Exercising in the Future

SirSamuelVimes

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#1
Hello Everyone,
I've been working on a Science Fiction novel for some time now. In the novel I added, as just a brief scene, a conversation in a gym on board a spaceship. In this gym room I thought it'd be interesting to devise a new means of exercising (Possibly only new to my mind).

I thought it might be interesting, if plausible, to have adjustable artificial gravity in separate areas of the gym. Like every weight rack only have a bar, various other light exercise tools, and you make the workout implements heavier by turning up the gravitational pull.

This book isn't hard Science Fiction so if it's plausible, if a bit unlikely, I am fine with that.

I also wasn't sure if this was the right place to post this.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#2
David Weber uses artificial gravity aboard spaceships to enhance workouts -- they crank the gravity higher for more intensity.
 

Jo Zebedee

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#3
Um, the hard guys might come up with something different, from a reader's perspective, provided you were consistent, I'd be happy. Some sort of cool gravitational adapter device would do it for me. But it'd only work in space opera, or soft stuff, I think.
 

SirSamuelVimes

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#5
Thanks guys, good to know there is a precedent in Science fiction. I don't write the hard stuff either DustyZebra. I only just started writing in the past couple years to be honest lol.

Springs, would the Gravitational Adapter device be to negate the effects high gravity would have on the human body?
 

Brian G Turner

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#6
If artificial gravity is off your tech list, you could always try magnetic weights - ie, pushing and pulling against polar repulsion.
 

chrispenycate

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#7
I'm not in favour of actual weights; suppose there was a crisis and the ship had to manoeuvre? Barbel mayhem. Go for springs and variable inductive damping.

But sure, if you've got artificial gravity, wind it up to tone your body. Three gee jogging, five gee squash, ten gee just lolling around and hearing your heart pound…

My protagonists have to do it by moving further out on a rotating wheel, or pay out a long cord from a rotating space station; can't play squash on the end of that.
 

Montero

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#8
Mmm. Just wondering what the effect of higher gravity would be on

a) Joints and bones
b) Circulatory system
c) Risk of injury and severity of injury if you move wrong or fall over.

In particular, if all your blood tends to pool in your feet, there is risk of clots, heart attack and the like. I'd go and google effect of high gravity on health. It has already been studied quite a bit for jet pilots.
 

SirSamuelVimes

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#9
If artificial gravity is off your tech list, you could always try magnetic weights - ie, pushing and pulling against polar repulsion.
That is an interesting concept. I actually vaguely remember an episode of Eureka having something like that.

I'm not in favour of actual weights; suppose there was a crisis and the ship had to manoeuvre? Barbel mayhem. Go for springs and variable inductive damping.

But sure, if you've got artificial gravity, wind it up to tone your body. Three gee jogging, five gee squash, ten gee just lolling around and hearing your heart pound…

My protagonists have to do it by moving further out on a rotating wheel, or pay out a long cord from a rotating space station; can't play squash on the end of that.
I suppose I could come up with a system of holding the barbells in place during evasive maneuvering. I was primarily trying to go for a system that would make gyms in the future seem somewhat like gyms currently. I wanted a similar feel of current gyms, but more advanced at the same time.

Mmm. Just wondering what the effect of higher gravity would be on

a) Joints and bones
b) Circulatory system
c) Risk of injury and severity of injury if you move wrong or fall over.

In particular, if all your blood tends to pool in your feet, there is risk of clots, heart attack and the like. I'd go and google effect of high gravity on health. It has already been studied quite a bit for jet pilots.
I will definitely have to read more into that. It would be a pointless system if working out gave you a heart attack. It would be amusingly ironic though.
 

psychotick

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#10
Hi,

I can't see AG being good for this. Apart from the general effects of higher gravity on human health there's also the fall factor. The higher the AG is the faster you fall and the harder you hit. You don't want to damage your crew.

Also free weights would be out as Chris says. On any ship you want to minimise the number and size of potential missiles on board, and a twenty kilo weight on a rack could do some major damage to a ship if it got loose as the ship turned.

But I can see lower AG being used. You could have team ball games where people are running and leaping huge distances through the air, burning up massive cardio calories as they do things they normally couldn't do, and yet doing it in complete safety. Think the weird basket ball game from Battlestar Galactica.

Also you can extend the concepts of where spots are going to to the future. And the consensus seems to be shorter, faster, more exciting games. So Rugby has generated the sevens. League has just come out with the nines. Cricket has Twenty 20. A lot more faster, higher scoring, boundary smashing stuff.

Cheers, Greg.
 

Jo Zebedee

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#11
Thanks guys, good to know there is a precedent in Science fiction. I don't write the hard stuff either DustyZebra. I only just started writing in the past couple years to be honest lol.

Springs, would the Gravitational Adapter device be to negate the effects high gravity would have on the human body?
I'd go along with that but I was thinking of it more Chrispy's way; adapting gravity to different parts of the room/equipment.

I'd be looking some fairly cool equipment, too.
 

TitaniumTi

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#13
You might be able to use a shifting gravitational field to create a gravity wheel, so that the protagonists climb around the inside of a cylindrical room, and "down" is always below their feet.

That sounds too much like a hamster wheel, perhaps, so it might be more interesting to make the room spherical and keep them guessing about the direction of the next gravity shift, then have them chasing a moving target.

If you made it a competitive sport, you could throw in occasional shifts to low/ no gravity at the championship level of competition.
 

tinkerdan

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#14
Here's my vision, mind you I have really thick eyeglasses I have to wear all the time.

The artificial gravity is a good thing to have just to delay the effects of weightlessness on the bones but I think the wave of the future for exercise in space will be the resistance training like those bowflex that doesn't need to rely so much on gravity. But if you do have good gravity generators aboard then weights will work but there is that problem of making sure they are properly stored when the ship is cutting and initiating gravity and or other maneuvers.
 

Mirannan

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#15
Here's an idea adapted from something already in use:

Ever hear of aquaerobics? Basically, doing aerobics while standing neck-deep in water. It's a hard cardio workout with very little joint strain incurred, because almost all your weight is supported by buoyancy. This isn't very useful on a spaceship for all sorts of reasons; but how about a nanotech utility fog (which has relatively little mass, potentially) providing the resistance and support?

The ufog might be present anyway, for use in emergency high-g manoeuvres.
 

Locrian

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#16
I'm not in favour of actual weights; suppose there was a crisis and the ship had to manoeuvre? Barbel mayhem. Go for springs and variable inductive damping.

But sure, if you've got artificial gravity, wind it up to tone your body. Three gee jogging, five gee squash, ten gee just lolling around and hearing your heart pound…

My protagonists have to do it by moving further out on a rotating wheel, or pay out a long cord from a rotating space station; can't play squash on the end of that.
I like this idea, but the gravity would have to be set a bit lower than you're proposing! Just think, jogging at three g is like jogging while giving two people piggybacks at once! I think even doing a normal workout, but doing it at something like 1.2 G would be really hard going. As others have said there would be increased risk of injury, but this would be proportional to the increase in gravity, much the same as moving onto higher sets of weights or running longer distances. I also like the idea of a low gravity assault course, just for how much fun it would be.
 

ralphkern

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#17
I'm a bit of a gym junkie.

The gym I'm at is a bit of a fan of new fangled technology and, whilst I must admit, I'm more a load up big weights on the barbell kind of conservative and, as such, hold no truck with it, some look pretty groovy.

These include:

Power plates: Apparently the quick vibrations of working out on them cause the muscles to expand and contract quickly, and thus work them. (no sleazy jokes gents!)

TRX machine: Cables that hang down where you can do various body weight exercises that you couldn't do without that support.

Electopads (seems to have gone out of favor, probably because they're a load of baloney): Electrodes that you strap to you that send electric shocks into the muscle you want to work.

In freefall in the 'real world' they use resistance bands a lot. Large elastic bands which simulate resistance.

I wouldn't want big weights on a spaceship though. For starters they're cannonballs waiting to happen, not to mention the extorinate cost of getting them up there.

Another factor is people tend to make up games and sports. Waterbottle surfing was one of our greatest creations in a previous life when we found a stash of empty waterbottles of the type that go in a water cooler, quite dangerous... possibly lethal. The point is though that chances are, in a spacecraft in long term flight the crew may well have evolved their own sports:

zero gee martial arts or wresting
free fall football or basketball
low and high grav obstacle races

Just watch the controls!!!
 

SirSamuelVimes

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#18
I'm a bit of a gym junkie.

The gym I'm at is a bit of a fan of new fangled technology and, whilst I must admit, I'm more a load up big weights on the barbell kind of conservative and, as such, hold no truck with it, some look pretty groovy.

These include:

Power plates: Apparently the quick vibrations of working out on them cause the muscles to expand and contract quickly, and thus work them. (no sleazy jokes gents!)

TRX machine: Cables that hang down where you can do various body weight exercises that you couldn't do without that support.

Electopads (seems to have gone out of favor, probably because they're a load of baloney): Electrodes that you strap to you that send electric shocks into the muscle you want to work.

In freefall in the 'real world' they use resistance bands a lot. Large elastic bands which simulate resistance.

I wouldn't want big weights on a spaceship though. For starters they're cannonballs waiting to happen, not to mention the extorinate cost of getting them up there.

Another factor is people tend to make up games and sports. Waterbottle surfing was one of our greatest creations in a previous life when we found a stash of empty waterbottles of the type that go in a water cooler, quite dangerous... possibly lethal. The point is though that chances are, in a spacecraft in long term flight the crew may well have evolved their own sports:

zero gee martial arts or wresting
free fall football or basketball
low and high grav obstacle races

Just watch the controls!!!
Yeah, I'm a personal trainer at a gym and am familiar with all the new fangled equipment. I haven't personally tried a vibration plate, but would like to. Electropads are a joke, and have thankfully been dismissed by most reasonable gyms. We also share similar tastes in weight lifting, hence the reason I wanted barbells on the spaceship, but now see them as being unsafe in the extreme. I thought it'd be interesting for free weights to be in the future, because even today we can't come up with anything that shows nearly as great results.

Here's an idea adapted from something already in use:

Ever hear of aquaerobics? Basically, doing aerobics while standing neck-deep in water. It's a hard cardio workout with very little joint strain incurred, because almost all your weight is supported by buoyancy. This isn't very useful on a spaceship for all sorts of reasons; but how about a nanotech utility fog (which has relatively little mass, potentially) providing the resistance and support?

The ufog might be present anyway, for use in emergency high-g manoeuvres.
That's interesting for sure, and would make for a cool workout environment. I'm starting to think I'm going to use varying ideas for a futuristic gym.

Here's my vision, mind you I have really thick eyeglasses I have to wear all the time.

The artificial gravity is a good thing to have just to delay the effects of weightlessness on the bones but I think the wave of the future for exercise in space will be the resistance training like those bowflex that doesn't need to rely so much on gravity. But if you do have good gravity generators aboard then weights will work but there is that problem of making sure they are properly stored when the ship is cutting and initiating gravity and or other maneuvers.
A highly advanced Bowflex would be a cool idea. I wonder how I could make it super awesome, and futuristic.

You might be able to use a shifting gravitational field to create a gravity wheel, so that the protagonists climb around the inside of a cylindrical room, and "down" is always below their feet.

That sounds too much like a hamster wheel, perhaps, so it might be more interesting to make the room spherical and keep them guessing about the direction of the next gravity shift, then have them chasing a moving target.

If you made it a competitive sport, you could throw in occasional shifts to low/ no gravity at the championship level of competition.
A competitive sport with varying gravitational pulls does sound incredibly interesting. I might make a whole scene of them playing a sport.

Hi,

I can't see AG being good for this. Apart from the general effects of higher gravity on human health there's also the fall factor. The higher the AG is the faster you fall and the harder you hit. You don't want to damage your crew.

Also free weights would be out as Chris says. On any ship you want to minimise the number and size of potential missiles on board, and a twenty kilo weight on a rack could do some major damage to a ship if it got loose as the ship turned.

But I can see lower AG being used. You could have team ball games where people are running and leaping huge distances through the air, burning up massive cardio calories as they do things they normally couldn't do, and yet doing it in complete safety. Think the weird basket ball game from Battlestar Galactica.

Also you can extend the concepts of where spots are going to to the future. And the consensus seems to be shorter, faster, more exciting games. So Rugby has generated the sevens. League has just come out with the nines. Cricket has Twenty 20. A lot more faster, higher scoring, boundary smashing stuff.

Cheers, Greg.
Yeah, that would be way awesome if I could do it right. I immediately tried to come up a with a low gravity way to play less common sports, like lacrosse or tournament paintball. Paintball would definitely have it's uses tactically, but perhaps paintball is too old school for the future.
 

Montero

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#19
Yeah, that would be way awesome if I could do it right. I immediately tried to come up a with a low gravity way to play less common sports, like lacrosse or tournament paintball. Paintball would definitely have it's uses tactically, but perhaps paintball is too old school for the future.
Lost track - is this on a space ship? If yes, you don't want blobs of paint getting into the air filtration system.
 

ralphkern

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#20
Make up a 5 x 5 routine of the future ;) nothing brings out the inner spartan like it.

And fingers crossed this is the starting point of my two fave forums, bodybuilding.com and sff chrons merging and saving me browsing time... :)
 

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