bricklogoEveryone knows that exercise is good – but actually doing it is another matter. The fitness industry pulls in billions of dollars from Americans who want to lose weight, tone up, look better, feel better – but despite our best intentions, many of us lose motivation quickly, particularly when we don’t see results right away. Exercise is hard, there’s no getting around that, which is why I crack up whenever I see a magazine cover that promises “flat abs in 30 seconds!” Workout fads come and go so quickly largely because of our short attention spans – we hear about a new workout plan that looks fun and effective, we get excited about it, and then we quickly get bored and frustrated and quit.

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I’ll readily admit that I’m guilty of this – I have a stack of workout DVDs gathering dust under my TV from my brief periods of exercise frenzy that fizzled out after a few weeks. The fact is that no matter what kind of exercise we do, it’s going to take quite a bit of time before we start to notice results, but a lot of us give up in frustration before we get to that point. Some people try to keep their motivation up by setting incremental goals, creating charts, putting up pictures of the way they want to look, etc. – but one thing I never, ever would have considered would be to use Russian nesting dolls as motivation to exercise. That’s exactly what fitness studio BRICK New York has done, however.

brickYou’ve probably seen Russian nesting dolls before – you unscrew one doll to find a slightly smaller one inside, then you open that one, and so on, until you get to the tiny baby doll at the core. BRICK’s Fit Nesting Dolls are a little different in that they don’t get much shorter, like traditional dolls, but they do get thinner and thinner. When new members sign up, they create a custom fitness plan based on what their goals are, like losing a certain amount of weight, preparing for a triathlon, etc. The members are then given a set of nesting dolls containing a USB drive that breaks down their fitness plan into stages to be worked on over the course of five months. When a stage is completed, the doll is opened to reveal a more svelte doll inside.

It’s a clever and funny concept that just might be incredibly effective, too. The reason so many people quit their gyms and exercise programs is that their goals are somewhat undefined, or that they give themselves huge expectations and expect to fulfill them in an unrealistic amount of time. The dolls not only help them to lay out smaller goals to be worked on one at a time, but they’re also a visual reminder that while change may be incremental, progress is still being made.

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Make it to Phase 4 and you get a cat!

dollThe dolls are 3D printed, then hand-painted by artists from around the world, which is also pretty cool; the different colorful designs are geared towards different fitness goals. Once your fitness goal is reached, I assume you can reuse your dolls to set new goals, too – another downfall of exercise programs is that once people reach their target, they stop, and before long, they find themselves back at square one.

I personally have finally found an exercise method that works for me: boxing is a great workout, makes me stronger, and not only allows but encourages me to hit things really hard. That last part is enough to keep me coming back again and again, but I do wonder if I would have stuck to my failed workout plans in the past if I had had an incredible shrinking doll for extra motivation. Would this incentive work for you? Discuss in the 3D Printed Nesting Dolls forum over at 3DPB.com.

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