Everyone knows there’s nothing tougher than pretending that you’re going to work out. The back-breaking hours you’ve spent sharing motivational gym memes, sweat dripping from your pores as you snooze another alarm, your heart beating through your chest as you assure loved ones that you’re “really going to start taking your health seriously” which at best means you’ll take a multivitamin 3 days in a row before forgetting about it and not noticing a difference.
But before you can fantasize about a time where you’ll commit to something healthy that isn’t just a bunch of nutrients you’ve never heard of (the fuck is guava) blended into a $17 smoothie that, you’ll need to find the perfect gym to show up to around twice per month.
Today we’ll be discussing the holy trinity of chain gyms - LA Fitness, the YMCA, and the Planet Fitness. For the record, every local Mom & Pop Gym sucks because all the weights are rusty and the only workout advice you get are football exercises from 1983. Also, sometimes urban homes have a bench press set up in the front yard (I have only seen this in movies) which, financially and environmentally, actually probably makes the most sense.
And now, we'll find the right place to help you reach your fitness goals: a slight desire to be more attractive and overall healthy while also subconsciously knowing that your yearning to be lazy far outweighs your yearning to be better in any way, shape or form.
True to its name, LA Fitness’ members are 80% silicone and spray tan their hardest during the winter months. While smiling may hurt their cheekbones, this does seem be a generally attractive and therefore happy group of people. There are a lot of those huge strong dudes who carry around a water jug and a belt to cover up a lack of abs from only doing powerlifts and no cardio for a decade, as well as very significant MILF representation.
The personal trainers at LA Fitness are paid only in commission and have learned most of their exercise technique from watching Bowflex commercials in the late 90s, so I’d have to advise against using them. Also, LA Fitness’ cancellation policy sucks ass: you have to physically enter the building to do so, which is very clearly bullshit. It’s 2018. We’re not confronting people anymore. We’re barely even making eye contact. Get with it!
They have a pool. There’s never not a band-aid in it.
Good for: creeps, female divorcees, female divorcees who do not mind creeps, anyone who has coasted their way through life by simply being attractive
Bad for: the unattractive, including but not limited to weak chins, pale skin, bad posture (that leaning forward neck kind where you know not to bring up bitcoin around them)
Working out at a YMCA is a beautiful, community oriented experience that brings together people from all walks of life: just picture it now, underprivileged children, no older than 10, sharing a locker room with wealthy men well over the age of 70. What could go wrong?
The YMCA strictly as a workout facility actually rules, includes a ton of fitness classes free with a membership and allows you to apply for a cheaper subscription based on your current income. Sure, the yoga classes are filled with old dudes wearing tube socks hitting on the instructor by saying stuff like, “you remind me of my daughter!” (why would that ever work?) but they’re geriatric enough at this point that they’re just creepy stare guys, not grope guys.
Just like anyone working to bring the community together, employees at the YMCA maintain a positive attitude while burying down the soul-crushing reality that almost all conscious charity and non-profit work in America becomes hijacked by corporate interests, and that those trying to make a positive difference are often the most underpaid - perhaps on purpose, in order to make the uphill battle that is progress just a little more steep.
Plus, there’s a hot tub!
Good for: working-class or underprivileged people, older folks, people with special needs or developmental disabilities, slum lords who literally want to watch their victims sweat
Bad for: those who are creeped out by old people, those who are creeped on by old people
Planet Fitness is the biggest gym in America and by no coincidence, the Mecca of Mediocrity. Flip flops on the leg press? You’re at Planet Fitness. Guy wearing a du rag (he’s white) and knee pads squatting only the bar? You’re at Planet Fitness. Skinhead with a Monster neck tattoo blowing out vape clouds between reps? You know where you are. You’re in the jungle, baby. You’re gonna die.
It’s truly stunning how well Planet Fitness represents the world’s most average Americans: every single person at a Planet Fitness, at some point in their lives, has fallen for a multi-level marketing scheme. Every employee is high, slack jawed, and will at most greet you with a “what up”. There is a giant bowl of candy out front that’s covered in more germs than a pediatric office, but most patrons here will pretend they didn’t see the “Take One” sign and grab a handful.
The “Lunk Alarm” thing had always bothered me (for the unfamiliar: if someone is lifting too much weight or making too much noise was at a Planet Fitness, they’ll literally set an alarm off, which feels a little judgemental for a Non-Judgement Zone) but a few weeks ago I was at a PF watching a man rap the opening verse to All I Do Is Win (Remix) into the mirror and it dawned on me that there’s actually nothing wrong with celebrating the average: these people need something. That’s why there are community colleges, division 3 sports and the Republican Party: incompetent and completely undeserving people want to feel accomplished just like anyone else, and these desires can be co-opted into businesses that will make money and allow the powerful to have greater influence.
Plus, there’s pizza on Mondays!
Good for: men who have been in bar fights on week nights, HerbaLife reps, man who still discusses football injury
Bad for: those looking for inspiration, anyone actively and competently pursuing a dream
The YMCA is at least a non-profit and does stuff to help out people who need help. They have the most widespread amount of different workout opportunities and is also the only gym with its own theme song except for guys at PF playing Kickstart My Heart on a speaker. I’d probably go here although one time I watched a man dry his beard-length grey pubes with the hand dryer and forgot about it until the very moment I wrote this.
Seriously go to the Y I guess. Happy working out! You will not go.