Updated: Mar 31, 2022
Having listened to over a decade of weight gym chatter while working out I can honestly say I have never heard people discussing political philosophy or “ethics” while working out. Gyms of course are a place for working out and the fact that I haven’t heard this conversation is a good thing. More productive use of equipment ensures that everyone’s money is well spent. But people at gyms do discuss current events when such matters appear on gym TVs or they will discuss elections in locker rooms (and obviously these are not exhaustive cases and there are other examples). These are two of many topics discussed during gym socializing. My experience is that the conversations almost always converge on mainstream media talking points. The conversation never addresses nuance. And that is okay. For the most part, gyms are ideological commons.
Gym space might seem hostile to leftists that believes that the ought rhetoric of body positivity and fat acceptance are is but the us versus them binaries that a lot of these leftists hold contradicts this belief that ought exists as is.
And to be honest body oughts are a cope in antifascist space. And they are a dangerous one at that.
For me to feel like an antifascist beside me truly has my back I need them to be working out in a strength and power building capacity (fighting sports, martial arts and mixed martial arts combined with strength training is the pinnacle of training but it is not absolutely necessary). This is not a debate! In the Spartan military it was considered disgraceful for a Spartiate to return to Sparta without his shield. It meant the Spartan wasn’t doing his job to protect the next man in the phalanx. And this is why it is unacceptable for antifascists to show up to participate in an antifascist activity if they are not physically prepared for the activity.
Fascist ideology is not normative gym culture but nationalistic fervor, rejection of weakness, and radical collective action does not make fascists orphans in a gym. Gyms are places where police officers and other nationalist devotees train their bodies for tactical operations. Essentially, the right-wing is training. And online in forums and in weight lifting groups they make fun of leftists who don't lift. The left needs to train hard because when we don’t exercise fascists are exercising with the goal of destroying us!
Only once have I found a person who seemed politically similar at the gym. And the way I got the sense of their political leanings II was later told by them that they were far left) had a lot to do with a combination of the person’s self-respect and respect for me. When someone respects their body, I know that if they are my ally and show up in an antifascist space beside me, they will respect my body during the battle!
For best health practices, The GroundUp recommends eating three meals a day, exercising at least five times a week, not getting bogged down by negative drama in person or on the internet by focusing on the love that dwells in your heart, never engaging in infidelity, not smoking and drinking rarely and primarily in celebration of victories!