Australian body builder Conor Tisdell is banned for life from Go Health Clubs in Brisbane. On Wednesday, Tisdell filmed a woman using an exercise machine at the gym, captioning the video “Epic bro gainz” and uploading it to Instagram.
He later commented on the video that the woman must be “practicing her new dance move” and that he has “never laughed so hard.” A Go Health Clubs employee responded to the video, “Aww when you know who the member is,” with a series of laughing emoji.
Go Health Clubs issued a statement on behalf of the employee, stating that she will apologize to the woman in the video.
People have taken to Facebook to call out Tisdell for his shameful actions and applaud the gym for banning him. “I wanted to congratulate you for not accepting the behavior of Conor Tisdell and for taking a firm stance on what is not tolerated. I hope this firm stance extends to the employee also. Well done,” one person wrote. “I guess this is a trend now — mocking people at the gym on social media,” another wrote, pointing out Playboy model Dani Mathers, who posted a Snapchat of a naked woman in the locker room at her gym in July.
Mathers captioned the invasive photo, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” She has since been banned from all LA Fitness gyms and apologized, but Mathers is now being sued. She recently pleaded not guilty to one count of invasion of privacy, and if charged, she could face a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in prison.
The woman in Tisdell’s video isn’t his first gym-shaming victim. A woman named Deb said that Tisdell laughed at her while she was doing a squat with her trainer at Go Health Clubs. “It’s disgusting. He’s starting an ongoing trend to publicly shame and embarrass people,” Deb told Daily Mail Australia. “The most disgusting part is this gym is in a very low socio-economic part of Brisbane. He should have gone up to her and asked if she wanted him to show her how to use the equipment. It’s online bullying.” She believes that the online-shaming will affect the culture at gyms in the area and will “mess with people with low confidence.” She added, “I can handle it, but when I saw what he did to this elderly woman, I was shocked.”
Indeed, body-shaming elderly people at the gym could discourage them from exercise, and somebody as fitness-oriented as Tisdell should understand the importance of exercise, particularly among the aging. Unfortunately, though, gym-shaming is alive and well. Gold’s Gym came under fire in August for a series of fat-shaming ads, and in May, yet another man filmed a woman at the gym who was using equipment improperly.
This type of shaming keeps people out of gyms, according to a 2014 study by Sport England that revealed 75 percent of women would like to exercise more but fear being judged. But if your confidence is off-kilter at the gym, Michael Mantell, PhD, and author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (P.S. It’s All Small Stuff), says that you should be gentle with yourself. If stories like Tisdell’s keep you from the gym, Mantell recommends cutting the negativity and sticking to “self-talk like, I’ll try, rather than thinking, I can’t do it, I’ll fail like I always do, people will laugh at me, or I’ll get hurt,” he told Shape. “Focus on what went well, and why, with working out in the past. Then focus on what you’re grateful for regarding exercise you’ve done. Focus on your larger goals, which might be better health, looking better, or being more productive.”