More Vegas Fun

August 2, 2011

Hopefully you didn’t miss yesterday’s post – a full run-down of my audition to be a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire!  (If you did miss it, you can read it here).  The audition was the reason I hit the road and headed to Las Vegas, Nevada.  I’ve also already shared my plan for healthy eating in Vegas, but there’s a few more things about my stay in Vegas that I wanna share.  Are you in?

1) Bodies.  The night before the audition, I headed over to the Luxor to check out Bodies: The Exhibition.  Have any of you seen this?  It’s been around since 2005, touring museums, but I’ve never had the chance to see it.  It’s a exhibit about the wonders of the human body, featuring (and this is a quote from their press release):

“…more than 260 full body, organ and partial body specimens. These real human bodies have been meticulously dissected, preserved through an innovative process and respectfully presented, giving visitors the opportunity to view the beauty and complexity of their own organs and systems.”

The fact that the exhibit uses real-life human corpses has been a source of controversy since before Day 1, and even inspired a storyline on Boston Legal.

Basically, the exhibit is a series of rooms, with each one focusing on a different system in the human body – skeleton, respiratory, muscular, nervous, circulatory, and so on, but instead of drawings or models of organs, they display real life preserved bodies and body parts.  The whole thing is utterly fascinating, and I found it also more than a little bit unsettling, even though I don’t have moral objections to displaying human cadavers.  Each room had a centerpiece, which was one of the fully-preserved cadavers, with layers peeled and cut away to show different muscle groups, organs, bones, or whatever.  Here’s an image of one of them from the exhibit’s website (where you can learn a lot more):

Yep. It’s a real body.

I found myself most interested in the systems that I’ve been focusing on myself in the past year and a half – specifically, muscles and the digestive tract.  It was really interesting to see the actual muscles, like biceps, quads, and traps, that I’ve been working so hard to develop lately, and one of my favorite displays was a full digestive tract, from tongue to anus, showing every foot of intestine that every bite of food travels through.  It’s a long journey – 30 feet!

I’m curious if any of my readers have seen Bodies at the Luxor or elsewhere…  if so, what did you think?

2) Gambling.  It’s the first question that asked after learning about a Vegas trip:  How did you make out?  I stuck with slot machines this trip (my favorite slot machine, called Benny Big Game, in particular), and at the end of Day 1, I was up 22 cents (yep, I’m a high roller), and at the end of Day 2, I was down $40 (which I had previously decided would be my gambling budget).  At one point I was up $35, but I thought I was on a roll and didn’t cash out.  Oops.

3) Exercise.  I stayed at Gold Coast, the hotel/casino where the auditions were being held.  They had a fitness center out back, by the pool, and I took advantage of it both mornings I was in town.  And, excluding the final 10 minutes on the second day, I had the entire place to my whole the whole time!  It wasn’t a fancy gym, but it did the trick:

On Day 1, I grabbed two 10-pound weights and did a variety of different upper body exercises: bicep curls, military presses, and a bunch of different things targeting my shoulders, back, and chest.  I also did 60 push-ups, 40 tricep dips, and a shit-ton of walking lunges.  After 40 minutes of all that, I jumped on a crossramp elliptical and went for 20 minutes.  On crossramp ellipticals, you can adjust the incline (like you can on a treadmill), so you can work different muscle groups and add more variety to your workout.  None of the ellipticals at my gym at home are crossramps, so I was excited to use one here, and during the 20 minutes, I worked my way to to level 20 for both resistance and inclination – the highest the machine allows!

On Day 2, I grabbed the 10-pound weights again, but this time, got on the recumbent bike, and started pedaling away while doing intervals of various shoulder and arm exercises, about 7 different ones in total.  After 35 minutes on the bike, I did 10 minutes on the crossramp, and called it a day.  Between the bike and the crossramp, I burned 450 calories – and that doesn’t include the calories burned by the weight-lifting!

Keep it up, David!