A gym is place to get in shape or maintain your shape; so when Tiffany Austin joined Planet Fitness in Richmond, Calif., she thought she was in the right place. But, she was wrong. Fifteen minutes into her workout on the treadmill a gym employee said, “Excuse me; we’ve had some complaints. You’re intimidating people with your toned body, so can you put on a shirt?” Austin agreed and while she was waiting for the employee another Club Fitness employee came over and told her she was upsetting guests with her body. Embarrassed by the commotion and staring by out of shape white patrons, she took her belongings and tearfully left the gym.
The official policy at Planet Fitness is a judgment free zone where a person can get in shape without being hassled. The company does however crackdown on what they call lunks or lunkheads. If a person is grunting while lifting weights, or being overly flamboyant in a workout, an alarm goes off and the member is asked to tone it down. But nothing Austin was doing on the treadmill could be defined as being a lunk. Plain and simple, Tiffany Austin is a beautiful, fit black woman whose body intimidated those not matching her level of fitness or color.