Gyms - ranging from small private studios to major chains like Equinox - are getting a makeover.
They’re ditching the rows of elliptical machines and bench presses. And they’re replacing them with the hot new “jungle gym” look - like monkey bars, rope climbing walls, and poles to climb.
What’s sparking the makeover? It’s part of the new exercise trend called “functional fitness," where you do exercises that mimic real life situations, and work your entire body. For example, going from a squat directly into a bicep curl is a functional exercise, because it uses the muscles we need to pick up a heavy object off the ground.
Experts say you get a lot more bang for your buck health-wise, because functional exercises work multiple muscles simultaneously. And that leads to better overall strength and mobility, and a higher calorie burn.
Gyms are also gravitating toward functional fitness layouts because they’re cheap. They hardly require any equipment, and cost about $6 bucks per square foot, compared to about $50 dollars a square foot for machines.
But treadmill lovers – fear not.
Although a lot of gyms are thinning out the herd of machines – they won’t disappear entirely.
But the first equipment that’ll go is stuff that works just one muscle at a time, like the leg press.