New Year's resolution prep: What's the best TV show to watch at the gym?

Now that the ball has dropped, you know what that means: Time to start acting on those New Year’s resolutions! (Hear that? That’s the collective grumble of 304 million Americans.)

And since most of us have spent much of the holiday season downing eggnog, alcoholic beverages, and waaay too many sweet treats (Guilty as charged!), methinks we’ll be spending the better part of early 2010 in our local gyms, trying to follow through on our inevitable weight-loss resolutions.

This year, I started my resolution somewhat early, joining a gym about a month ago. And I’m not gonna lie: One of the determining factors leading me to join said gym was the fact that each treadmill had its own individual television set. (All I would need is a freezer containing pints of Ben & Jerry’s attached to the treadmill and — well, I guess I’d be reversing my goals, huh?)

But then I started thinking: We all have our workout playlists on our iPods. But which television shows are best to watch at the gym? What show would motivate me to run as much as a Black Eyed Peas album?

So far, I’ve found that Jeopardy! works best for me, since the mental energy I exert trying answer the rapid-fire questions distracts me from thinking about the pure hatred I have for exercising. (Celebrity Jeopardy! is an even better option, as the confused rage you feel towards Joshua Malina, who did not know who wrote The Tales of Beedle the Bard(!), will only increase your adrenaline and encourage you to work harder.) And then there’s The Biggest Loser, which is best watched either sitting on your couch eating Chinese food, or at the gym on the treadmill. My dear editor, Kate Stroup, however, opts to exercise to Paula Deen, since, “I feel guilty just SEEING all the butter, so it motivates me to work out harder.”

How about you, PopWatchers? Tell me, what’s the best television show to watch at the gym?

Comments (50 total) Add your comment
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  • liz

    Flavor of Love or Rock of Love. I lost 80 pounds while watching these shows at the gym. They are so trashy that they suck you in and you don’t even realize you’re working out because all you can think is, “What kind of person participates in this?”

  • Jen

    I like to watch The Biggest Loser while I’m at the gym. It keeps me motivated.

  • Marie

    So many people have their televisions turned to the Food Network at the gym. I will never understand this.

    • Mary

      Agreed. And I even tried watching Top Chef once while at the gym. Can’t do it.

    • Cece

      I’ll third that. It just makes me hungrier.

  • terry

    I am so jealous. If I’m there at the right time, I watch Who wants to be a millionaire. I was going to recommend that, but if you’re watching Jeopardy, forget it.

  • Mary

    I usually watch re-runs of shows, like Friends, The Office, etc. Comedies take my mind off the work.

  • Dan

    Las Vegas. Don’t know why. I can’t stand it when I’m just sitting in front of the TV, but when I work out it just becomes fun and distracting. Ah, Vegas.

  • steph

    I always watch The Simpsons..I just watch the pictures and listen to my playlist at the same time. I watched the Biggest Loser once at the gym, but I usually don’t go that late. I like to get it done as soon as possible after work :)

  • Madd

    I always watch Mtv at the gym. It completely distracts me from the work.

  • Victoria Lea

    My gym doesn’t have TVs on each individual treadmill, so I’m stuck with playlists. But I’m not going to complain. I’m a student, so it’s free gym access. The Beach Boys are my go-to work out music.

  • Tony

    Supernatural is great at the gym.

  • Lil’Bit

    I first got hooked on “the Soup” a year ago at my gym. I annoyed the heck out of my fellow gym members by laughing out loud while on the cross trainer, but by the end of the show, most of the other TVs had turned to the Soup as well. Speaking of exercise… ugh, it’s time.

  • EWsMom

    I usually like watching the news…CNN, CNBC etc.

  • Cece

    I usually get started on my workout at about 6 or 6:30 which means I’m probably watching Good Times. But if that’s not on, Grey’s Anatomy will do. Sometimes I’ll watch the news or if there’s a Bravo marathon of sorts, I’ll watch that too. The hard part is if I finish my workout before a program’s over. Should I continue working out until commercial, or high-tail it to another machine to catch up? Decisions, decisions.

  • Lucy

    I watch Mad Men while working out.

    Because I couldn’t stand just sitting there uncomfortably while the pacing of the show goes by SO. PAINFULLY. SLOW.

  • sbwm

    The Food Network works on the treadmill – I don’t know why, but it does. Never even watch that at home. The Kelly and Regis monologue is a good 20 min treadmill start before the machines too if you can handle it.

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