Are Glitter Gyms No Longer Glitter?

Just a month ago I dusted off my old Tales From the Glitter Gym series after a 13-year hiatus. I followed it up by explaining the term “Glitter Gym”. Then something happened.

My mini-gym Fitness 19 closed. They transferred all the member’s accounts to the big box LA Fitness. Thankfully, without any price increase. I estimate that I’ve been at Fitness 19 for about 9 of the 13 years they were open. Except for the SilverSneakers incident, I didn’t see any of the crazy things I witnessed when I went to 24 Hour Fitness.

No More Glitter?

I’ve been at LA Fitness for 2 weeks now, and the gym culture has changed. The guys who would have gone to hard-core gyms a generation ago are here. They behave well. Weights are now racked correctly. People are using the equipment properly. I don’t see any of the nonsense that I used to see. They set the standard for proper gym etiquette.

It’s only been 2 weeks and I am going in the 5 am hour, so maybe things are different later in the day. But I am pleased with what I see. Jacked guys who would have been at hard-core “rust” gyms in the past are showing newbies by example how a shared exercise environment is supposed to work.

If you attend a big box “Glitter” gym, have you noticed an improvement in behavior as the hard-core gyms have closed and absorbed their members?

4 Comments

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  1. @MAS I don’t think any of the gyms near me would even be classified as a glitter gym, so maybe that’s part of the answer.
    I have noticed some interesting gym trends though. First, a lot of folks I know are now going to small boutique gyms like Orange Theory. Second, I’ve noticed YT bodybuilder Sam Sulek belongs to like five different gyms (two are at his college) and he rotates between them based on the vibe, equipment he’s looking for and the time of day or night. Third, on YT you see all these influencers filming at gyms and disrupting other’s workout. I’ve never seen anyone filming in my gyms though, so maybe that’s just an LA thing?

  2. @Jim – I haven’t seen any filming in the 5 AM hour, but I would guess it is happening later in the day.

    At my prior gym, one lady set up her phone to watch her workouts. She was video chatting with a trainer in Portuguese. Hiring a guy in Brazil is probably a lot cheaper than someone in Seattle.

  3. Stuart Gilbert

    May 4, 2024 — 2:55 am

    In my gym ( a 24 hour budget one) I get the worst of both worlds.
    All the “hardcore” have started training first thing in the mornings, when I usually go. So what was quiet is almost as busy as the peak time between 5 and 7 pm.
    The “hardcore” crowd have gone to the earlier times to have access to the equipment and escape the “hardcore wannabes”. These are the younger crowd who “think” they train hard, but are those more likely to be seen on their phones between sets, mistreating equipment and not replacing weights. They view the gym as a playground.

  4. @Stuart – After this post went out, I discovered that some gyms in LA the busy hours are 4-6 AM. The hardcore. That matches my experience here in Seattle.

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