Sunday Tittle Tattle: The Workout Innuendo

I’ve (perhaps unwisely) started testing out online exercise videos. There’s a whole other post to be written on the various hazards to be avoided when partaking in Youtube workout classes, but I have a pressing question about the fundamental essence of my being and that is this: do I, Ruth Crilly, have the emotional maturity of a fourteen year old boy?

Am I hopelessly, embarrassingly immature or do other people chortle their way through the workouts, smirking at the utter smut-fest that is the running commentary? It’s like innuendo bingo! I have to say, too, that it is almost always the videos from the US that have the richest array of double entendre – the instructors across the pond seem to have absolutely no clue that what they’re saying sounds like it has been lifted from a porno script.

Here are some choice cuts from the Youtube videos I’ve been testing out this week:

“OK, I’m really feeling that in my booty right now, guys. Wow, that is deep, I can feel it deep inside my butt.” (Glutes exercise.)

“Oooh, that is good in my butt right now!” (Plank with mountain-climbing legs. Don’t ask. It’s no wonder the majority of people give up exercise after January.)

“Mmmm, okay, now let’s pump it, pump it, pump it, PUMP!” (Sumo squats with a “pulse” at the bottom. We will talk about “pulses” in my next exercise post when I’ve thought up enough expletives.)

I’d like to add that all of these things are said quite breathlessly, by women wearing lycra so tight you can see every gynaecological peak and trough. Nothing remotely wrong with that in itself, obviously, but it’s more than a little off-putting having a visual as well as the soundtrack. Puts me right off my stride! It’s almost impossible to balance on one leg and outstretch your arms “like an aeroplane” when you’re shaking with barely-contained mirth.

I find the word “pump” amusing in almost all circumstances, to be truthful, irrespective of accent. Depending on where you’re from you’ll know that “pump” is an alternative word for trump, parp or – as I insist on it being called in this house – bottom burp.

Unfortunate, really, when “pump” is such a commonly used word for…loads of things. Petrol pump, air pump, pump up the volume. I can deal with all of those versions, it’s just when someone’s talking about the action of pumping. Oh, the number of adverts I’ve filmed with beauty brands where I’ve had to say something like

“do two or three pumps into the palm of your hand!”


“spray two pumps onto your face and breathe deeply to inhale the scent!”

Kills me every time.

Anyway, back to the “feel it deep inside your booty” gang: surely they know what they’re saying? Do they come out with things like this deliberately, in a wild stab at humour, to get you through the workout? Or do they just assume that 99% of viewers aren’t as immature as me?

Answers on a postcard please. And happy Easter. I did mean to do some sort of intelligent, heartfelt post about new starts and beautiful life and #thankfulness but this issue seemed more important.

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  1. M
    April 21, 2020 / 11:18 pm

    I quite like the obvious trash humour… especially when I’m sweating like a pig.

    Mustn’t forget the good old metonym for pump- squirt!

  2. April 14, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    I think it is on puprose to make the whole process more enjoyable. At least that is what I tell myself.
    Although as non-native speaker I think many things escape me.

    Anne from Doctor Anne

  3. Jill
    April 14, 2020 / 8:54 am

    In Scotland, pump has a whole other meaning!

      • Katie O
        April 20, 2020 / 10:52 pm

        Yes came here to say thay in Scotland “pumping” refers to the act of making sweet love

  4. Elisabeth
    April 14, 2020 / 7:01 am

    Oooooh, I should watch more English workout videos! In German we have words like Kniebeuge (knee bend) or Strecksprung (stretch jump) and it always sound like instructions from 1905…

  5. Callie
    April 13, 2020 / 11:04 am

    With the Americans the innuendos most certainly are unintended. Makes it even funnier!

  6. Claire
    April 12, 2020 / 2:09 pm

    Two of my instructors purposely fill their classes with innuendo, especially when team teaching. If you’re ever in Pontefract, West Yorkshire feel free to come to pump

  7. Aliana
    April 12, 2020 / 11:58 am

    You are a riot! Yes, yes, yes! These exercise videos are vulgar and narcissistic, but what can you do but laugh at them and pump it til it burns deep in your bum! Well happy Easter to you and your sweet little family! Enjoy the beauty of the day!

    • April 12, 2020 / 12:39 pm

      Hahahaha! There were some amazing examples in this morning’s, I was quite disappointed that I’d already published the post! x

  8. Lauren
    April 12, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Suffered through a yoga video recently and was asked to sit cross legged and ‘separate the butt cheeks’ to get really flat on the mat. Don’t think I’ll ever recover from that.

    • April 12, 2020 / 12:39 pm

      I mean, it sounds pretty painful.

  9. Victoria
    April 12, 2020 / 9:50 am

    Have you tried Les Mills on demand? Not free but pretty cheap and their app is great. I love their work outs especially Body combat. Rachael Newsham the main instructor is British so spots all the innuendo. Because yes the word ‘pump’ is hilarious!

  10. Kerry
    April 12, 2020 / 8:22 am

    Laughed out loud at this. Totally my sense of humour (and I’m not 14 or a boy either..)
    Growing up we called a pump a ‘traf’ (reverse to understand) which my mum found a less rude way of referring to a bottom burb. Still makes me laugh now.
    Keep the posts coming Ruth. You’re a complete tonic at all times x

    • April 12, 2020 / 12:40 pm

      Oh, TRAF is brilliant! Hahaha

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