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Your workouts ranked by BDE (pffft as if, barre)


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Photo: Stocksy/Guille Faingold

You guys, our brains are overloaded. Everyone says so. (Everyone = science.) Whether it’s from multitasking or just plain TMI (not the juicy kind), it’s a healthy impulse to want to give your noggin a rest. And often, instead of just coming to a complete stop (see: silent meditations that actually cause stress), the best way to do that is to give your brain something mindless to do. Like knitting. Or reorganizing your closet. Or, hear me out: BDE.

What’s BDE? According to Vox (yep, the term has its own Vox explainer, which means it’s officially reached Googled-by-baby-boomers level of ubiquity), “big dick energy” made its Twitter debut following Anthony Bourdain’s untimely death. Maybe not the most sensitive of obituaries, but I venture to guess Bourdain would approve.

Then, the meme leveled up to a national time-wasting-at-the-office obsession last week after The Cut published Allison P. Davis’ “You Know He Got That Big Dick Energy” to try to explain the whole Pete Davidson-Ariana Grande thing. Davis defined it as “a quiet confidence and ease with oneself that comes from knowing you have an enormous penis and you know what to do with it.” But, you know, metaphorically. She goes on: “It’s not cockiness, it’s not a power trip—it’s the opposite: a healthy, satisfied, low-key way you feel yourself.” Basically, someone with BDE never tries too hard, but definitely has that “it” factor. (Oh hai, Rihanna.)

Twitter wasted no time in applying the concept waaay beyond its gender-normative origins, to everything from old Hollywood stars (say hello to Bette Davis Energy) to Supreme Court justices (yep, RBG)—and even to perfumes. What about Gilmore Girls characters, you say? Done and done (and yeah, Mrs. Kim has all the BDE).

Basically, BDE is far and away the “song of the summer” for internet memes. And it’s the perfect brain teaser to keep your mind grapes busy and relaxed at the same time—kind of like semi-sexually inappropriate sudoku.

If you’re thinking to yourself: Hey, which one of my workouts has BDE? Glad you asked…

Barre
Impossible to have BDE when you’re wearing grippy socks.

Running
Nope (too tiring). And BDE never works hard enough for its toenails to fall off.

Dance cardio
Wants to have BDE, but unless you were literally in the “Single Ladies” music video…

Yoga
Chakra-aligned BDE, until you fall on your face during crow pose.

HIIT
Yep, BDE’s pretty much required to get through that last set of mountain climbers.

Spin class
Delirious BDE.

Biking
Should be the same as spinning, but: nah. BDE should take up more space.

Boxing
Uncontrollable BDE.

Kundalini
Divine feminine BDE.

Hot yoga
This level of sweating defines IDGAF. Bow down to the queen of all BDE.

So, BDE may be innate, but confidence can be learned. Here’s how Kristen Bell found her swagger, and some CEO-approved advice on feeling invincible.

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