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Hot Topic Tuesday: Should Gyms Be Allowed to Ban Skinny People?

Should gyms be allowed to ban fit people? (Photo by Jay Sullivan)

We've heard about the latest trends in the fitness world: bachelorette workout parties, obstacle mud runs and CrossFit, among others. But a new craze has popped up and we're not quite sure how to feel about it: skinny people being banned from certain gyms.

Yes, you heard that right. More gyms are catering to plus-sized people and screening applicants before allowing entry. When do you get turned away? If your weight or BMI doesn't qualify as "plus-sized."

On one hand, this tactic makes sense because it creates a safe space for heavier people to work out without being worried about the super-fit person next to them judging their every move. Let's admit it: many turn treadmill running into a competition with the person next to them. Some call that motivation, but others might feel like the constant sideways glances are discouraging.

But on the other hand, is this fair to those who have worked hard to maintain their fitness? Should they feel the sting of rejection from an establishment just because they're already at a healthy body weight and want to work to stay that way? We think banning them from the gym may be a little harsh, and a happy medium may be reached if it's instead marketed in a way that makes it clear that the fitness center caters toward those who struggle with their weight.

Finally, it begs the question of what happens to those who sign up for the gym membership initially overweight, but then drop the weight (hooray!). Do they lose their membership? This, again, may be unfair because a gym environment can foster relationships and friendships between members, and ripping them away from that after reaching a successful milestone may put their journey in jeopardy.

Now tell us: What do you think? Should gyms be allowed to ban skinny people?


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

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