Three weeks into 2008 and our New Year's resolution to become fitter, more buff, less prone to triggering dry heaves at the pool, has been drowned in double-mocha frappacinos. Perhaps it's time for me to turn to the latest trend in building muscle tone, the Complex Sports muscle stimulator.

Cnet News.com's reporter Michael Kanellos recently endured a test of the shock therapy. The book-sized device applied electrical shocks to his muscles via electrodes taped at key points around the body. The shock stimulates the contraction of muscles, including many that you wouldn't ordinarily stress during your day to day activities or workouts.

Like waterboarding, this is not torture, although pain does accompany the stimulation, especially early on, when muscles are untoned. While the device has heretofore been used primarily by athletes looking for an edge or recovering from injury, it is making its way into the toolbox of fitness buffs and weekend jocks. Like the running shoe and sports drinks, the next logical step for it is into my world, that of the average Joe.

I can envision a time when I have one built into my recliner, next to the Beer Nuts dispenser and the Coke Zero holder, so I can shock myself to Adonis-like shape during the commercial breaks on Family Guy. Working out with the press of a button; I can so do that. If the button isn't too far from my remote control.


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