"I recently joined the little gym a few blocks from my house ... [because] it was the one I was most likely to go to. It’s a bit pricey, but I figured that not having a car and thus not paying exorbitant gas prices, I could afford it. And after years at various 24 Hour Fitnesses and the like, I have to say, I am COMPLETELY in love. Here’s why:
* When I first came in, the adorable gayboy receptionist eagerly gave me a tour of the facilities, enthusiastically pointed out all the state of the art equipment, talked about how much fun it was to use, described how different machines might work for people with different fitness goals, even gushed about how neat their drinking fountain is (it is pretty cool), made a few comments about strength training and endurance, but never ONCE mentioned weight loss.
* Within three days of going, I no longer needed to show my membership card because all the employees recognized and greeted me. Not one has ever mentioned weight loss.
* The exercise bikes have a cool video-game setting where you can race the computer, your friends, or other people in the gym on a variety of virtual bike trails, or even set it up to play a sort of fantasy-tag game where you chase flying dragons around on your bike! I think this is super neat, because I really like the workout I get from riding the bike but usually can’t stick with it for long because I get so bored by the repetitive pedaling in place.
* In my two weeks there, I have seen a few of the young, thin, muscular, tightly-clothed “gym bunny” body-types that make up the majority of 24 Hour and the college Rec Centers’ population - however, I have also an even greater number of people with a diverse range of body shapes and sizes, not to mention genders, ethnicities, and apparent sexual orientations. And everybody, regardless of body type, seems focused on their workout rather than on how they look.
* There are mirrors in the dressing room but not anywhere in the workout spaces. I know that looking at yourself in the mirror can be helpful for checking your posture and positioning, but I still feel like this was a positive design choice - for me, at least, because I often find looking at myself in the mirror while working out extremely distracting. (Because I’m so damn sexy, of course.)
* I have not seen one single scale anywhere in the building.
* One of the biggest differences from 24 Hour, where they were always trying to sell me stuff (personal training sessions, vitamins, weight loss ’supplements’, energy drinks, yadda yadda yadda): My gym, which I don’t think has any ‘products’ for sale even if I wanted them, has recently started laying out a great big tray of delicious fresh fruit for members to munch on. That’s right, my *gym* wants to GIVE me FOOD for FREE.
I haven’t taken any of the classes yet because they haven’t fit with my schedule, but I look forward to it. I am seriously considering making a permanent move to this neighborhood largely because I am so in love with this gym! It could only be more perfect if it had a pool…
In any case, it just gives a little bit of hope that a No Bullshit Gym is a viable business possibility. :-)
The gym is called Qi Kinesis - it’s in Denver. Their website is: . I just noticed thathttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif one of the pictures on the front page is of a woman measuring herself with a measuring tape - ick. But on the other hand, I also just came across these blurbs:
Jessica [the yoga instructor] has been practicing Iyengar-style yoga for fifteen years and teaching for four years in the Denver area as a certified yoga instructor. She believes that yoga should be accessible to all people regardless of body-type and level of athleticism, and age.
Qi’s Kinesis is the ultimate in training for people in wheelchairs with almost any type of disability! Great for staying fit for everyday life or for the disabled athlete. From just the daily pushing of your chair or a simple transfer to wheelchair racing, handcycling, sled hockey, skiing, basketball, softball, rugby, and other sports.
In addition to Kinesis, Qi also offers a full line of Technogym’s premium line of machines for training the upper body. Qi’s staff and personal trainers are committed to making a difference in your fitness levels no matter what your abilities.
And that info is fairly prominently displayed on the site, so that’s neat too."