Oddly Enough

Gym replaces dumbbells with human weights

Human weights pose for photographers as they stand in a line in order of their weight at a Gymbox gym in London January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

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 visualising 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 visualisation 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