Bubbles & Squat: Did Dionysos just sneak into the fitness center

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In Denmark a new fitness chain has seen the light of day. It is called Repeat and on their facebook page it is presented as “A new breed of fitness. Metropolitan environment. Flexible terms & prices. Join the revolution.” As part of this ‘fitness revolution’ they introduced, in the autumn of 2016, a new concept called ‘Bubbles & Squat’, where fitness training is combined with Champagne and a live DJ. One of the invitations for this event describes how “we spice up your friday training with live DJ and lots of refreshing bubbles, to make sure that you are ready for the weekend (...).” Before New Years Eve they arranged a similar event, and on their facebook event they wrote that ‘Your last training in 2016 might as well be a party’. The concept has been popular, and in the spring of 2017 it evolved into similar events such as ‘Cocktails & Kettlebells’. Our paper aims to contribute with a philosophical examination of this new breed of fitness. At first sight it may seem like an absurd case, a ridiculous new phenomenon where popular culture distorts the otherwise healthy fitness practice. But at the same time it appears to be meaningful for the many participants. So, does this way of mixing fitness training with alcohol, music and parties reveal a new fitness training phenomenon that we should actually take seriously? Sport and alcohol have been, and are today, related in various ways. The relationship has been analysed from a range of scientific perspectives, ranging from historical and sociocultural, over physiological to ethical and moral analyses. Collins and Vamplew (2002), for example, described alcohol as a central part of the recommended regimes for sportsmen and athletes in the 19th century pre-modern sports. Within the philosophy of sport Carwyn Jones (2016) has analysed sport and alcohol through medical and ethical lenses, arguing that it have become inextricably linked and that sports play a substantial role in the legitimation of excessive drinking. Jones problematize the use of sport for promoting alcohol through sponsorship and the alcohol-tolerant ethos which characterize many sports cultures. In our attempt to understand the declared ‘fitness revolution’ in Denmark we take a different approach. We conduct an existential philosophical analysis of ‘Bubbles and Squat” by drawing on Nietzsche’s (1999) distinction between two co-existing aesthetic human drives: the Apolline and the Dionysian. In the present context these can inform two very different approaches to fitness training. The Apolline approach to fitness describes the self-sculpturing and image-making fitnessperson, driven by a rational pursuit of a healthy and/or beautifull body. In contrast with this, the Dionysian approach to fitness describes the excessive, cheerful and lustful fitnessperson, driven by the intoxicated and enthusiastic desire for ecstacy and self-forgetfulness. The Apolline approach has obviously dominated modern fitness culture, but the case of ‘Bubbles & Squat’ may indicate that things are changing. Did Dionysos just sneak into the fitness center?
Publikationsdato10. maj 2017
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 10. maj 2017
BegivenhedThe 45th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS) - The Westin Resort & Spa , Whistler, Canada
Varighed: 5. sep. 20179. sep. 2017


KonferenceThe 45th Annual Conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS)
LokationThe Westin Resort & Spa


  • Fitness
  • Sport
  • Alcohol
  • Philosophy
  • Nietzsche