Workout 60

February 26, 2009

The Loop and South Loop Bally clubs both display bulletin boards. Yet there’s rarely anything noteworthy posted on them. The Loop club features photos of the staff. Is a personal trainer’s headshot a motivator for potential clients? Maybe it’s sort of like picking your “date” from an escort service à la ex-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Sorry, Ashley Dupré isn’t available for advanced aerobics today.

Enjoy your workout.



Workout 59

February 24, 2009

According to Bally Total Fitness® Rules & Regulations:

Alcoholic beverages (other than those sold in designated café areas) are not permitted on the premises or grounds. Do not drink alcoholic beverages before using the club facilities.

Um, haven’t seen anyone breaking these rules yet. But there are plenty of members who should not drink Biggie® and Super-Size beverages before hitting the club.

Enjoy your workout.


Workout 58

February 23, 2009

Oh boy! Bally presents the 7th Annual Billy Blanks® Tae Bo® Fitness Challenge Sweepstakes, where members can win a weekend in Los Angeles and meet Billy. To enter, you must bring a friend to Bally and coerce them to tour the club. You’ll even get two entries if the referral joins. Hey, we’ll throw in 100 entries if your friend cleans the toilet stalls.

Enjoy your workout.


Workout 57

February 22, 2009

In one of the South Loop Bally staff offices, there’s a whiteboard charting the personal trainers’ job performances. The graph captures rows and columns of numerical ratings – indicating the trainers are measured on everything from recruitment to instruction to sales of supplements. The figures varied wildly, although it wasn’t clear if all of them were full-time or part-time employees. These poor fitness dudes must be working on some type of commission system. It’s a wonder personal trainers aren’t begging members to buy Bally Soy Protein Bars® like Girl Scouts hawking Thin Mints.

Enjoy your workout.


Workout 56

February 21, 2009

The South Loop Bally men’s locker room always offers peculiar sights. For example, there are a wide variety of showerheads. Almost every shower has a different showerhead, as members somehow constantly manage to break the devices. Not sure why Bally doesn’t have consistent replacements on stock. The end result looks like a Home Depot bathroom fixtures display.

Enjoy your workout.


Workout 55

February 19, 2009

Bally members may use club lockers; however, there are many disclaimers to consider. For starters, big stickers like the one above appear inside nearly every locker. The Bally Total Fitness® Rules & Regulations were clearly scrutinized by the company lawyers:

Lockers are available for daily use only by members and guests. We recommend that members and guests do not bring valuables into the club and that each member purchase a combination lock or padlock to secure their locker while using the club facilities. DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES UNPROTECTED. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR STOLEN ARTICLES. Pursuant to your membership contract, you have waived any right to sue the club for lost or stolen articles. Due to the limited number of lockers available, we cannot allow locks to be left on overnight. When this occurs, the locks may be removed and any personal articles in the locker may be placed in the lost and found. We accept no responsibility for articles left behind. Club personnel are not allowed to accept responsibility for personal articles.

There are a few lockers with built-in locks that may be rented for about a buck. Most members bring their own locks, predominately from the standard Masterlock® varieties. But you’ll always see a couple of oddballs with the teeny locks typically used for carry-on luggage. Plus, a surprising number of dudes go sans lock. Probably the same brave souls who tread barefoot into the toilet stalls.

Enjoy your workout.


Workout 54

February 17, 2009

The Chicago Loop Bally has an unintentional workout routine for its members – the flights of stairs that must be climbed when entering and exiting the facilities. There are escalators to transport you from the street level to the lobby, but it’s one flight of stairs down to the main club floor, and a second flight to the locker rooms and free-weight area. So if you first go to the locker room, then work out on the main floor, return to the locker room, and finally leave the joint, you’ll have traveled six flights of stairs – with the added burden of hauling your personal gear for parts of the trek. We’ve seen newbies and fitness-challenged members seriously sucking wind on the way out.

Enjoy your workout.