A new workout class recently drew a ton of buzz on the internet because of a new “bare-bones” gimmick–literally. This NYC fitness studio is pushing out a naked, bodyweight fitness class and rationalizing it by touting the “unique” benefits of working out naked.
The truth is however, that this is just another hook to try and lure people through the door.
The three supposed benefits of working out naked are: greater body awareness, empowerment, and unrestricted movement. The last one in particular is incredibly funny to me, as they are trying to push the fact that being naked allows you to perform exercises more effectively because clothes aren’t getting in the way, as if that wasn’t obvious enough. In addition to the absurdity of this statement, the only way I can see how being naked will feasibly improve your body awareness is because you’re not wearing shoes. Shoes do decrease your proprioceptive awareness by putting something between your foot (which sends a lot of sensory information) and the floor. So maybe you can “get naked” and just take off your shoes every once in a while!
But perhaps the more pressing issue is the idea that getting naked will be empowering for those who are looking to get fit in the first place, and allow them to feel more comfortable in their own bodies. Hate to say it but it, doesn’t actually work that way.
One of the biggest barriers that prevents people from going to the gym is the fear of being judged and looked at. People who want to get fit likely don’t feel comfortable in the first place, and asking them to strip down just adds more salt to the wound. I can’t see this class as anything more than an ego-driven echo chamber for elitists and narcissists who feel a superficial need to be better than everyone else just because they look better naked.
For most people, being in this environment will further deter them from continuing their lifestyle pursuits and actually make them feel worse about themselves. It’s certainly not the place for people who seek fitness and don’t feel the need to hurt other people to make themselves better. At the end of the day, this naked workout trend is just another PR stunt that tries and fails to make the part of the fitness industry that actually cares about helping people seem like a joke.
by Dan Cerone