Every time someone works out at this Glenview, Illinois gym, they help pay the bills. They also get a cheaper membership.
That's because the ECO GYM, the first of its kind, powers itself through the work its customers do. The 24-hour, human- and solar-powered facilities harness the energy from its members' workouts on their kinetically powered machines and turn it into electricity. When someone works out for 30 minutes or more, which is tracked through their "flex rate" membership, they get a session. If someone records 26 sessions in a month, that month is free.
"We are setting national records in our personal training department," Dylan Brown, general manager of the ECO GYM in Glenview, said. "It's working. People are getting their goals accomplished and are being consistent. We care that our members succeed."
It isn't just the people creating electricity and solar panels that give this gym a progressive feel, either. Members sign in with fingerprint and facial recognition scanners. You can bring your kids and, instead of plopping them in front of a TV, leave them with trainers who explain healthy eating and safe exercise. All trainers have four year degrees or four years of training, and a coffee membership will leave a special cup of Joe waiting for you at the door on your way out.
"We have a tight community here, something you don't experience in most health clubs," Brown added.