The signs may be new, but the rules are not.
“We have little kids, we have seniors here, and people from all kinds of backgrounds from their fitness journeys. So we’re just trying to make people feel comfortable,” said Kelly Kuntz, Family Wellness Communications Coordinator.
Several signs of the fitness center dress code were reported at the facility last week, leading some members to believe the rules were new.
However, Kuntz says the dress code has remained the same since Family Wellness opened nearly eight years ago.
The rules require:
‘Tops that cover the entire torso (no bare midriffs or nipples)’
‘Stockings that fully cover the buttocks and are free of embellishments.’
“Clothing containing offensive language or imagery is prohibited.”
‘Clean, closed sports shoes.’
The rules apply to the entire establishment, as well as to the various exercise classes offered to members; including yoga.
Kuntz says crop tops and barefoot workouts have become new trends in the fitness world, signs have been put up to remind members.
“It’s not about punishing anyone by any means. We’re just trying to make people feel included and in a warm, friendly atmosphere,” Kuntz said.
But a Fargo gym says a dress code isn’t really the way they roll.
“I think in any gym, everywhere, you’re going to see people working out in tank tops. And guys are wearing stringers. It’s a very common thing for any guy who lifts weights to want to rock a stringer in the gym and I don’t see why there should be anything wrong with that,” Metroflex gym owner John Ostos said.
Ostos says that at Metroflex, members can train shirtless, in a sports bra, and even barefoot. He added that several of his members are also involved in bodybuilding competitions, so it’s not uncommon to see people in bikinis and other swimwear around his gym.
“People should be able to dress accordingly and train for whatever lifestyle or sport they do. It’s hot in the gym if you train properly, so you should be able to comfortable,” he said.
Ostos says not having a dress code has never been a problem for Metroflex and says that because “dressing ourselves is very important in the gym”, he doesn’t think they will ever have one.
“You’re going to see a lot of people who have a lot of self-esteem in the gym and I think we shouldn’t hinder that, we should just help it. That’s what we’re doing here,” Ostos said.
And while that’s not Ostos’ cup of tea, Kuntz says Family Wellness hasn’t pushed back on its dress code.
She says if the staff notices a member violating the dress code, they will simply ask the viewer to change. Kuntz added that there is no penalty or repercussion for the member.
“We definitely have shirts available for people in case they’re unprepared and don’t have a spare. So they can still come to work out and feel included at Family Wellness,” Kuntz said.
We spoke with Core and Edge Fitness today who say they also don’t have a dress code for their gym members.
We also contacted the YMCA and Courts Plus about their rules, but received no response.