Monday Without Mirrors At Blink Fitness Encourages Gym Members To Reevaluate Why They Work Out

Virtually everyone has been guilty of Instagramming their trip to the gym every now and then, but the Monday Without Mirrors program at Blink Fitness has made snapping a workout selfie a little bit harder. According to Cosmopolitan, the New York- and New Jersey-based franchise announced on Monday that certain locations will cover their mirrors with paper once a week in an effort to encourage focusing on health rather than appearance. The program was implemented in the Manhattan location this week, with plans to roll out to the rest of the chain by the end of June.

Monday Without Mirrors is an extension of Blink Fitness's motto, "Mood Above Muscle," which emphasizes fitness's positive effect on mental health; appropriately, their current marketing campaign, Every Body Happy, celebrates body diversity. According to InStyle, Monday Without Mirrors was intentionally timed to correspond with the beginning of bikini season, when many feel the pressure to have a so-called perfect body. (This just in: There's no such thing! All bodies are good bodies!)

"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,'" Blink Fitness's Vice President of Marketing, Ellen Roggemann told InStyle.

She went on to note the importance of feeling good about working out, saying that when people associate exercise with happiness, "they’ll keep coming back and eventually see some of those outer results." Fittingly, the paper used to cover the gym's mirrors features motivational phrases like "do it for the mood, not the mirror." In short, the program is intended to make gymgoers question why they work out: Because it makes them feel good, or because they want to change their reflection?

As Racked pointed out, Blink Fitness isn't the first gym to do away with mirrors for this very reason, and like its predecessors, Monday Without Mirrors isn't without criticism. According to detractors, covering the mirrors at a gym makes it difficult to work out safely. "It's kind of hard to make sure one is using proper form without a mirror," reads one Facebook comment. "And considering that your gym actively markets to beginning lifters, it's really odd that you'd make an issue of this, especially if it's just for the sake of alliteration."

However, the gym replied with a reminder that the paper is only in place on Mondays, and the mirrors are available six other days a week. Bustle has reached out to Blink Fitness for comment and will update if and when we hear back.

UPDATE: A representative for Blink Fitness emailed Bustle the following statement:

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. We’re giving our members a choice, and if they prefer to use mirrors while working out they still have access to them as we’re only covering parts of the club mirrors for one day.

The criticism has a point; mirrors are incredibly important to making sure you're exercising correctly, especially for those who are new to exercising. On the other hand, the initiative has a point — if the prospect of a mirror-free gym bothers you that much, it might be time to reevaluate why you're going in the first place.

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Images: Scott Webb/Unsplash; Giphy