As the influence of social media celebrities continues to grow, many gym-goers in Kent are raising concerns about individuals setting up cameras to capture their workouts and flex their muscles for their online followers. While this trend provides free advertising for fitness facilities, it has also sparked a debate about privacy, etiquette, and gym equipment usage.
Some Kent residents have opted to forgo their gym sessions entirely, feeling uncomfortable about the prospect of being inadvertently filmed while simply trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This raises valid concerns about personal privacy and comfort, as well as the potential inconvenience caused by tripods obstructing workout spaces and equipment being monopolized.
In response to these issues, some gyms are implementing bans on camera kits, restricting the time and locations where recording is allowed, or instructing individuals to seek consent from those in their vicinity.
Speaking to KentOnline, fitness enthusiasts expressed varying opinions on these measures. Some argue that such bans are shortsighted, as these videos can serve as invaluable advertising. Others fear ending up in the background of someone’s TikTok or Instagram Reel, causing them to advocate for more robust rules surrounding filming in gyms.
Peter Velchev, a Canterbury resident, believes gyms should enforce stricter regulations. He stated, “I think sometimes it might be inappropriate. I see people all the time taking selfies, especially girls, in the mirrors for Instagram. I would worry about being caught on camera if I was in a weird position and people laughed at me – but usually, I wouldn’t.”
Meanwhile, Matt Sears, a regular gym visitor, revealed that his wife refuses to accompany him to the gym due to discomfort with others filming. He stated, “For me, I don’t feel uncomfortable, but my wife does and I can see where she’s coming from with that.”
Annabel Murphy, a 19-year-old gym-goer, expressed concerns about being videoed while using challenging equipment. She said, “It would depend on what I was doing as to whether I would mind getting caught in the background. There are some machines I feel comfortable doing and there are others I’m not as good at and wouldn’t feel so comfortable.”
Kieran Morgan, a PureGym member, finds filming acceptable as long as everyone involved is aware and consents. He explained, “I think it’s OK, but I think it would be best – if they were to get someone else in the video – just to inform them that they are recording, especially if they are then going to post it online.”
Despite these concerns, Hythe-based fitness YouTuber Matt Morsia believes that banning filming is excessive and highlights the promotional benefits of such content. He argues that as long as people are considerate of their actions, filming in a gym should not be an issue.
Chase Coles, the owner of CrossFit Great Stour in Ashford, shares a similar sentiment and has no plans to introduce rules against filming at his gym. He believes that, in a controlled environment with fewer individuals, the concerns of capturing someone in the background of a video are minimal.
Major gym chains, like PureGym, Anytime Fitness, and Fitness First, have established rules to address the issue. They emphasize the importance of respecting privacy and obtaining consent when capturing others in photographs or videos.
The debate surrounding social media photography and videography in Kent gyms continues, with opinions divided between those who advocate for personal privacy and those who appreciate the promotional potential of such content. The challenge remains for gyms to strike a balance between these perspectives while maintaining a comfortable and inclusive atmosphere for all members.