A California woman quit her local gym 15 minutes into her first workout after staff members told her that her body was too intimidating for other gym members.
Tiffany Austin joined a local Planet Fitness in the Bay Area to get back in shape after a car accident. Wearing a pink tank top that showed her stomach and also wearing capri pants, Austin got on the treadmill and then soon noticed other members staring at her. She claims an employee told her, “excuse me we’ve had some complaints you’re intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?”
While waiting for the staff member to bring her a shirt, another staff member approached her with issues about her body. At that point, she found a manager, asked for her money back and left.
Planet Fitness advertises a “Judgement Free Zone” philosophy which, according to its website, “means members can relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms.”
At just $10 a month, Planet Fitness is one of the most affordable gyms. However, it certainly comes with a price. Besides being affordable, Planet Fitness is known for its non-competitive workout environment. The gym enforces a strict rule system. There is no grunting allowed. Besides the no-grunt policy, there is also a policy of no bandannas, no jeans, and no banging weights. Planet Fitness believes this will make its target clientele of novice lifters feel more comfortable.
If someone breaks these rules, staff members can set off a loud siren called the “lunk alarm.” This ear-rattling siren with flashing blue lights comes with a public scolding. The “lunk alarm,” as the gym calls it, is so loud it can bring the entire floor to a standstill. (A lunk is defined, on a poster, as “one who grunts, drops weights, or judges.”)
On some occasions, some of these aggressive lifters have been asked to leave and then escorted out by police.
Hear the story in her own words:
MP’s Take: Throwing a woman out of a gym for being too fit is probably the biggest oxymoron. Fit people are great role models to motivate other gym members to get in shape. As I reported on a few weeks ago, Planet Fitness may be the most ridiculous gym of all-time. The gym is notoriously known for micromanaging its members and for its sometimes ludacris rules. However, at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you have issues with Planet Fitness then find another gym that you can go to for $10 a month. You get what you pay for.