treadmill wasn't intentionally designed but is rather a natural function of the spaceship's centrifugal force. At least, we hope that's the case, because otherwise someone designed a treadmill that's 1,000 times the size of our "primitive" treadmills.
The Remote from Star Wars
Luke tries to hit this thing with a lightsaber in order to harness the Force. It's too bad modern machines can't hone our latent psychic abilities. Like, maybe the StairMaster is missing steps occasionally, and it's up to you to predict when.
Robot Boxing Machine from Futureworld
Mankind's obsession with robot boxing has predated robotics itself. Instead of smashing your computer keyboard, hit a robot that can feel your rage.
The Enterprise Sick Bay Exercise Machine
Another entry in the puzzling world of Star Trek-ology. We missed the episode where Capt. Kirk gives birth.
Stargate Goa'uld Identification Training Room
In an episode with more twists than The Wire, a beloved crew member turns out to be a sinister Goa'uld. But then the whole thing turns out to be a training simulation. We wonder, what happens when you attack and defeat the Goa'uld only to discover that you invaded their training simulation?
The Roof Jump/Inverted Pushup from District 13
In the future, if exercise is outlawed, only outlaws will exercise. Mainly because they're always running from police.
The Mental Training Machine from The Cell
In the sci-fi future, they should have psychological gymnasiums. Everyone could work out by pummeling symbolic representations of each other's inner demons.
Rimmer's Clone Exercises from Red Dwarf
After cloning himself, Rimmer enters a contest with his double over who can do the most exercises, totally ignoring the fact that they both look like huge dorks.
Doctor Who's Exercise Bike
In several episodes of the narrative "The Trial of a Time Lord," the Doctor is seen with an ordinary-looking exercise bike. After the whole phone booth discovery, Dr. Who probably just buys lots of yard-sale junk hoping some of it turns out to be super-technology.
Technology has reached a peak where it can simulate any training device. Yet most people would probably just use it to create a plastic surgery office.
Suction Cup Weights from Earth Star Voyager
These invisible, programmable weights were key in one of this miniseries' most classic scenes. It must be really hard to spot someone with these weights.
Invention Exchange from MST3K
In the show's routine segment, the Mads show off their mobile treadmill and their take on "rock climbing." It's almost as creative as their interpretation of the Geneva Convention.
The EMF field gym floor from Eureka
This Syfy show featured a quirky gym with an EMF field under the floor. The net result would be to either repel or attract weights, but that's all we remember, because we were too distracted by Colin's outfit to pay much attention.