Oh gosh, something to be concerned about: people now are just going to cheap gyms and working out and leaving, rather than indulging in the "community" of group classes and flirting and juice bars. Will gyms ever be annoying again?
I mean of course this is a patented New York Times fake trend story, so it is not to be believed in a literal sense, but it does point to a very real concern among a certain subset of urbanites that we are witnessing the end of, begin quotes, "the everything-and-the-kitchen sink gym featuring high-spirited classes, top-of-the-line cardio machines, weights - and perhaps a shot at striking up a conversation with Ms. Lithe sipping a post-workout smoothie." End quotes.
Instead, if you can believe it, you have people just going to bare-bones cheapo gyms that have nothing but just a bunch of exercise equipment in a plain room, a place where people go in and maybe listen to some music on their iPods and do their workout and then leave the gym without ever having partaken of a single Zumba class or consulted with a single personal trainer or selected a single spiritual guru or connected to their peers through some Cycle Karaoke. They haven't made a single lasting friendship based around dodgeball or hip-hop dance or mandatory trapeze training. They probably have not even started a personal "fitness lifestyle" blog and discussed that blog and their own personal yoga preferences with a fellow yoga enthusiast while perched motionless upon a piece of gym equipment while wearing a pricey and spotless matching name brand spandex workout outfit purchased especially to match their equally high-priced running shoes which are, ironically—and we're not trying to make a big deal out of it, it's just a funny kind of thing—unsuitable for the types of workouts that one might be expected to perform inside a gym, were one pursuing a goal of "getting in shape."
Clearly it is a matter of concern when gym "clients" begin eschewing $8 post-workout smoothies from the juice bar in favor of mixing up some cheap protein powder at home, because when the juice bar goes, there goes the camaraderie with fellow people who attend your gym in order to hang out at the juice bar, which is what the gym is all about. First the juice bars will close down and then the personal trainers will fall away and soon you won't have anyone at all to pay enormous sums of money to so that they can stand next to you and say "Now, lunges," as well as making up some things about your "form" as you do those lunges, and then knitting their brow and writing meaningfully on a notepad as if they were working out some complicated yet essential fitness equations that you could never fathom, rather than just writing down "Lunge: 3 sets of 10," so that they can tell you to do four sets of ten next week, as they pocket another $80 from you.
What is next? People trying to "learn" about these things via the ample free resources on the internet? While you're poking away on the internet like some nerdlinger, Ms. Lithe is sipping her post-workout smoothie with some other guy who pays too much money to go to Equinox and do an embarrassing and unproductive number of sets of bicep curls. Next thing you know there won't be any room at all in the fitness industry for heroes like David Barton, because everyone's started attending reasonably-priced gyms with no in-house DJs and a concomitantly small chance of eye-fucking a Ralph Lauren model for 45 minutes as you pedal an Exercycle at a leisurely pace.
Just a room full of people working out. It's a real shame.