US Gym Only Allows Overweight Members

WASHINGTON, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to join a gym and lose weight, but not everyone would qualify for membership to a chain of health clubs in the United States that requires its members to be at least 50 pounds (23 kg) or more overweight to join.


“All of our members are obese and the program that we implement you could characterize it as extreme weight loss,” Michael Stout, general manager of Downsize Fitness, told RIA Novosti on Monday about the gym’s program that is modeled after the popular US television show, “The Biggest Loser.”


“We focus on exercise and nutrition and provide support for everyone to get to their goal weight,” Stout said about the company that has locations in Chicago, Las Vegas and Dallas.

Each member works out with a personal trainer during each visit to the gym, who also instructs them on how to develop a healthy diet.

“Our goal is to help members change their lifestyle,” Francis Wisniewski, owner of Downsize Fitness, stated on the company’s website. “It’s not just about following a diet or working out; it’s about teaching members new habits they will embrace in and outside of the gym.”

Another unique feature of the health club is that there are no mirrors inside and all of the windows are frosted “for privacy,” Stout said.

“A lot of our members don’t want to look into a mirror, so by not having them that allows our members to reach their goals a lot quicker without thinking, ‘This is what I look like when I work out,’” Stout said.

Once members reach their goal weight, Stout said that they can continue to “work out in the program and our club as long as you want.”


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