When a naked yoga studio opened in Edmonton, the prairies weren’t ready for the peaks and valleys they saw. But here in the gritty city of Hamilton we’re lining up for Nude Life Fitness, the West Mountain’s fully equiped fitness complex.
“Can you bare it?” asks the pink neon sign adorning the dark tinted windows of a nondescript strip-mall. As I enter the flesh centre (the name for the main workout room), what I see is a typical workout facility. The man on the elliptical listening to his iPod, getting into his swing. A heavy-set woman dead-lifting, and a man skipping rope. Of course, unlike the YMCA (which makes you wear underwear), everyone is naked.
No Shame, No Gain
Barbara Goldstein, the brains behind Nude Life, explains, “If you have a rock solid body, how many people are going to see it? Your spouse, your partner, a few people at the beach? If you go to Nude Life, hundreds will see you – it’s a reward for your hard work. On the flip side, if your a little pudgy around the edges, the shame of working out naked is just the motivator you need. It’s about honesty.”
Giving new meaning to private training, Barbara’s staff does one-on-one training, too. “You have to think of the trainers like nurses, there’s nothing they haven’t seen. It’s all out in the flesh centre, so there’s no room for hanky panky.” If you’re intimidated by private sessions, you can join one of the classes, Burn me on, Excite Bike, Booty Camp, Dr. Peacock’s medicine balls and 20/20 Zumba.
Putting the Strip in Strip Mall
The feedback from the community has been mixed. The patrons I talked to say they love the freedom, but it’s a bit tiresome for the eyes. Neighboring businesses worry the type of clientele it will bring to the sleepy West Mountain. “If you are willing to parade around your body, what else are you willing to do? I worry for the safety of our families,” says Shafir Abdul, owner of Always Time Convenience Market.
Nude Life Fitness invites people to come and form their own opinions at their Open House, Saturday, May 4th, 2pm-4pm. Dress code? Casual
Harvard Square Shopping Centre. Mohawk Rd W and Magnolia Dr.