I had a terrible experience with the LA Fitness Body of Change program yesterday. I joined the club 4 months ago, and while I have noticed how insensitive most of the trainers were (or poorly trained) i lucked out with one who has been steady and committed to all of his clients .
Yesterday, though, I worked out by myself and was exercising on a hamstring machine that has you lying face down, and you raise your ankles and bend your knees to complete the exercise. Suddenly a trainer I don't know came up behind me, placed his hand firmly on my back and put his face very close to mine, to tell me that the machine "exposed" me and that I should go over to the quad machines, where i would not shame myself, and preserve my dignity.
I asked him to remove his hand, and then asked how touching an unfamiliar woman in any way protected her dignity. I then got his name. (I should say he apologized, gave his name freely, and went back to the paying client whose session he had interrupted to chide me about my position.
I went over to the new general manager of Body of Change (the personal training program) and complained about this trainer's behavior. Well the general manager told me that it was very good that he had tried to protect me from exposing myself, that he himself touches people informally all the time, and that I was being way too sensitive. I responded that no woman want to work out in a gym where her clothing or her exercising is being monitored and that I needed to talk to somebody who would listen to me without getting angry. I asked for his supervisor's name, but he got so angry that I changed my mind and said I'd get that information from some other place.
After a few minutes (had to get my things) I went to the membership desk to see if anyone there could help me. A very polite manager came over to help, but the BOC manager came over and began yelling at both him and me. I felt I had no choice but to leave ASAP.
I called a little while later and did talk to the polite manager, who told me whom to contact. Unfortunately that number is not accepting messages. I went online to the LA Fitness website for a live chat, and someone did call me back today, leaving a message that they could give me a new personal trainer. He said cancelling my membership was possible only after paying a fee (that seems to cost 4 times what the membership did).
As to the matter of my being exposed: I am a married mother of two, a professor and also someone who has lived many years in Muslim countries. I dress carefully and never expose skin, even in the gym. But even if i was wearing a bikini, that is my business, in this country, in a fitness club of all places.
If anyone has suggestions, I would really appreciate it.