What does your gym say about you?

I’ve never given much thought about what my gym said about me. It’s simply been a place I go to not get flabby.

I never thought about what my gym said about me, that is, until I joined David Barton Gym. Typical response when I tell people I’m a member:

“Oh, you go to that CRAZY gym.”

“You go to ‘the club?!?'”

“Ohhhhh, I know those ads.”

“The ‘fancy’ gym?”

Truth: There are probably a hundred gyms in the city of Chicago. Some have cinder block walls. Others resemble a country club. What’s the deal with my gym? It has a DJ, dramatic mood lighting, gorgeous trainers and the tagline “Look Better Naked.” And, of course, an owner with half-naked pics in every ad:

There’s no defending this. Let’s move on to the actual gym.

See? It has a pretty stellar ambiance. I’ve been member at David Barton for two years, and I enjoy going there. The classes are tough, the decor is chic, and the locker rooms are nicer than my bathroom at home. And the price? I got a discount through work.

So my question is, what does this gym say about me? According to the laws of marketing, you can generalize a great deal about people’s wants, needs and priorities by the places they visit and the products they buy.

If this is true, based on people’s reactions, I sense that my gym conveys a want to be a scenester or one of the pretty, fancy people. True or not. (I say not).

What do other gyms say about people?

My membership with David Barton Gym is up this month. As I debate on renewing or joining elsewhere, here is what I’ve learned from informal polls and reviews on Yelp about what a few other gyms might say about its members.

  • Bally Total Fitness: You love three-year, impossible-to-break contracts. You turn a blind eye to leaks in the ceiling. And you may be known for choosing price over quality. Hey, I’m speaking from experience, here. I’m not going back.
  • X Sport: You like this gym enough to not mind waiting insanely long for a machine during the rush periods. And you also don’t mind occasionally mingling with the meatheads. Maybe you even are one. However, word on the street gym offers a great deal of amenities for a great price.
  • Cheetah Gym Bucktown: You don’t mind a smaller gym. And  you appreciate the diversity in members. Quite possibly, you were a fan of Real World Chicago and work out there because the cast members are former tenants. I’ve heard favorable reviews, and it’s all the more tempting since they’re building a Logan Square location.
  • East Bank Club: You want not only a gym, but an experience. And quite possibly, a country club. It’s a place to see and be seen. And it’s practically a self-contained city with its workout amenities, pool, restaurants, bar, tanning parlor, salon and pro shop. I think this gym may be out of my league.
  • Lakeshore Athletic Club: You enjoy a relatively upscale gym experience. And you’re quite possibly a fan of obscure, frightful early 90s one-hit wonders.

You can choose to believe the stereotypes or not. When it comes down to it, I don’t care. I’ll go (or stay with) gym that I can’t avoid daily and that’s reasonable priced.

So, what’s your gym and what does it say about you?



Filed under Chicago, culture, Fitness, random

7 responses to “What does your gym say about you?

  1. That gym looks intimidating to me – but then you are in far better shape than I have ever been. My gym says that I’d rather no one look at me while I’m working out and I’d rather shower at home (the locker room is nasty).

  2. elyse barson

    Cheetah Gym in Buctown – small, clean, diverse, earthy, reasonable. it suits me. 🙂

  3. Mrs.

    in defense of ballys: it’s cheap as hell and you get what you pay for, but then again, it gets the job done. and there’s a month-to-month option now? i dunno. cheering myself up until we move or the lvac becomes an option. in my book, the number one consideration for a gym is location and those two are all i’ve got.

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