Sunday, March 23, 2008

Update on Anti-Gym

Back in November, I wrote a post about the Anti-Gym -- a story that had broken on other feminist blogs.

It's still getting comments on the blog entry, even though its no where near the front page here anymore. I decided it was time to check back on anti-gym.

Owner and creator, Michael Karolchyk, still sends the message that women need to "be sexy... or be gone."

If that's not a threat, I don't know what is. Also, I'd like to post the comment I received recently on the older post from a 'disgruntled' (to say the least) gym member:

I'm a client at the Anti-Gym. Anyone out there who's thinking of trying it..DON'T!

I used to figure skate but after two back injuries in two separate car accidents I couldn't skate anymore. My health went downhill and my weight went up. I joined the Anti-Gym with the goal to loose weight and get back on the ice.

I was well on way until Mr. Karolchyk fired 5 of his trainers within a month and took over training clients himself. I now have training sessions with Karolchyk himself. I have to email him exactly what I ate during the day every night. I'm supposed to get a reply with suggestions on how to eat better. What I get is a paragraph of meaningless insults and name calling.

In sessions Mr. Karolchyk throws his cupcakes but that's not the worst. Anything he knows about your personal life he advertises, twists, and uses it to publicly humiliate you. Another punishment is being forced to squat over a toilet in the center of the gym and wave the Anti-Gym flag.

Don't pause to get a drink during a grueling workout, he'll yell in your face and throw your water bottle across the room. Don't disagree with him on anything. Unfortunately, I made that mistake. He took me into a small office where we were alone. He started yelling, "YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME!" repeatedly and throwing his arms around. I thought he was gonna hit me so I ran out.

Another mistake not to make is standing up for yourself. He insulted me in an email and I replied standing up for myself. I received 14 emails from him on a Sunday insulting not only my weight and fitness level but also my hair, make-up, personality, choice of friends, character, dress, maturity, and lack of a tan.

His gym is nothing more than a cult. After you pay he owns you. If you disagree and don't "bow" down he either insults and bullys you into submission or makes your life miserable till you just stop refund.

When I say agree with him that's on EVERYTHING, not just diet and fitness, but also sex, drugs, religion, personality, etc. He attempts to make you believe you're there at his mercy and you have to live up to his expectations of becoming a sex object. It's funny you actually forget you paid him and HE should be living up to YOUR expectations.

Obviously, I have no way of verifying if any of this is true. However, the description of treatment is echoed on the company's own website and in various news stories posted on the website. It's true, Mr. Karolchyk and his employees throw cupcakes and stuffed pigs at people working out. He does have people squat over toilets and wave flags and he is unabashedly disgusted and horrified by fat people -- specifically women.

So I find it very believable that someone like Mr. Karolchyk has violent, controlling and abusive tendencies. What is even more (more!) worrisome is that this man is likely dating. Seriously just go through and read the green, bold statements and tell me if you want someone like that dating your friend or sister or daughter?

If it...
- Looks like an abusive asshole,
- Talks like an abusive asshole and
- Acts like an abusive asshole-- it is---

An abusive asshole!

Disclaimer: I really hope not, but it seems whenever we get near talking about obesity discrimination or bad attitudes about women and size, some concern troll has to say: "Well, you know, getting fit is important!" Well, fine and dandy but just remember -- any "gym" that encourages you to take shots of alcohol after your work-out, and only offers co-ed showers has absolutely no interest in your health.


Anonymous said...

This is very interesting. I work out with Michael and whoever wrote this blog is obviously lying.
The gym is not open on Sunday. You only get one , two if you really are lucky, emails a day. The emails are very direct and point blank on what you are eating wrong( protein and carbs , etc.)
He did fire five trainers; including my own. All were terrible; I never lost one pound. I have now lost 26 pounds in six weeks with Michael.
Making fun of your sex life, personal life,etc??? Now this is ridiculous!! Unlike most trainers Michael wants to know NOTHING about your personal life. He only makes fun of people and gives them nicknames on the bad foods they ate( like he will call a girl pie or cupcake or jellybean).
Whoever wrote this blog has no clue about the antigym. Michael never uses the toilet; Matt the other consultant does. Michael never emails on Sundays!!!
The antigym works and Michael is the best trainer in Colorado bar none. He would get mad if he knew I called him a trainer but you get the point.
Why don't people be honest and just say you hate the marketing because it strikes your " feel bads". Feel bads are the sensitive chords that every person has. Get over it and stop making up lies.

Anonymous said...

I am a big fat woman with a mustache and am proud of it! Way to go Tobbe!

Tobes said...

Hmmm, as likely as I am to trust someone "anonymous" -- I have to point out your error. In a video on the anti-gym site (a clip I link to you) can CLEARLY see and hear Michael ordering someone to squat over the toliet and wave the gym flag.

Sarah said...

I wonder why anyone would want to work out at any place where they are made fun of or called by nicnames that I'm sure are not terms of endearment, Regardless of what may or may not be true in what Tobes posted, you yourself (yes, that would be you, ANONYMOUS) confirmed at least some of these disgusting things to be true. Even if one of the trainers doesn't use the toilet and flag, but another one does, how does that make it any better? Good job letting yourself be brainwashed into thinking any o that would ever be okay but hey, it's your money so waste it if you want.

ouyangdan said...

oh yes, your one experience and anonymous credentials obviously disprove what has been circulating about this ass hat's "establishment". he doesn't email on sundays? really? do you sit by his side and watch him all the time? are you really so creepy that you know for a fact what he does every minute of everyday. how lucky he is to have an invested friend like you!

he has all the characteristics of an abusive fuck wad, and so do you, mr. anonymous.

grow the fuck up.

and he can use clever insults, too!

way to go!

anyway, even if the account from that girl isn't true (which i am inclined to believe it is, based on other things i have read about that horrible excuse for a fitness establishment), the ads and commercials alone speak for themselves!

why someone would want to go and waste their money being abused is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Believe me - this guy is a total jerk. He is abusive, he is ugly and he is crazy. My experience with him was short and not so sweet. Thank goodness I got away fast and without losing any money.

BEWARE of this place and think twice before joining.

Check out the gyms 'F' rating on the Better Business Bureau website.

JENNIFER said...

Excellent Tips! Thanks for sharing the information!