The article about Michael Karolchyk and the his gym, the AntiGym, in the latest Men's Fitness magazine was by far the most interesting part of the magazine. Apparently, he's made quite a splash in Denver, on Fox News, and just about anywhere else he graces with his presence. His ads on teeVee latenly insult fat people (CHUBBIES). His web site is hypersexualized. His company motto is: "Have sex with the lights on!" He walks around with a t-shirt that says, "NO CHUBBIES". He throws cupcakes, rubber fish, and twinkies at his clients who he thinks aren't putting their all into their work at his gym. People who don't put meet goals get put on "the Jimmy Dean Sausage List." With his bedside manner, he sounds like a reincarnation of Vince Gironda.
Check it out: http://www.theantigym.com/index2.html
Frankly, this guy intrigues me. I've watched a few interviews and this guy, in case you haven't figured this out already, is a no bullshit kind of guy. If you're fat, then he tells you. He actions aren't motivated by people's feelings. He's wants results and he'll get them any way he deems necessary. If you read or listen to what he says, it's hard not to realize that he's a smart guy.
Still, there is an obvious question: does his borderline-abusive methods of motivation help or hurt people? Many observe that his training has a drill instructor feel to it. I have a friend who was a drill instructor and he explained that there is a reason why drill instructors are so hard on trainees: They need to be broken down so they can be rebuilt in a manner that ensures success. People usually won't change themselves that radically without being prodded and forced to do so. Now, DI's are rebuilding people to function in war. Karolchyk does this so people learn to live healthier and better.
It may sound excessive since his clients aren't going to war but Karolchyk is hitting at a core issue: people need to realize that they need to abandon their lifestyle. Bad lifestyle is dangerous, expensive, and degrading. Maybe Karolchyk's penchant for telling fat people that they won't get a spouse if they're overweight ("You'll never get a hubby if you're a chubby!") is degrading but how does it compare to diabetes, cancer, arthritis, clinical depression or impotence?
This isn't to say that I agree with Karolchyk. If he threw a twinkie at me, I'd throw a punch at him. I don't generally like to fixate on the physical and carnal pleasures of getting in shape (except in a joking manner). I see a higher calling to being in shape than just getting laid. I think that, as a whole, this guy does more good than harm. I think that people need to grow a thicker skin, start being accountable for their actions, and start doing what it takes to get their bodies healthy. All told, I think this is what Michael Karolchyk has in mind.