Fitness interrupted

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This article investigates the entanglement between embodiment and space, by unfolding the consequences of the Covid19-lockdown on fit bodies. We draw on workout diaries and phenomenological interviews with 22 Danish gym-goers and analyze their attempts to adapt their workouts and/or generate new embodiments within their new spatial conditions. We find that lockdown threatened and disrupted carefully cultivated embodiments, and generated fluctuations. We illustrate the complexity of routinized and intensive gym-centered fitness, noting that it allows a sensation of occupying a free space and being in control–a perception that extends to other domains in their demanding personal and professional lives; but, on the other hand, it nourishes an inhibitive performance-orientation that is characteristic of the late modern world. We reflect on how the attachments to fitness embodiments reveal attachments to an order that is punitive, and difficult to replace despite severely changed spatial and material conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConsumption Markets and Culture
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)97-113
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • COVID lockdown
  • disorientation
  • embodiment
  • gym space
  • performance orientation
  • phenomenology


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