Okay, so I work out at the Y, which is a pretty great place, but I have a few ideas which could improve the experience, and also the attendance. The first is environmental in nature. I thought of all the collective workouts happening all over the country and the world, and thought: why can't they hook up the stationary bikes and rowing machines to the power grid, so that we are all generating energy which can be put to good use, and which is made by burning calories instead of coal? I know I'm not the first to think of this--so c'mon! I bet more people would go to the gym if they thought they'd be helping out the planet too.
The second has to do with the very special Expresso bikes. (This reminds me of the time at the University of Chicago when the newspaper editor joked he was going to the Henry Crown Gymnasium to work out on the Lexis-Nexis machines--which incidentally is a law database) Anyway, the Expresso bikes have various scenic routes to ride, and they also have a video game which features Chinese dragons. This is all very good, but I have some better game ideas.
How about "Cyclo Driver: Streets of Hanoi, Vietnam"? Your goal is to drive your cyclo from the university to the No Noodles shop without getting hit by a crazy motorcyclist! Bonus points at intersections.
Or what about "North Shore X-treme Crazy Mountain Bike Ride"? The more jumps, drops, and skinny tracks through the Pacific Northwest terrain, the better!
Or, finally, "2 AM: Ukrainian Village to Lakeview, Chicago." Nothing like a smooth ride down those city streets when the traffic is quiet and last call has just been made.