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    Gym Heroes
by Ryan L. J. Joseph
‘The iron dungeon’, ‘Arnold’s house’, ‘the place fat goes to die’. We all have slangs that feel just as good to say as actually working-out, but whatever we call it, the gym is ultimately where we go to create change in our life. Some of us are there to look better, others to step up a lacking health game. Member or not, the gym is now a big deal, and you better believe it.
Generation-Y, now pushing their twenties and early thirties, aren’t just flexing muscle but their wallets as well. Greater demand for fitness products and services have forced the emergence of the popular ‘wellness' movement, and with the global outcry for more organic foods on grocery shelves, the health & fitness industry is the biggest it has ever been...and we're loving it.
Coerced by opportunity, the business world folded and everything from large corporations to small-businesses were swallowed-up by this seemingly insatiable monster-industry. Consequently, we’ve been seeing changes in the economic scenery ever since: Juice bars stand firm where hotdog carts seemed immovable; Pharmacy shelves are loaded with more fitness supplements than medicine; Cosmetic products that once sat in the basements of stay-at-home moms and door-to-door salesmen are being replaced by boxes of multivitamins for sale...and which of us doesn’t know at least one resident gym member that has the ‘hook up’ for below market-price protein power? All have responded to the call, and we’ve been getting better-looking since.
Sure, no gym is free of the seasonal ‘Carnival creeper’, the pre-summer 'one monther' or the member that swears there's nothing left in the tank for a last rep then chips to soca music between sets, but they are a dying breed. It’s all serious business for the now typical member and getting to the gym has become just as important as getting to work or your daughter’s recital on-time. Gyms are staying open longer, members are training harder and membership fees are being paid in-advance.
Why the gym-craze though? Did we all just wake up one day deciding to be healthier, or did the ‘fat-stats’ finally scare us into action?
Maybe it’s a bit of both, but we’d have to admit that modern fashion trends of tighter fitting clothes and in-your-face media 'pedestalizing' leaner-looking movie stars have played their parts, and have played them well. Intentional or not, with these perfect-body images deposited into our memory banks, our own mid-sections, whose size is exaggerated by the sitting position (or so we tell ourselves), leave a lot to be desired and we’re more motivated than ever to run to the nearest gym echoing the meme caption; "Here, take my money!”
So if you're not in the gym, chances are you're in the minority and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been asked in the last two days “can I get a spot?”, “how many sets do you have left?” or the popular “what’s your max, bro?”
Whatever reasons are driving us, all roads seem to lead to the gym. The gains are certainly worth it, and that love-hate relationship with a personal trainer, workout buddy or gym-crew is often just what we need to create that change we became members in the first place for.

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