Thick N Thin Studio in Broomfield, Colo. has joined the ranks of niche clubs that cater exclusively to plus-size individuals.
On Saturday, July 13, 2013, the co-ed studio will host its grand opening, with the purpose of creating a healthy environment in which individuals 30 or more pounds overweight can feel comfortable becoming more fit. The studio will offer exercise classes such as yoga and Zumba®, in addition to nutrition counseling.
Thick N Thin isn’t the first studio to cater to an exclusive, plus-size clientele. Downsize Fitness, with locations in Chicago and Dallas, welcomes only those individuals who are 50 or more pounds overweight. Body Exchange, which has five locations in Canada, similarly caters to plus-size women exclusively.
These types of studios tend to cause a bit of controversy. In June 2012, Body Exchange was the source of multiple blogs and new stories, some of which were supportive, and others furious, over the thought of a gym excluding fit individuals.
Personally, I don’t think exclusion is the main goal of studios such as Thick N Thin, Downsize Fitness and Body Exchange. Instead, I’d say inclusion is the main goal. Many plus-size people feel out of place in a traditional gym setting. As a formerly overweight individual, I can empathize with this feeling.
With obesity now being classified as a disease, any gym that’s purpose is to help individuals struggling with severe weight-gain is welcome in my book.
What do you think of these types of clubs? As a fitness professional, why would you argue that traditional gyms are a better fit for individuals looking to lose 30, 50 or 100 pounds? Give your opinion on these types of studios sharing the club marketplace.
Rachel Zabonick is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.
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