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article imagePlanet fitness member told to cover up

By Nicole Weddington     Mar 21, 2014 in Odd News
Earlier this week, Planet Fitness gym member Tiffany Austin was told by a gym employee to cover up her intimidatingly toned physique, later handing her a free Planet Fitness t-shirt.
Austin, who is recovering from a recent car accident, was on the road to recovery and was looking to get her body back in shape at the gym. Little did she know that she may have been offending or threatening fellow exercisers around her.
Her workout was cut short when an employee came up to her and explained that she was intimidating other members. Austin explained, “She says, you know, ‘Excuse me, we've had some complaints. You're intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?’”
Planet Fitness is a nationwide fitness chain whose highlighted motto is “NO GYMTIMIDATION NO LUNKS.” Their aim is to provide everyone a place to get fit, without feeling the pressure sometimes felt when seeing workout junkies who look “perfect,” exercising right beside them. This place is for everyone. To support this their dress code policy requires members to stay discreetly covered, but to dress comfortably.
At the time of this incident, Austin’s midriff was exposed; she was wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and capri pants. Reportedly, she was only informed of the gym dress code that prohibited wearing string tank tops, that are perfectly fine at other gyms like A Gym Rat.
The Planet Fitness customer took the t-shirt given to her and agreed to wear it. However, while waiting for the t-shirt, another employee approached her with objections to her clothing. The second interaction with a Planet Fitness employee prompted Austin to cancel her membership at the gym advertised as the “Judgement Free Zone” whose policy bans “gymtimidation.” Austin now felt she was being harassed and started feeling intimidated herself.
McCall Gosselin, Planet Fitness spokesperson, said that criticizing Austin for being toned, “…is not in line with the Planet Fitness policy whatsoever.”
When members sign up, they are given the rules and regulations of working out at the health club, now growing 5 million strong. The message is clear. They want to be a health club that gives people a place to go exercise that does not have the hard-core, take-notice-of-me attitude found so often in gyms. People like that, and it is clearly evident taking into consideration that Planet Fitness is one of the fastest growing gyms in the United States.
Planet Fitness meets the needs of 85 percent of the gym-visiting market looking for a place to have fun and get fit. They are not looking for those who are overly serious, aggressive, or competitive. They leave that 15 percent to the other fitness providers.
Planet Fitness' deals are what most people are looking for, With membership rates starting at $10 per month, monthly pizza nights, and bagel breakfasts, this health club chain is very likely to continue expanding and catering to a market that was previously untapped.
Maybe Planet Fitness is not for hard-core exercisers looking to show off toned physiques. Maybe Planet Fitness needs to stress that they simply seek to have a more conservative dress code, rather than say they are trying to avoid “gymtimidation.” Whatever the case, exercises have a choice of where they wish to work out.
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