The Olympic Gym

Doing Spin in the gym during the Olympics made me wonder how gyms could capitalise on the raised interest in sport. Most gyms don’t have the facilities or staff to let people try out all the various different Olympic sports. However, perhaps there’d be some mileage in devising exercise routines that map onto the physical demands and skills of specific sports. For things like cycling, it would be easy to simulate actual olympic events such as the road race that Wiggins won, by building climbs, flats and breakaways into a Spin session and talking the participants through the session as though they were doing the race. A video of the road race unfolding in front of them on a video screen would make it even more realistic. Rowing machines and swimming pools could be used in similar ways. For other sports a little more imagination would be needed, but the way that Aerobics classes have been adapted in recent years to become Body Pump, Zumba, etc., shows just what is possible.

The four year Olympic cycle is something else that might motivate people. Gyms could offer programmes that seek to build people up to a peak at the time of the next Olympics, perhaps with mini peaks for the odd “European Championships”, or “World Championships” thrown in the intervening years.

Links between Gyms and local clubs that actually do the sports concerned could also be established with mutually beneficial results – more customers for the Gyms and more people doing the sports. The Gyms could provide club members with the regimes to build the strength and body control required by a particular sport; and the clubs would provide opportunities for gym members who want to try out a particular sport for real.

These ideas can be used freely, but an acknowledgement would be appreciated and, if you make any money from them, I would hope for a contribution.

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