Gyms -a survey

When I was growing up gyms were a place for health freaks and narcissists  - yes exercise was recognised as important but if you didnt otherwise have an active lifestyle you might go for a swim, take walks, ride a bike or perhaps even do a bit of jogging.  I have maintained this view but people now do not ask whether you go the gym but rather when and where you go  (I was asked this by a client yesterday) as if it was something that can be safely assumed.   Is this true? Am I an outlier?

Who admits to never going to a gym and never having any intention of going?

I don't go very often but I do like a small group exercise session with a bit of competition.  Always try harder than if I'm exercising on my own.

Post this wretched pandemic, my life has got more sedentery as more and more thing happen by Teams: consultations with counsel; interim hearings; client meetings etc.  Far less running around.

Accordingly, I am now going to the gym, particularly as I am feeling quite lardy at the moment.

I can confirm it is now a wierd British thing to go to the gym even if q lardy with unhealthy diet etc.

I think it's a good trend

I used to find them offputting and intimidating when they were exclusively for roid freaks and narcissists

Now they're full of people just like me who probably go home after that hiit class and tuck into a nice pasta bake and don't GAF about it being "a waste"

I quite miss it. Mine was a local authority one, 5 mins from the house (Meaning I could change and shower at home), full of all types exercising and v good for disabled people. Can't go anymore as not enough ventilation for my immunosuppression. Really miss it. Have to do stuff at home which is boring.

When growing up and for many years gyms were just not a thing - the pub was the thing!

My guess is that not only is health and fitness more "popular" (i.e. prioritised) these days, but specifically weight lifting and HIT/Spin classes are the exercise of choice, all of which necessitate going to a gym as opposed to outdoors. Lifting especially is popular with both women and men, and not at all the sole reserve of people wanting to look like Arnie in his prime.

Whereas jogging/home exercise videos seemed immensely popular back in the 90s as the de facto exercise, which didn't require a gym (hence the gym = health freaks stereotype perpetuating).

The 00s we all just spent binge drinking.

In the 30s we'll probably be exercising with our VR headsets in the metaverse.

Im similar - never went near one until hit my 40s now go 2/3 times a week along with odd run/walk/kickaround or golf.

What ive realisee is thaf actually they are quite nice places to go - often bump into people I know, will do some work in the cafe, nice looking women about.

Also Ive realise ld that I can cycle quite hard whilst reading/working/roffing etc.

Rose can you not find who will do one on one classes with you?  I know a guy who happily does video sessions with people at home which means there's plenty of encouragement and variety rather than just doing your own thing regularly.  My local gym also does outdoor sessions all through the summer.

what's the question? Do I go to the gym? Yes. I've been going to a gym (of sorts) on and off (frequently more off than on) for 35 years. The first one was a tiny "multigym" (as it was then called) at school, aged 12 or so. In my sixth form there was a large shed with freeweights in which we were given rudimentary training about how to lift by the rugby coach. To be fair he was an ex international so I guess he probably knew what he was doing. At uni we had a few free weights upstairs in boathouse. In London I joined the Virgin Active in Islington when it first opened in I guess the mid 2000s and stayed a member for many years. For the last 10 years ago I've been going usually once a week to a couple of gyms for PT training because I found I needed more help with stretching etc. 

I never really do cardio in a gym, I prefer to go running outside. And I suspect that people who lift to get ripped are often doing themselves more harm than good. But I do think there is a genuine health benefit in regularly lifting weights just to keep you mobile and active, particularly as you get older. But I've never done it more than about once a week.

I find after a gym session I'm mad hungry... will sometimes just mindlessly grab a bit of bread and eat it

I'm terrible at gym. I don't think I've been been to one since school. A forward roll. balance beam, vault, crash mat. Climbing up the rope was hardest.  

Rose can you not find who will do one on one classes with you?  I know a guy who happily does video sessions with people at home which means there's plenty of encouragement and variety rather than just doing your own thing regularly.  My local gym also does outdoor sessions all through the summer.

@Sails  Yes, Looked into PTS - but miss the gym - the other people and the music etc.  Might have to look again. There's lots going on in the park - but it's all a bit regimented.  My pilates class was great - had all the resistance machines and one to three ratio of instructor to clients but can't afford it anymore.  Maybe I should take up sailing! Ha! I'd be completely rubbish.  Another local gym did outside stuff during the pandemic - but not any more.

I don’t know anyone under 70 who *never* does to a gym. I know plenty of people like myself who only go rarely.

But you'd actually have to join a gym wouldn't you? The financial commitment. All those horror stories about people trying to terminate contracts with Fitness First. Is everyone you meet under the age of 70 a member of a gym? 

The long hours culture of the last 20 years makes this necessary, as people don't have the time for leisurely exercise, plus their eating has become dysfunctional, plus vanity and insta now obvs. Don't lie, everyone does it.

The one thing I really do miss living where I do is having a yoga studio to go to. 

I find it really hard to motivate myself to do it at home alone.. but if I booked a class and just went to it I really enjoyed it. 

I hate gyms though. 

you don’t have to pay membership at many council ones and where you do it’s often pay monthly

but certainly, the considerable majority of people I know under 70 are members of gyms

the thing to do with FF is just stop paying them. what they gon do fgs

Are you suggesting I just go over there and kneecap the guy at Fitness First if he doesn't let me out of the gym membership. Can;t we just do arm wrestling or something?

Sails - you are outlier amongst middle class professionals who live in cities for sure. 

Even the proper pasty lard ar8e partners in their 50s at my place are seeing PT's or going to some sort of exercise class these days. 

As well as the health thing being constantly photographed for social media is driving ever greater vanity I think. 

I will only admit to not being a member of a gym. I have tried out some of that outdoor gym equipment at the park. A form of torture. 

I’m not admitting to not ever going to a gym because I do sometimes go to a gym. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to believe that most people of working age go to the gym sometimes. I’m also about the same age as you and I don’t remember gyms ever just being for narcissists, but then I don’t generally share your WOW MODERN LIFE IS SO DIFFERENT thing tbh. 

I didn't set foot in a gym once age between 30 and nearly 40 (and went rarely in my 20s). I go at least 3 times a week plus play sport or run another 3 times. 

If you do a desk job and don't make a point of exercising things go down hill very quickly from late 30s onwards. 

what sport do you play, Donno? I am always keen to get in to a sport but struggling to find where to start. I had considered walking football as a step up to getting back into the real deal blood and thunder thing, which my uncle played in the gateshead kickabout leagues til he was 65

I never go to a gym. Went once, more than 10y ago (I am in my 30s) to get an induction and realise that yes, I don't find anything appealing about a closed space with several dozen sweaty people and machines you need instructions to use safely. I've tried a few group sessions since (bodybalance etc), but none of them was worth the hassle for me. Each to their own, of course.

But I swim, run occasionally and do bodyweight exercises / pilates / yoga at home.

I never go to a gym. I have a concept 2, turbo trainer and some weights at home plus a bike and running shoes.

I go to the gym 5 or 6 times a week and I do judge people who don't go. You can always tell who doesn't go by the fact that they just look out of shape.


I refuse to date girls who don't frequently hit the gym - even yoga bunnies don't have the same physique as those who do free weights. 

love the hardbody look, I must say, but I am not arrogant enough to impose requirements on women in terms of how best to present themselves for my delectation 

particularly with men in middle age you can tell who does exercise and who doesn't

even if slim without exercise you lose muscle and start to get that old man's body

mid 40s seem to be a bit of a tipping point

Escaped. Thanks I will check it out. 


The main issue though is that as soon as I pull my mat out and start throwing shapes the cats both get very intrigued and I end up with a cat butt right in my face or someone trying to climb my leg for attention. 

it’s rather distracting. 


Didn't go ever for years (just went running for fitness), but about a year ago I listened to the endless Times 2 articles telling me everyone ought to do resistance training and signed up.

Now I love it and go 2-3 times a week. The mobility benefits more than anything. As soon as I started trying to lift weights it was obvious I basically couldn't bend. 

Realise pretty quickly that no-one else in a gym cares what you're doing or is paying you any attention at all. 

Resistance training is very important as you age, and as noted you can deffo tell who looks after themself and who doesn’t. 

I am not a member and have no intention of becoming a member again. I was a member in my 20's and never used it. Biggest waste of money. For me gyms are one of the most depressing places on earth. I would much rather play a sport, or just go for a run and do some push ups. 

Laz - if you are considering walking football you probably do need to think about exercising a bit more. I don't know anyone under 60 who plays that! 

I have been playing a bit of (oldies) touch rugby.