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Gymgoers and instructors are fed up with people filming on their phones

Gymgoers and instructors are fed up with the wave of people recording themselves at the gym, with many implementing bans on filming amid a rise in social media influencing.

As people increasingly bring their phones everywhere, from movie theaters to concerts, recording every inch of their existence, gyms become another social media casualty. More people than ever are filming their gym experiences, leading many gyms and instructors to ban filming from their establishments and classes, including chains like 24 Hour Fitness, New York Sports Club, and LifeTime, which prohibit filming other people without their consent.

Other companies like CorePower Yoga, often leave it up to their instructors to enforce social media policies in their classes. A spokesperson for the company told theWall Street Journal: “In this era of social media, we want to ensure consistency throughout our studios and are evaluating our policies around cellphone usage before, during and after class.”

In March, New York-based yoga instructor Emily Holtzman posted a note on her class door at CorePower Yoga: “Please no phones! Especially no filming yourself working out.” She told the outlet that she put the note up after her students complained that they were in the background of someone’s video or found seeing someone else’s screen distracting during a class. Many would prefer not to be filmed as they’re in tight-fitting exercise clothing, and exerting themselves.

A video she posted of the note garnered more than 780,000 views, with many commenters commending her for enforcing a no smartphone rule. Meanwhile, others defended filming.

“It’s a little daunting going in those workout classes where everyone is super fit,” designer Corinne Keogh told the outlet, adding that she found it “off-putting.” “The last thing I would want is to be on someone’s viral video.”

However, some said they felt motivated by others trying a new class or showing their routine, with online communities thriving on supporting each other’s shared experiences at the gym. Many content creators, however, have noted that it’s their responsibility to be mindful of others who don’t want to be filmed.

“It’s our responsibility that others feel comfortable,” content creator and event company founder Liv Schreiber told WSJ. She told the outlet that she often collaborates with studios and gyms to get paid or comped classes for filming her workout videos, noting that she strategically tries not to film others during her workouts. If she ends up filming others by accident, she’ll ask them permission to use the footage they are in.

Fitness vlogger making a video of herself at the gym (Getty Images)
Fitness vlogger making a video of herself at the gym (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

However, the concerns with phone usage at the gym don’t end with filming, as instructors have revealed that they often find their students scrolling apps and checking email. They told the outlet they worry that these digital distractions will lead to more gym injuries.

“Honestly, there is probably not a month that goes by that I don’t have to deal with someone like that,” yoga instructor Jacob Reynolds admitted. “I cannot tell you how many times I catch people on Instagram.”

The influx of people filming their routines and workouts has led to many feeling that they cannot go to the gym in peace, according to the outlet. But it seems as though the popularity of documenting our lives isn’t going away anytime soon, if the ongoing prevalence of TikTok is anything to go off of.

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