British gym replaces dumbbells with human weights

Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:27pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - A British gym is trying to add human interest to otherwise dreary workouts by replacing traditional dumbbell weights with human ones.

The Gymbox chain gym in central London says fitness enthusiasts can now swap their usual lumps of metal for human beings in a range of shapes and sizes.

According to the gym's owner Richard Hilton, it's all about visualizing strength.

"Creating a mental image or intention of what you want to happen or feel is proven to improve physical and psychological performance," he said in a statement. "The human weight lifting apparatus ... is the ultimate embodiment of visualization theory.

The human weights range from the "Dainty Dwarf" 32-year-old Arti Shah, who weighs just 30kg (66.1lbs or 4.7 stone), up to the "Super Human" weight of 37-year-old -- and 155kg -- Matt Barnard.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>A gym member does some exercises for photographers using human weights at a Gymbox gym in London January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird</p>