In today’s world we are completely self-obsessed with our phones, social media and getting those likes for ‘the gram’. It may seem like an innocent thing except for when you are using those platforms for blackmail, outing someone or even more worse things. I work inside a gym, eight hours a day, forty hours a week, so this is a normal thing for me to see on a daily basis. People taking videos and pics for them to post on Instagram, Facebook, etc. I get it. I really do, however, in the social culture that we have right now, what’s considered acceptable and not acceptable in terms of what’s ‘postable’ and what’s not has a fine line drawn in between both.
Let’s face it, gym etiquette isn’t really a thing that you can teach. Either you have it or you don’t and if you’re a part of the latter, you’ve probably been confronted by a gym member or two. Consider this scenario for a moment. You log onto a fitness influencer’s Insta to check out their most recent posts and on there you see a video of them inside the gym working out. It looks fairly innocent enough, just somebody lifting weights with proper form, showing the viewers how to lift correctly BUT….in the background, there is at least 5 or 6 people behind the lifter looking directly into the camera and talking among themselves. While watching the video, you notice people trying to sneak out of frame or covering their faces and all of this is unbeknownst to the lifter. Also, the lifter didn’t know that those same people who were in the background of the video complained to the gym staff about the incident and said if no action was taken, they would sue the gym.
See how extremely difficult this can get all due to something seemingly very innocent on the surface?
As I said before, I see this all the time and hear about it on the regular as well. We’ve all seen the videos on TikTok, Facebook, IG and other platforms too. It’s become a cultural phenomenon, not just in the fitness world, but the world in general to pull our phones out when something good OR bad is happening, capture the moment and post it so we can get likes on our pages. WTF??? These situations can become very sticky situations because as you can see they can escalate very quickly and can result in a lot of ways, ranging from membership cancellations to pursuing legal action. So, what is there to be done?
Well, thanks to Joey Swoll, aka Joey Sergo, he has been calling out people through his social media platforms for poor gym etiquette and shaming other gym members for poor behavior. If you aren’t familiar with Joey Swoll, he is a 39 year old co-founder of a supplement company, fitness model, and a social media persona who inspires numerous people worldwide to start living a healthier, more productive lifestyle. He’s also been featured in some of the top fitness and bodybuilding magazine covers, along with releasing his own fitness book.
He has recently been making examples as I said of those individuals who practice poor gym ethics and feel the need to shame others while they are making honest efforts while they are working out. We all need to be vigilant though, we can’t leave it up to one man to do all the dirty work. This is why fitness trainers and gym staff members need to speak up when they see this type of behavior.
If you look around the gym, there are really not that much differences from person to person, fitness speaking, that is. Think about it…we’re all working out for almost the exact same reasons….our health, longevity and vitality. Oh and of course, to look good too. We might be on different experience levels BUT again, at the end of the day, the effort is pretty consistent across the board. Body-shaming today is a real thing and attacks the one thing that most people are insecure about and vulnerable when exposed online for trying to do the right thing. What we need to be doing instead is lifting each other up because we’ve all been there. We shouldn’t ever forget where we started from.
The next time you see someone in the gym doing something wrong, instead of whipping out your phone, why not approach the person and help correct the mistake? Be a lighthouse not a cave-dweller.
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