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Sweating for polenta

Published on January 23, 2020

Hitting the gym after the holiday feasting is a classic. An engineer has found a way to make this sweaty undertaking a little bit more interesting.

In its one-room fitness centre located near the train station in Bern, there’s only place for four people at a time. Instead of mirrors and plastic plants, the space is filled with buckets and containers. The fitness machines are connected to grinders and presses.

Thomas Wieland recovered the equipment from a second-hand shop and used straps and bike chains to upgrade them. People training at the “Gmües-Esel”, the “Veggie-Donkey”, can easily see the results of their workout through a plexiglas sheet. By pedalling on a stationary bike, gym-goers transform maize into polenta flour or rapeseed oil.

During the winter season almost a ton of flour is ground. People can take the fruits of their labour home while the rest is turned into bread sold at the market. The machines can also be used to ground nuts, flax seeds, and wheat. The gym is open only two evenings a week and people can sign up for free on their website.

(SRF, swissinfo.ch)