A new year, a new you--The mantra is always the same, but most fitness corporations trying to cash in on New Year's Resolution hopefuls can't escape the social stigma surrounding "the gym."
That was until "Downsize Fitness" opened in Chicago in 2011 with one strict requirement: You must be overweight to join.
According to the Associated Press, the chain has removed mirrors and fogged windows to give members an added sense of comfort while sweating it out on the treadmill. Potential members must be at least 50 pounds overweight to sign up.
"I've been overweight my whole life, and I was embarrassed to go to the gym myself," owner Francis Wisnewski told the AP about his inspiration for Downsize Fitness. He hopes the exclusive nature of his business helps those interested in losing weight feel less intimidated about going to the gym.
The chain has expanded from Chicago and Las Vegas to Dallas in 2012.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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