Gym tells woman to cover up because her 'toned body' intimidated others
RICHMOND, Calif. — A California woman was asked to cover up while
working out at a Bay Area gym, after staff members say she was
intimidating people with her toned body.
Tiffany Austin said she was
excited to get back in shape after recovering from a recent car
accident. After her doctor told her it was time to start walking more,
she took a tour of the Planet Fitness Gym in Richmond. On Monday she
officially joined the gym and was looking forward to her first workout
-- but that workout lasted a quick 15 minutes.
Austin said things
started out well. She hopped on a treadmill, set the speed to slow, put
her earbuds in and started walking. She started to notice others
staring at her, and quickly grew self-conscious but she kept on walking.
That is until a staff-member stopped her.
According to Austin that
staff member said, "excuse me we've had some complaints you're
intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?"
was wearing a tank that showed her stomach and capri-pants and says she
didn't see anything wrong with the outfit. She says she was only told
not to wear a string tank because of the dress code policy at the gym.
agreed to wear the shirt, but while the first staff member went to get
it she says she was approached by another staff member who also took
issue with her body. Austin says at that point she had enough; she asked
for a manager - asked for her money back and left.
boasts 5 million members and a policy that bans what they call
"gymtimidation." Its website says members can get in shape without
being, "subjected to the hardcore look-at-me-attitude that exists in too
The franchise goes even further and has a "lunk alarm"
in every gym which sends off a siren if someone drops a weight or
breathes too hard or shows any behavior that staff members consider