Viewer says gym membership revoked just for encouraging friends - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CBS 5 Advocate

Viewer says gym membership revoked just for encouraging friends

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If you like to workout with a friend at the gym, the support and encouragement you show your buddy might just get your membership revoked for unauthorized personal training.

Some people get a much better workout with a buddy. You have someone to help keep you on course to achieve your health goals. But if the gym thinks you're providing unauthorized personal training services, they could kick you out; without warning.

"I've been going to Gold's Gym for one year," Cherish Coates said.

Coates only uses the Peoria location and says she never had a problem. But when she recently worked out with a guest in the morning and then a member later the same day, she says a Gold's employee approached her.

"He goes what are you trying to do train under the table, and I told him, no, I'm just working out with a friend and we've been coming here together since October," Coates said.

Coates says the workouts were typical squats, bench pressing and pull-ups. Coates says she wasn't training, only offering support and encouragement to her friends who wanted to lose weight as she had. She says the club manager was very apologetic.

"He said don't worry about it, I know you and your husband have been coming here for awhile and you guys come in here twice a day on your days off," Coates said.

But the next time her husband came to the gym, Coates says the manager gave him a message for her.

"My membership was revoked and I couldn't go back in there to workout for training my friend," Coates said.

Coates says there was no warning, no conversation, just a revocation of her membership. Coates is now looking for a new gym and says she's worried about having a workout buddy for fear of being accused of training again. But she still thinks friends shouldn't stop encouraging each other.

"Just be careful so you don't get yourself revoked from the gym like I did," Coates said.

Gold's Gym told CBS 5 News that it encourages buddy workouts but seeing the same person in the gym twice on the same day with different people is a red flag of unauthorized personal training. That is what they believe was going on, and they terminated Coates' membership, without warning, as the contract permits.

CBS 5 News is advising all gym members, if you have multiple workout buddies, especially on the same day, tell a gym manager before you start. As you see, sometimes you don't get a second chance.

Gold's Gym also issued the following statement on this incident:
"For the safety of our members, freelance personal training is prohibited at our clubs. The personal trainers on our staff are certified to instruct clients using the latest industry techniques and methods. By ensuring that our members are using the gym equipment as it's designed, our certified personal trainers can reduce the chance of a personal injury and maximize results.

While it's difficult to identify whether or not an individual is training another individual, we rely on gym check-in data and general observations. We encourage our members to work out together and bring friends to the gym, but rely on our certified personal trainers for instructions on form and technique to avoid personal injuries. The safety of our members is always our #1 priority."

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