They are aren't they? Sanitised, narcissistic temples of preening self-worship, perfect for an atomised overworked society. Everything about them puts me off - the strutting; the individualism; the clunking, sexless bump'n'grind by numbers R'n'B tunes that are often piped in; the, er, fact that I'm a bit scrawny and not very good at lifting stuff.
Socialist exercise comes from team sports or running. Playing football or cricket or whatever involves collaboration, helping people out, working towards a common goal, the inevitable sociable drink afterwards. Running, meanwhile, gives you a chance to commune with surroundings, dodging dextrously through crowds of American tourists on the South Bank or slaloming around geese on the River Lea towpath, finding out new little hidden highways and byways of your neighbourhood.
The gym session, by contrast, is geared for a society where overwork and being time-poor is seen as normal. It's of a one with the stresses and strains of eating-lunch-at-your-desk culture. Come the revolution, their days will be numbered.