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Gyms Crack Down on People Filming Themselves Exercising Amid Concerns About Privacy and Overcrowding

Gyms are pushing back against fitness influencers who film themselves exercising, with some banning the use of recording equipment over concerns about members’ privacy and overcrowding, The Observer reported.

The outlet spoke to representatives of several large gym chains in the UK, who said filming equipment can be a hazard and that they’ve had concerns about bullying and members filming people without their consent.

Erin Blakely, a fitness instructor who has worked with several large gym businesses, told The Observer that “the distraction factor is significant” when people record on the gym floor.

“There’s a tendency to concentrate more on getting the ideal footage than on the workout, which defeats the whole purpose of being in a fitness studio,” she said.

The Observer reported that some UK gyms are now enforcing policies to tackle the issue, with one London-based gym banning members from using tripods during the weekend; Virgin Active imposing a rule that people can ask people filming to delete videos and images; and Fitness First saying that anyone in footage must give their consent first.

A spokesperson for PureGym, which has more than 500 gyms across Europe, also told the outlet that its “gym rules clearly state that people should not take photographs or videos on the premises unless they have permission. We also ask people to not post remarks or imagery to the internet, including social media platforms, that may identify another person.”

The debate on gym etiquette is a global issue, with discussions about filming others’ workouts being a particularly heated topic.

A man in the US was banned from a Crunch Fitness gym in 2021 after a TikToker said she observed him filming a woman doing lunges without her knowledge.

A fitness influencer also apologized earlier this year after she posted a video of a man at her gym who she said was watching her “like a piece of meat,” the New York Post reported.

The TikToker Joey Swoll, who has made it his mission to call out bad gym behavior, has brought incidents such as these to public attention.

Swoll reshares videos where women have felt threatened or unsafe due to the behavior of men around them — such as getting stared at or having their workouts interrupted so men can ask them out — but he also calls people out when he thinks the condemnation of fellow exercisers is unwarranted.

Gymgoers told The Observer that they understood the need for new rules for people’s privacy and safety, but that many influencers rely on filming their workouts for their content.

James Dixon, a personal trainer, told the outlet he thought people taking over the gym with filming equipment to make their content was “not cool,” but that having specific areas for filming could be a fair solution.

“It lets people avoid cameras if they want and balances things out,” he said.

Source : Yahoo