Now I like the gym as much as the next person: a mixture of anticipatory dread, satisfaction and self-righteousness on the days I manage to attend and guilt when I skip a session.
I feel comfortable asserting that gyms are a necessary evil resulting from our life of technological comfort: we no longer need to work physically for our food and other essentials. Most of us work in an office. Those who perform physical labor do not perform cardiovascular labor. A block layer or a carpenter may become physically strong but not necessary fit. So it becomes necessary to 'work out'.
The above picture is very depressing and the entire concept of gyms for children is very misguided. Kids should become fitter and stronger through general sport and play. This is how animals develop and adapt to their environment. This is how virtually every generation of humans developed, until now.
Why would parents send their children to a gym instead of playing outside with their friends? Fitness should be a by-product of a healthy lifestyle. I want to cycle, not just to become fit or to look good, but because I want to be out in the fresh air using my body instead of slumped on the couch in front of the TV. Children should be lost in their own imagination, beating the crap out of each other with sticks and stones from forts made of loose wood and discarded boxes. Instead they are inside playing the Xbox which makes a gym necessary.
A sign of our times: a human panting on thread mill with white iPod earphones blaring music jammed into his ears, the TV monitor on the treadmill jiggling under the force of his feet and a celebrity magazine covering the controls. Anything and everything to distract the person from the fact that they are a hamster running in a cage. To distract from the present.
Teach kids to play sport or to use their imaginations but not to use a cross trainer or a kiddies bench press machine. Those things are a necessary evil only for middle aged worker plebs.
Sport camps on the other hand are a great idea.