You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Gym tells woman she's intimidating guests with 'toned body'


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?”

Austin 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.

She 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.

Planet Fitness 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 many gyms."

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 "lunk-like".

>> Read more trending stories

YouTube videos show members across the country getting in trouble for that kind of "lunk-head" behavior.

 

Derek Van Reheenen is the director of the Athletic Studies Center at UC Berkeley.  

He says, “In a lot of ways I think what Planet Fitness is doing is a positive thing. They obviously need to iron out some of these issues but sport in the U.S. is by nature is discriminatory too, it is selective and it is elite."

Geovanna Borges joined the Richmond gym two months ago and says she likes the policies.

Borges says, "it's unfair to show off your body" because it can make other people feel bad.

Management at the Richmond Planet Fitness referred a KTVU reporter to the corporate office.  A spokesperson says the company, "strives to make everyone feel comfortable" and says the dress code is at the discretion of the staff and manager.

However, Planet Fitness spokesperson Mcall Gosselin also said if Austin was criticized for being toned or fit then that "is not in line with the Planet Fitness policy whatsoever.”

Austin says she's no lunk-head and she's not a gym rat - and now she's not even a gym member.   She says her 15 minutes at Planet Fitness left her feeling intimidated and harassed, saying the place that promised no judgments did just that.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Mom who lost son to opioid overdose shares heartbreaking photo
Mom who lost son to opioid overdose shares heartbreaking photo

A Calgary mother wants the world to see the destructiveness of drugs. As her son lay dying in a hospital bed from an overdose of fentanyl, a man-made opioid, Sherri Kent climbed into the bed to comfort him and held his hand. Kent posted a photo of the emotional moment on Facebook in hopes of warning others to stay away from the deadly drug...
11 zingers from Hasan Minhaj's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech
11 zingers from Hasan Minhaj's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech

Comedian Hasan Minhaj ripped into President Donald Trump and coverage of his administration in a sweeping address at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Minhaj, a correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," was announced earlier this month as entertainment for the sold-out event at the Washington...
Fantasy sports may be regulated in Ohio

With more than 57 million players in the U.S. and Canada, the industry around fantasy sports betting is putting on a full court press to get Ohio and other states to declare their industry legal. State Reps. Jonathan Dever, R-Cincinnati, and Robert McColley, R-Napoleon, introduced House Bill 132, which would declare the fantasy sports betting legal...
Athlete of the Week Mechanicsburg High School
Athlete of the Week Mechanicsburg High School

Name: Tanner Smith School: Mechanicsburg High School Grade: 12 Age: 19 Sports: Wrestling, Football Claim to fame/honors: 2017 DIII Wrestling State Champ Words you live by: “Every day is a day to get better.” Toughest opponent: Carson Kharchilava Biggest influence: Parents and coaches Game-day rituals: Tie my wrestling shoes perfectly What&rsquo...
Student of the Week Mechanicsburg High School
Student of the Week Mechanicsburg High School

Name: Peyton “Rayfon” O’Laughlin School: Mechanicsburg High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Extra-curricular: Bowling, jazz band, track and field Claim to fame/honors: Part of the Mechanicsburg boys bowling team that went undefeated this season and helped win the team its 8th consecutive OHC championship Words you live by: “You don&rsquo...
More Stories