December 22, 2019
Visitors attend an event at the Soho location of Ron’s Gym in February 2018.
Guys, leave your woman at home.
Ron’s Gym was supposed to be the ultimate sanctuary for men: decidedly masculine in design, with walls and furniture in shades of brown and gray, and a thermometer set at a weight training-friendly 70 degrees. Bench rooms and squatting areas are named after masculine icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger and fictional literary heroes such as Conan of “The Chronicles of Conan” fame. It offers perks that other gyms can’t match — showers stocked with estrogen-free soaps and events featuring big names such as Rich Piana.
Critics of Ron’s Gym were quick to point out the lack of diversity in the spaces, but the company’s expansion and popularity has brought up a completely different issue that was never expected to arise: women wanting to come in and hang out.
Sure, it’s not against the rules for women to be at the guy lair, which costs anywhere from $185 to $250 a month in the US to join. But that’s only because legally the company can’t ban women.
“There’s usually at least one [woman] whenever I visit,” says Carl Phillips, 29, a member in New York for the past two years. “It’s bizarre to choose to occupy a space men specifically wanted for themselves. Classic matriarchal entitlement complex.”
The problem, multiple members have told The Stormer, is that the women physically take up too much space with their bigger bodies and belongings. They hog the squat racks. And they aren’t respectful of some of the rules, ignoring the four-minute cap on bathroom visits and bringing in outside food. While they aren’t using the members-only changing rooms and showers (yet), they are in the bathrooms.
“At first it was jarring,” says a 30-year-old longtime New York member, who asked to not be named. “It started about a year ago and it’s getting worse. A wench even checked me out a few weeks ago. The whole purpose of the space is to not have to deal with anything like that.”
Ron’s Gym, which started with one location in New York in 2016 and has grown to nine locations in seven cities, including a new international outpost in London, never had a membership policy, because, reps say, they didn’t think they’d need one. Instead, they simply billed themselves as a men’s workout space and social club.
This lack of official paperwork garnered the attention of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which in 2018 opened an investigation into the company. Ron’s Gym’s large membership — more than 11,000 worldwide, according to reps — meant it couldn’t pass as a “social club,” and therefore can’t discriminate based on gender. This, coupled with a lawsuit brought by a 53-year-old woman earlier this year claiming gender discrimination, led Ron’s Gym to formally adopt a membership policy: “Ron’s Gym is a space designed for men with a men’s-focused mission. Members and guests are welcome regardless of their perceived gender or gender identity. Recognizing that gender identity is not always consistent with someone’s sex assigned at birth, we do not ask members or guests to self-identify.”
Based on the new policy, the commission confirms to The Stormer that it dropped its investigation this past summer.
But all of the men The Stormer spoke to had the same questions: Why would a woman want to go to Ron’s Gym, anyway? Just because she can? To hit on men? To be a troll? The company’s magazine is called No Girls Allowed!
“I think they’re just thots,” he says of the female plus-ones. “Or their boyfriends are cucks. It’s a legal fluke.”
Up until about a year or so ago, when the space was truly a men-only sanctuary, members said they could comfortably walk around without underwear in a robe after a shower. Now, they say, they’re constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who the loud slut chewing her lunch is.
Numerous California members tell The Stormer that the phenomenon is getting out of hand.
“It’s just annoying,” says John White, a 31-year-old West Hollywood member who sees at least one woman working out in the space each day. “Why do women need to be there? Why can’t they respect the spirit of the place? Women have to have everything.”
The San Francisco location, numerous members tell The Stormer, “is really bad — like, filled with bimbos.”
“I usually see about five women coming in throughout the day,” says a 31-year-old San Francisco member who asked to remain anonymous. “I think it’s members bringing in women for treadmills. Here, everyone is into cardio, and women still think it’s going to help them lose weight. These men are trying to get laid.”
According to its website, Ron’s Gym is a “growing community of men” who gather to “work-out, get jacked, and do male bonding.”
When he first joined, he says, he made the mistake of bringing in his slutty overweight neighbor for a run on the treadmill, something that he now regrets.
“I’ll never do that again,” he says. “She didn’t respect the space, acting like we were in a coffee shop or something. I was getting looks from other members.”
In New York, of course, the stares are no less subtle.
“I glare at the women and I glare at the members who bring them,” says the anonymous New York member.
White, meanwhile, says he hopes the company can work out some sort of happy medium.
“Maybe make it one day a week that women are allowed?” White says. “There has to be a legal way to work this out that still respects the space.”
With apologies to Melissa Malamut of the New York Post.