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Been To The Gym Lately? Essay

1312 words - 6 pages

Been to the Gym Lately?

It happens every summer, people start trading in their jackets and pants for bikinis and board shorts. They loose the layers and start showing some skin. It is usually not until now, that people notice something about themselves, they’re fat. Its time to hit the gym. Ballys Total Fitness is a prime example when talking about these seasonal weight lifters. The Ballys gym in Cerritos has designed their facility with their new members in mind. The physical environment is set up for easy “wayfinding” for the occasional visitor. Signs are posted everywhere, and on every machine guiding the member on how to workout properly. The large amount of ignorant members ...view middle of the document...

Behind the treadmills you can see the pool area through a set of glass windows. To the left of the treadmills, you will find about fifteen stationary bikes, which are facing the treadmills. Behind the bikes, you can see the free weight section. The free weight section contains four bench press benches, two squat areas, an entire back wall full of dumbbells, and a row of different back and chest machines. If you walk to the other side of the gym, on the other side of the treadmills, you will find the weight machines section. An assortment of leg, chest, back, arm, and ab machines can be found in this area. If you keep walking past this area, you will come to a set of glass doors. Behind these doors is the aerobic and yoga room.
The way Ballys Total Fitness has designed the interior of this gym, and the placement of the equipment makes for easy “wayfinding” for new members. “Wayfinding” describes how people orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place (697). The way everything is set up, in separate groups, helps the member differentiate their exercises. They know where to go if they need to work on their legs, or back, or abs. The four sections, with exception of the pool, are divided by no walls, no windows, no ropes, only by the different equipment that occupy it, and the people that use it. The “physical aspects and features” affect the entire flow of the space and ultimately, the members decisions on what and how to work out (703).
Almost every wall is a mirror. The mirrors are meant to make the member feel free and unrestricted. They make the room feel larger than it really is. No one wants to feel boxed in when they are around fifty active and sweaty human beings. In a gym, actual physical contact with another person is very uncommon. Towels are required at Ballys in order to wipe up the sweat left on the equipment, like wiping off your existence so no one has to come into contact with you. “Proxemics” describes the set measurable distances between people as they interact (703). According to the creator of the term “proxemics”, Edward Hall, “Body spacing and posture are unintentional reactions to sensory fluctuations or shifts, such as subtle changes in the sound and pitch of a persons voice” ( If a person distances themselves by their sense of hearing, I believe they will space themselves based on their sense of smell and touch (of human sweat). This concept is seen throughout Ballys gym, most notably is on the treadmills. Like the urinal section of a mens restroom, the members of Ballys will space themselves through “non verbal communication” when approaching the treadmills. If available, they will use the machine furthest away from any...

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