Observational Project 1 Essay

Submitted By elanasafiev
Words: 1616
Pages: 7

My observational research was conducted at a local gym in the University Village. Since many people have weekly routines, I decided to come on three separate Wednesdays. Approximately 45 different people visited the gym each hour and a half period, made up of 60% males and 40% female. Upon entering the gym, there were three major sections. Cardio equipment was in the front which consisted of treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes. Various cable machines designed to target different areas of the body were located in the middle. The back of the gym consisted of free weights. Mirrors were placed on the walls in the back where the free weights were located. Good detail. I realize this is just for a Sociology class so you do not have to go so in depth as you would for a descriptive English essay.
The first thing I noticed was the separation of sexes between the sections of the gym. Out of the 20 or so females occupying the gym in a given night, the majority of them were located in the cardio section. The females seemed to be evenly distributed among the three different types of machines making up the cardio section. It was pretty clear to me why the majority of females would limit themselves to the cardio section. In my experience, many of the women I talked to do not want to be described as being muscular. Women in our society often compare being attractive with being skinny. The physical characteristics of the females in the cardio section would concur with this theory. Many of them seemed to be in shape, but not muscular.
On average, only three to four women would visit the cable machine area using various machines for the lower and upper body. Many of these women had previously started out on the cardio equipment. The ones in the cable machine section had a different idea of attractiveness. They seemed to have more athletic, but more muscular body types. Only one or two women ventured into the free weight area on a given night. On one night, I did not observe any women in the free weight section. I wondered why the women using cable machines did not take advantage of the free weights. Free weights can have the same physical effect as the cable machines, often with more freedom and advantages. I would infer that females would not feel feminine enough using free weights considering it was made up primarily of males. It is also possible that the girls may not have felt comfortable in an area surrounded by so many men. Good statement at the end. You nailed it!
There were also a few outliers in both the cardio, and cable machine section that were overweight and probably didn’t invest as much time in exercise as the others. I noticed these girls were not consistent in going to the gym. Many of the girls who appeared to be overweight were not familiar faces. Most were only seen once maybe twice in my observational experience which would explain why they might be overweight. Honestly, this whole paragraph does come off as kind of offensive. You might make a correlation that these girls that were overweight are mostly misguided, uneducated on weight lifting/nutrition, very intimidated etc. Maybe talk about how they were being treated in the gym, looked at, talked to, and stereotyped. Remember that although the majority of America is overweight it is still very taboo and frowned upon by society, especially gym society. Just look at bb.com.
Opposite of the females, the majority of males were located in the back with the free weights. Out of the 25 male, occupants about 15-20 would alternate between free weights and cable machines, although, they would spend most of their time in the free weight section. Also, there was a big variation between male body types. Many of the guys were between 140-190 pounds with athletic body types. Some were easily over 200 pounds and very muscular. One of the males in this group I knew personally. “Jeff” is motivated by a football career. At an earlier time, Jeff explained that…