The Daily Telegraph
Slavery was hard and so is this workout, gym users told
A GYM has been widely criticised after telling members its Black History Month workout would be hard “like slavery”.
The now-deleted post by Puregym’s Luton branch advertised a workout inspired by the film 12 Years a Slave for Black History Month.
The post read: “Entitled ‘12 years of Slave’ (after the epic movie) this is our workout of the month to celebrate black history month. Slavery was hard and so is this.” The workout consisted of 12 exercises including a 100-metre sprint, floor wipers, pistol squats and burpees.
A spokesman for Puregym has since apologised “unreservedly”.
Catherine Ross and Lynda Burrell, of The National Caribbean Heritage Museum and who work on Black History Month, said the incident was “precisely why Black History Month is essential for all people, and why black history needs to be taught in schools”.
The workout has also caused outrage online, with Labour MP for Luton North, Sarah Owen, writing: “That offensive Puregym advert shows exactly why we need #BlackhistoryMonth and why the #Blacklivesmatter movement is so important.”
Dr Shola Mos-shogbamimu, a lawyer and activist said: “Are you insane PureGym Luton? Who wrote and approved “Slavery was hard so is this” for your #Blackhistorymonth workout?”
A spokesman for Puregym said: “This post is wholly unacceptable, was not approved or endorsed by the company and was removed as soon as it was brought to our attention.
“Each of our 271 gyms has its own social media channels which are run
‘We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made’
locally. We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made.”
But Matt Simpson, the personal trainer at Pure Gym Luton, believed to be behind the workout, appeared to defend his position on Twitter.
Replying to one furious tweeter, the trainer who had previously advertised the course on his Instagram in October last year said: “What’s so interesting about it? I’ve merely taken the name of an Oscar-winning film and given it to a workout having the number of exercises coincide with the number in the title.” Mr Simpson has been contacted by