CityFitness bans posing in gyms after 'underwear incident'

The ban will make practicing bodybuilding at the gym impossible, says one member. Photo / Getty
The ban will make practicing bodybuilding at the gym impossible, says one member. Photo / Getty

CityFitness gym goers have spoken out about the centre's new policy banning posing.

You may be feeling chuffed with your new physique, but if you're a member of CityFitness gym, you're not to go about flaunting it.

Titus Kam, a client of CityFitness' Newmarket branch who likes to lift weights, said the ban was "silly".

"The reason why we go to the gym is to improve ourselves, it goes against that."

Dinesh Sapra echoed Kam's position. The 30-year-old, who has been working out at CityFitness for around four months, said he was unfazed by others posing and believed the ban was unfair.

"It's a personal thing. [Bodybuilders] have the right to do that."

Peter Prescott said although CityFitness was a "great environment" to work out in, he thought the ban was "useless".

"It's a public space, you can do what you like."

The national gym chain's decision to ban posing in all CityFitness centres was sparked by an "underwear incident" which reportedly created an uncomfortable environment for gym goers.

CityFitness operations manager Lisa Brown told the Herald: "There was an incident in which someone was practising their bodybuilding routine in their underwear which created an uncomfortable environment for other members requiring us to put out a policy to prevent future issues."

Brown says the new policy is about clarifying the appropriate use of the gym's facilities.

"Our focus is to create a friendly and welcoming environment for all to exercise and the facilities are intended for that purpose. It is completely appropriate during the course of your exercise routine to use the mirrors to assess form, technique or aesthetic appearance."

However, Brown says the facilities "are not an appropriate place for members to practice the routines of any individual sport so if the intent in coming into our facilities is to purely use them to practice a bodybuilding routine, we ask that you find alternate locations for such practice."

The posing ban won't include bodybuilding training but for anyone posing at CityFitness gyms, they will be asked to stop or face the consequences.

CityFitness member and bodybuilder Sarah Ward, 26, says she was "disgusted" by news of the ban.

"I was disgusted when I found out. It feels like as bodybuilders they've segregated us from the gym. We make up a huge percentage of the people there. And it's a really nice community. Everyone knows who I am, it's a positive place."

Ward says she is often approached by fellow gym goers who ask about her competitions and for nutrition advice.

But the ban will make practising her sport at CityFitness impossible and she's looking at her options with other gyms.

"I'll have to go to another gym that's pro-bodybuilding. I've had AnyTime Fitness and Les Mills get in touch to say they would welcome me at their gyms. I've been offered a free membership by Anytime Fitness."

Ward says she is concerned for other bodybuilders in her community who are confused by what the new policy means.

"People have been messaging me asking, 'Can we pose or not?'"

Asked about the underwear incident that sparked the ban, Ward says she didn't know anything about it until it was reported earlier today.

"I'd never heard anything about that. It wasn't mentioned before."

The crack down on posing follows the company's consideration of a blanket ban on grunting in 2014 and a ban on selfies in May this year, neither of which were enforced.

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