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Olivares & Khan 1

Jathzeel Olivares, Rafee Khan

Professor Stephen Topf
English 114B
21 April 2014
Fitness Centers
As athletes weve always believed in physical health and implemented the joys of
exercising into our lifestyle. Together we decided to investigate the social and ethical value
systems that make fitness centers unique. We decided to observe the fitness centers that each of
us visit regularly. Rafee preferred to exercise at the LA Fitness Center while Jay favored the 360
Health Club. Both of us had different and similar requirements for choosing a fitness center.
Therefore, we began to evaluate each fitness center and focus our attention towards location,
wealth, people, and ethics. Through our observations we discovered that each fitness center had
two different types of attendees. The members at the LA Fitness Center are more ambitious to
physically improve themselves. In comparison, the members at the 360 Health Club are less
determined to become healthy. Thus, the LA Fitness Center upholds the reputation for physical
improvement while the 360 Health Club promotes physical entertainment.
Our first objective was to observe the similarities and difference in physical appearances.
Since Jay is a member at the 360 Health Club, he was given the responsibility to intensively
inspect the area. The first thing Jay noticed was the grand stone staircase leading from the
parking lot. After entering the first thing Jay noticed was brightness of the entire health club. The
golden hue in the atmosphere gave an energetic aura with blissful feeling. Next Jay noticed that
there was a nutrition bar; it was both convenient and healthy. The health club was also elegant
and sophisticated; on the first level it had indoor plants and marble floors. These features made
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people feel as if they were on vacation, it looked like a paradise. As Jay reached the small gate
leading to the extracurricular facilities, he needed to be authorized by the personnel. Once
through, Jay spotted the bicycle room to his left and mostly saw women inside. On the next floor
there were glass rooms that were used for racquetball or handball. Beside it was the weight room,
it was the largest room in the club and was mostly occupied with men. The free weights and
upper body machines were located on the right side of the room. Located to the left were the
lower body machines and weights. Also, there was a special room used specifically for core
workouts. Jay realized that the weight room was bleak and dull compared to the rest of the club.
The crudeness of the place gave the area a sense of masculinity and pumped Jay up. Above was
the balcony and it only had treadmills, ellipticals and stair climbers with mostly women on them.
The health club also had an indoor turf field, basketball court, track, masseuse, and an outdoor
swimming pool. Overall the club had a paradise theme providing members with security,
tranquility, and entertainment.
As a member, Rafee was required to visit the LA Fitness Center in Inglewood. The LA
Fitness Center was a one-story tall building and had the potential to be two-stories. Once Rafee
entered the building he noticed the juice bar concealed in the right. Many of the members
werent drawn to the juice bar; it wasnt popular like the nutrition bar in the health club. Towards
the front was the receptionist table alongside several glass offices. Unlike the 360 Health Club,
the fitness center did not have a gate to restrict people from entering the gym. In the rear right
corner of the building was a small studio room with wood floors and mirrors. This room was
most likely used for miscellaneous activities such as Zumba, Ballerina, or yoga. However, the
studio room was normally vacant and was unpopular to the members. Also in the rear side of the
building was the locker rooms, inside there were white lockers that were tarnished with rust.
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Beside the locker room was the spa, which consisted of a Jacuzzi and sauna. The main attraction
of the LA Fitness Center was the weight room; it occupied the majority of the buildings
capacity. Located to the left side of the weight room were the free weights and benches. The
right side of the building consisted of cable machines and at the front there were treadmills,
ellipticals, and stair climbers. All the cardio machines were placed towards the front windows
facing the parking lot. The interior of the fitness center was white and didnt have any
extravagant embellishments. Inside the lights were dim and the windows were tinted. All weights
in the fitness center were old and rusty; altogether the fitness center seemed to resemble a prison.
The atmosphere was stimulating and made Rafee feel robust. All in all, the fitness center
represented itself to be a place for training and physical improvement.
The appearance and facilities of each fitness centers is the represents the values in each
space. For instance, the 360 Health Club had physical features such as plants, bright lights, and
marble floors to mimic the theme of a tropical island. Once again, the health club had spa, and
gates in order to insure security, tranquility, and entertainment. The health club valued the
members with mental and physical satisfaction rather than improvement. Even though the LA
Fitness Center was not extravagant or comfortable, it represented physical fitness. Most normal
fitness centers are perceived to be a place for training and exercise with the intent to improve
ones physical body. Since the 360 Health Club the necessary equipment to aid in physical
improvement it is still considered a fitness center. However, the health club gives this illusion
since it had the available necessities yet the health club is actually promoting serenity.
Nonetheless, the main objective of a fitness center is to provide and inspire fitness.
The 360 health club is located in Reseda and confined within a neighborhood. The
fitness center is surrounded by automotive body shops and auto parts stores. In the corner, there
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is also a marijuana dispensary and 24hr animal hospital. The health club is also connected to a
privately owned physical therapy clinic. Since the health club is located within a neighborhood,
it is more hidden to the public. Even though, it is somewhat concealed to the public the health
club is always crowded. Stores that have some sort of relationship with the center surround
mostly all fitness centers. The body shops and privately owned business do not seem to have a
relationship with the 360 Health Club. The location seems underprivileged but the club members
seem to be very wealthy.
The LA Fitness Center is located in the prime shopping location of Inglewood. The
fitness center is part of a plaza alongside GNC and Subway. Thus, it gives the entire plaza a
theme for healthy living. The FDA has recently advocated a campaign to ensure healthy living
and reduce obesity. And that is why the LA Fitness is around other fitness and healthy related
businesses. The city is mostly populated with African Americans and Hispanics, making these
groups to be the predominant ethnicities in the fitness center. However, the fitness center has
very few memberships even though its located in a prime business location. Since the proximity
of the neighborhoods distant from the fitness center, it can be the reason for business loss.
Nonetheless, the LA Fitness Center location is paramount but it is also the reason for losing all
its business due to competition.
The people at the 360 Health Club are mostly wealthy adults. Location does not really
affect the type of people that have a membership with it because the people there do not live in
that area. This fitness center charges a hefty $60-$90 a month plus fees, plus the valet parking
and the usage of the physical therapy center, which is way more than the usual of local fitness
centers. The city of Reseda per capita brings in around $20,000 a year, and the average
household brings in around $50,000. The amount that this club charges does not really fit with
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the gross income of the people in the Reseda area. It's very noticeable that the members do not
live in that area because all the cars in the parking lot are very expensive vehicles. Professional
athletes also come to this facility but never any children. The 360 Health Club has more of a
relaxed atmosphere, where members can just go there to enjoy themselves and get away from
their daily tasks. The members are there to get a decent workout and to relax. Jay noticed that
Middle Eastern and elderly American people are the majority at this health club. It could be
because they have the economical support to pay for all of it. The elderly stick to cardio or to
tennis but mainly go there because of the physical therapy center. The younger people especially
women focus on the pool and the core workout room. The young men focus on the weight room
and only a few focus on the cardio section. Once a person steps inside the center, there is no way
to tell if they are wealthy or not. Only way to tell is once they leave and get in their cars. But
besides that, people are there to stay active to make themselves better. Some groups focus on
different part of the body or different exercises but ultimately they are there be physically active
and to have a relaxed feeling. Through much analysis we were able to determine the correlation
between wealth and fitness. Jay discovered that the wealthy members were less dedicated to
fitness and concentrated more on pleasure.
At the LA Fitness the gym had fewer members compared to the 360 Health Club. In
Inglewood the income per capita is very low and many of the residents are on welfare. Since
many people cant afford the luxury of becoming a member and working out. However, those
who can are dedicated to fitness and improving oneself. Rafee observed that most members were
lean, muscular, or moderately fit. As theory we both believe that the members at the LA fitness
have more incentive towards physical improvement because they have less determination for
wealth. The dominant ethnicities present in the fitness center are African Americans and
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Hispanics. Rafee also evaluated other details such as vehicles, accessories, and clothing the
members owned. Most of the vehicles were inexpensive and made before the 2000s. The fitness
center mostly emphasized on the enormity of its weight room and it was most popular attraction
in the building. Many people visited the LA Fitness Center with one ambition and it was to
become stronger, faster, or bigger.
Every single fitness center shared qualities but also differentiated from one another. They
all had characteristics that made them the same, that made them a fitness center. Some stood out
more than others because of special qualities. The type of people that visited these centers is the
reasons that make each space different. Each center may have different equipment and different
events but ultimately the people are what make them different. The people have options on what
fitness center they want to attend, but their choice is based on their lifestyle. Age, gender, wealth,
and even location are factors that play a big role in why people make their decisions. The 360
Health club is a high-end center, so there will be people with money. The LA fitness is located in
a not so well area, and that is why not many people attend it. So overall, certain factors affect the
choices of people and why they go to that center. A persons lifestyle ultimately decides why
they attend that specific gym.

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Work Cited
"About FDA." What Is FDA Doing to Lower/reduce the Risk of Childhood Obesity? U.S. Food
and Drug Administration, 10 May 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
"Community Facts" American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.