Going to the gym is often seen as a way to stay healthy and fit, but many people avoid going to the gym due to the toxic gym culture that exists. This toxic gym culture can be seen in many aspects of the gym, from the way people talk to each other to the way people judge others based on their appearance. In this blog I will discuss six main points as to why people avoid going to the gym due to toxic gym culture: body shaming, competition, intimidation, lack of diversity, lack of support, and lack of safety.
Body shaming is a major issue in gyms and is one of the main reasons why people avoid going. Body shaming is when someone is judged or made fun of based on their physical appearance. This can be seen in many ways at the gym, from people making comments about someone’s body size or shape to people comparing themselves to others. This type of behavior can be extremely damaging and can make people feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in the gym. You can see this in Joey Swoll's videos on Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok that this is getting more and more out of hand as time goes by.
Competition is another issue that can be seen in gyms. Many people feel pressured to compete with others in order to “prove” themselves or show off their skills or even compare their bodies to one another. This can lead to people feeling intimidated or judged if they don’t perform or look as good as others. This type of behavior can make people feel like they don’t belong in the gym and can lead to them avoiding it altogether.
Intimidation is another issue that can be seen in gyms. People often feel intimidated by those who are more experienced or have better skills than them. This can lead to people feeling like they don’t belong and can make them avoid going to the gym altogether.
The lack of diversity in gyms is another issue that can lead to people avoiding the gym. Many gyms are dominated by one type of person, whether it be gender, race, or age. This can make people feel like they don’t belong and can lead to them avoiding the gym altogether. Believe it or not, I, myself avoid certain gyms for this same reason and I've been going to many different types of gyms for over 20 years.
The lack of support in gyms is another issue that can lead to people avoiding the gym. Many gyms are dominated by a “me first” attitude which can make it difficult for people to get help or advice when they need it. This can make people feel like they don’t belong and can lead to them avoiding the gym. I can't tell you how many times I see newbies using bad form while working out and then seeing a trainer walk right by them scrolling on their cell phones. Customer Service can go a long way in the gym, especially when you have the customers well being in mind.
The lack of safety in gyms is another issue that can lead to people avoiding the gym. Many gyms are not equipped with proper safety equipment or protocols which can make it difficult for people to feel safe while working out. This can make people feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in the gym. Broken equipment and lack of care shows negligence and if you're paying for a membership, you expect for the equipment to work. I've gone to many gyms that have broken equipment and takes months to either repair or replace. Negligent gyms shows unprofessionalism and lack of leadership.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why people avoid going to the gym due to toxic gym culture. From body shaming and competition to intimidation and lack of diversity, there are many issues that can make people feel unwelcome and uncomfortable in the gym. It is important for gyms to create a safe and supportive environment for everyone so that everyone feels welcome and comfortable while working out. If you're a gym owner and are reading this, be better, be a leader and stop the toxic gym culture. It'll cost you in the end.