You need to be obese to join this US gym

Washington, Jan 8 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A popular New Year's resolution is to join a gym and lose weight, but not everyone would qualify for membership to a chain of health clubs in the US that wants its members to be at least 23 kg or more overweight to join.

"All of our members are obese and the programme that we implement you could characterise it as extreme weight loss," said Michael Stout, general manager of Downsize Fitness, about the gym's programme that is modelled after popular TV show "The Biggest Loser".

"We focus on exercise and nutrition and provide support for everyone to get to their goal weight," Stout said about the company that has locations in Chicago, Las Vegas and Dallas.

During each visit to the gym, each member works out with a personal trainer who also instructs them on how to develop a healthy diet.

"Our goal is to help members change their lifestyle," Francis Wisniewski, owner of Downsize Fitness, said on the company website.

"It's not just about following a diet or working out, it's about teaching members new habits they will embrace in and outside of the gym."

Another unique feature of the health club is that there are no mirrors inside and all of the windows are frosted "for privacy", Stout said.

"A lot of our members don't want to look into a mirror, so by not having them that allows our members to reach their goals a lot quicker without thinking, 'This is what I look like when I work out'," Stout said.

Once members reach their goal weight, Stout said, they can continue to "work out in the programme and our club as long as you want".

--IANS/RIA Novosti

pm/vt

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