Chicago Bally Workout 165

We’ve been posting on the soon-to-be-opening LA Fitness club, and the competitive implications for Bally. The presumption has been that surpassing the Bally experience was a given. A slamdunk. A no-brainer. But to be fair, we went ahead and performed a standard Google® search to learn what consumers thought about LA Fitness.

The complaints were extensive, and remarkably similar to the online gripes for Bally. LA Fitness haters didn’t hesitate to record everything from deceptive contracts to lazy staffers to dilapidated facilities. Here’s a particularly amusing tale:

Inappropriate behavior at LA Fitness!

This morning, as I was working out on one of those hamstring machines that has you lying on your stomach, face forward and raising the weights with your ankles, a personal trainer approaches me from behind, puts his hand on my back and tells me that this position is exposing me, that I should preserve my dignity and there are other machines that I can use “without shame” that will exercise the same muscles (the machines he pointed to were for quads, not for hamstrings, but that’s just a small point).

I asked him to remove his hand and was touching a woman he had never met also a part of preserving her “dignity.” When I complained to the general manager, however, that manager defended the personal trainer (who had interrupted a session with a paying client to monitor me). The manager said he himself touches people all of the time — that it’s good to have someone stop women from being “exposed.”

I think this is a terrible atmosphere for a woman to work out in, and I am now about to cancel my membership. Not that it’s relevant, but none of my skin was exposed, nor should I feel restricted by what machines I use by someone else’s (a personal trainer no less) mixed-up sense of “dignity.” And to have his inappropriate touching and monitoring be supported by the manager? What kind of company is this…

Could LA Fitness be the Sodom to Bally’s Gomorrah? And will it ultimately inspire a blog to compete with this one?

Enjoy your workout.



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