The gym is notorious for making people feel uncomfortable, awkward, and self-conscious. We put our bodies on display there and move in unflattering, indelicate ways, especially if weight lifting is involved. Some people grunt or yell loudly, and sweat is necessarily involved. We are not fully clothed when we work out; for me it even feels a bit strange to expose my legs, after a long winter of wearing pants and jeans. Some women, even, wear nothing but a sports bra and tight spandex shorts. It is for these reasons that many don’t go to the gym to begin with – they feel like they’re in too bad of shape, and like they’ll make a fool of themselves, which of course only perpetuates the status quo. And it’s true: people at the gym judge. I can’t help but take note of people who appear especially unflattering, who use improper technique, and who generally look out of place.
A new gym in the Basque region of Spain has found a way to make this whole ordeal even more uncomfortable: naked workouts.
“Easy Gym” – located in the northern city of Arrigorriaga – decided to offer nude work outs in an effort to battle declining memberships due to the recession. Owner Merche Laseca found there were a number of popular nudist activities in the area, and that 90% of the local naturist association members supported a naked gym.
“With the crisis we noticed there were fewer people using the gym… I’m not a nudist myself, though I have no problem with it. But this initiative is about the money,” Laseca told the BBC.
Of course, a number of skeptics have pointed out that working out naked is basically… really unsanitary. Another objection I might humbly submit is that there’s nothing “natural” to begin with about working out in a gym.
Not surprisingly, only four people showed up for the first naked work out session.