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Gym instructors tell TikTok influencers and fitness fanatics to stop filming invasive workout videos amid growing concerns over privacy

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TikTok influencers and fitness fanatics are being urged to stop filming workout videos over privacy concerns.

Fitness experts have highlighted many who are annoyed about regular gymgoers complaining about being filmed.

A growing number of UK gyms including PureGym and Fitness First have put strict guidance in place on members filming their workouts. Another, Pure Muscles Gym in Walthamstow, have banned tripods at weekends.

One gym manager said he understood that many people were ‘frustrated’ with influencers filming people without permission. 

The manager, who works for one of the UK’s biggest gym chains, told MailOnline: ‘It’s about striking a fine balance between privacy and filming.

Swoll highlighted another example of an influencer who branded one gym-goer a ‘Karen’ for complaining about being filmed 

Joey Swoll highlighted several examples of where gym-goers were potentially in the wrong. Pictured: One man who was annoyed after someone walked through his video

Joey Swoll highlighted several examples of where gym-goers were potentially in the wrong. Pictured: One man who was annoyed after someone walked through his video

Joey Swoll (pictured) called out several people on social media for their workouts in the gym

Joey Swoll (pictured) called out several people on social media for their workouts in the gym 

‘Many people come in and film but we also have members who just want a quiet workout without being on camera. 

‘It’s understandable that these members are frustrated and annoyed about being filmed without permission but they can raise it with us and complain.’ 

Bodybuilder and fitness influencer Joey Swoll, also shared several examples of influencers who may be ruining the workout experience for others.

The influencer, who often labels himself the ‘CEO of Gym Positivity’, often generates headlines with his gym commentary.

In one example, a man complained about a woman filming herself working out before a man arrives complaining about the camera. 

The female influencer, pri_aqilla, branded the man a ‘Karen’ and said on TikTok: ‘Don’t be this guy. He could have brought it to my attention without harrassing me or being rude.’ 

Commenting, Swoll said: ‘This is not harassment. This man could have been a little bit nicer but he is not harassing you and this doesn’t make him a ‘Karen.’

‘You know what this makes him? The other 99.9 percent of people that are in the gym that don’t film their workouts and aren’t influencers.’ 

Another influencer, mattkenny_sf, appeared annoyed when someone walked past whilst he was filming his workout.

Influencer emmysbakedbeans shared a video in which a male gymgoer criticised her for filming herself

Influencer emmysbakedbeans shared a video in which a male gymgoer criticised her for filming herself

Influencer @emmafranceslev posted another video which showed various individuals disrupting her workout

Influencer @emmafranceslev posted another video which showed various individuals disrupting her workout

In another TikTok post, influencer emmysbakedbeans shared a video in which a male gymgoer criticised her for filming herself.

The man can be heard saying: ‘Try spending more time working out. It will help a lot more.

‘Sitting there f****ing videotaping yourself all the time. It’s stupid why your doing it.’

In response, she said: ‘Just trying to get my lift in #gymharrassment.’

Another influencer, @emmafranceslev, posted another video which showed various individuals disrupting her workout. She tagged it: ‘The reality of filming at the gym.

Many personal trainers and fitness experts described the issue as a ‘double-edged sword’.

Michael Crockett, the owner of GYMPODS, told MailOnline: ‘It’s a double edged sword. I can see why people are doing it and why people don’t want to do it.

‘The trend of filming yourself in the gym started recently in 2018.

‘About ten years ago, filming was a very rare thing. Now it’s changed a lot, gyms are finding it hard to say no but they are saying no.’

He added: ‘Filming is great because if your exercising, you can really check what you’re doing.

‘It’s also good in many ways because your sharing knowledge. You can’t fault a thirst for knowledge.

There has been an increasing trend in influencers filming their workouts. Photo: TikTok influencer @emmafranceslev filming her workout at the gym

There has been an increasing trend in influencers filming their workouts. Photo: TikTok influencer @emmafranceslev filming her workout at the gym 

Michael Crockett, the owner of GYMPODS (pictured) said the issue of filming was a 'double edged sword'

Michael Crockett, the owner of GYMPODS (pictured) said the issue of filming was a ‘double edged sword’ 

‘But for many, going to the gym is people’s personal downtime and they don’t want to be filmed.

‘If people don’t want to be involved [in filming], they don’t want to be involved.

‘Well run gyms and studios will respect the wishes of everyone who comes through the door and will strike a balance.’

Mr Crockett’s businesses in Dalston, East London consists of 15 individual, private fitness pods designed to offer personal and in-demand space to work out in.

He set up the business 18 months ago after selling his Soho Gym Group to PureGym. 

Explaining his clientele, he said: ‘We have a lot of influencers and personal trainers who film because they like checking how they are getting on and can’t film in the gym.

‘Our gym is also for people that want privacy. A lot of people don’t want to be filmed, don’t want to be included.’

Meanwhile, Matt Morsia, a highly successful fitness influencer and professional YouTuber – amassing over 355 million views, said: ‘If a gym’s going to start banning people from filming, that feels a bit excessive to me.

‘As long as people aren’t leaving enormous tripods in everyone’s way or rocking up with an entire film crew I really don’t see an issue with it.’

Gladiators star Legend or Matt Morsia is a highly successful fitness influencer and professional YouTuber

Gladiators star Legend or Matt Morsia is a highly successful fitness influencer and professional YouTuber 

The fitness fanatic, 38, whose real name is Matt Morsia, has piled up his money through his successful gym business

The fitness fanatic, 38, whose real name is Matt Morsia, has piled up his money through his successful gym business

He added: ‘I’ve trained in gyms where no one films but I’ve also used ones where literally everyone has a camera and to be honest, neither affects me.

‘I don’t let someone else’s actions stop that from happening or dictate how I feel, and ultimately, if everyone had that mindset there wouldn’t be an issue.’

Morsia is a former Championship bronze medal winning long and triple jumper, and silver medal winning powerlifter.

After retiring from international competitions, he continued performing to a huge audience through social media. 

He is currently competing in the current BBC series of Gladiator under the ‘Legend’ name.   

A spokesperson for PureGym, which has more than 370 UK gyms, said: ‘It is important to respect one another’s privacy, which is why our 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.’

Meanwhile, Virgin Active’s policy states that it reserves the right to ask members ‘to show us the images taken’ if concerns are raised. Guidelines say that they may ‘ask you to delete them if appropriate’.

From February 1, filming on tripods will no longer be permitted at Doherty's Gyms

From February 1, filming on tripods will no longer be permitted at Doherty’s Gyms

Fitness First urges members to seek 'prior permission from all the people who will appear in any footage' (stock image)

Fitness First urges members to seek ‘prior permission from all the people who will appear in any footage’ (stock image)

Fitness fanatics have been filming themselves more often over the last six years  (stock image)

Fitness fanatics have been filming themselves more often over the last six years  (stock image)

Fitness First also urges members to seek ‘prior permission from all the people who will appear in any footage’.

The Gym Group, which operates about 230 gyms nationwide, allows filming within the premises. 

However, according to it’s member guidance: ‘If another member feels unhappy or uncomfortable that you are filming them and makes a complaint to us, we may ask you to show us any images which you have taken in the gym and to delete them if appropriate.’

In Australia, Doherty’s Gym, which has three locations in Melbourne and one in Perth, has cracked down on influencers videoing their workouts, banning tripods and requiring patrons to buy ‘media passes’ if they wish to shoot content.

It comes after Dani Mathers, a former Playboy Playmate, was given 30 days community service in the US for snapping a photo of a 71-year-old naked woman in the gym and body shaming her in 2016. 

The 31-year-old decided to take a plea deal and carry out community service instead of having to serve 45 days behind bars after for the picture that she posted on her social media and proceeded to fat shame.

‘If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either,’ she said in the highly criticized picture that was posted on Snapchat in July 2016.

Although she didn’t admit guilt, the plea is recorded as a conviction. She had been facing a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted at trial.

Last year, influencer Jessica Fernandez apologised after calling a man who glanced at her and offered her help a ‘weirdo’, prompting an online backlash.

Many gym-goers have been left divided on the issue. One said: ‘I don’t think banning filming in gyms is the answer, because some people film themselves to help their performance, to see where they’re workout could improve, or if their form is off.’

A second disagreed and stressed: ‘Filming in gyms should be prohibited to respect privacy and focus on workouts.’

A third said: ‘Taking photos or filming in gyms should be illegal. The only thing I accept is security cameras.’

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