This Gym is Going Mirrorless for a Really Important Reason

It's all about the body and the mind.

Stay Healthy and Fit in 2016 Lead
Photo: Getty Images

When exercise seekers visited Blink Fitness’s Manhattan locations on Monday, they likely noticed something very different about the club—like the fact that its mirrors were missing.

No, they weren’t robbed, the mirrors were simply blanketed as part of the chain’s Monday Without Mirrors initiative in an effort to encourage guests to think about fitness differently.

“The goal of the Monday Without Mirrors campaign is to challenge our members to think about how exercise makes them feel, not just how it makes them look,” says Ellen Roggemann, Blink Fitness’s Vice President of Marketing. “By covering the mirrors, we’re encouraging our members to take a stand with us and sign the mirror cover showing their support that exercise is about so much more than what we see in our reflection. With ‘swimsuit season’ getting into full swing, we want our members to shift their summer fitness goals to feeling healthy and confident versus chasing the perfect ‘summer body.’ When people associate working out with a positive emotion as opposed to just honing in on physical changes, they’ll keep coming back and eventually see some of those outer results.”

Monday Without Mirrors was inspired by the club’s Every Body Happy campaign, which featured ads showing of a variety of confident gym-goers who are all shapes and sizes. Their philosophy is Mood Above Muscle, an idea I’m pretty sure I need to start incorporating into my everyday life.

“Mirrors in health clubs and gyms are great tools to check form to ensure you are doing exercises correctly. Yet, regardless of shape, size, or fitness level, the mirror can serve as a distraction when we focus too much on how we look, comparing ourselves to others around us. The majority of the fitness industry is blanketed by images of ‘perfect’ bodies, putting pressure on people to achieve them,” says Roggemann. “We want to change the rhetoric around fitness to focus on the emotional benefits of exercise, and encourage our members to take a break from the mirror and concentrate on working out to feel healthier. We work out for the mood, not just the mirror.”

Monday Without Mirrors will roll out to Blink Fitness’s Long Island and Queens locations on June 13, followed by their New Jersey destinations on June 20, and Westchester, Bronx, and Brooklyn clubs on June 27.

How cool is that? It goes without saying that mirrors are incredibly useful when you're trying to ace that move in barre, but this initiative definitely has a point.

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