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Joey Swoll Addresses Toxic Gym Culture After Incident Involving IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

Fitness influencer Joey Swoll, who has been vocal in challenging toxic gym culture, recently spoke out against an incident involving IFBB Pro bodybuilder Marcus (Mark Hunter). On TikTok, Swoll shared his thoughts on the situation that happened at The Gym in San Diego, where Hunter was asked to leave the premises by an employee based on a false assumption.

Mark Hunter Jr.’s video concerning the situation became popular on the internet this week, and has been viewed 19 million times.[0] In the video, he stated that he did not notice any additional weights on the half-squat machine he was using, which prompted an employee to reprimand him while he was exercising.[0] The employee proceeded to void the influencer’s membership and promptly told him to leave the facility.[1]

“Whether you’re a gym owner, a member, a customer, or an employee, you need to show people a certain level of respect, especially if you’re going to confront someone or accuse someone of doing something wrong,” Swoll said in his video.[0]

The news of the incident, coupled with the apparent lack of accountability, left the influencer’s fans feeling so let down that they’re attempting to handle it themselves.[0] Negative reviews have been pouring into the gym’s Google and Yelp pages.[0] A screenshot shared in the influencer’s second video showed that The Gym’s ratings had dropped to 1.3 stars, but as of Thursday, the ratings have risen back up to 4.4.[0]

Swoll said on his TikTok that Markus had told him that he had explained to the employee that he hadn’t done anything wrong but the employee continued to be rude and disrespectful before eventually kicking him out.[2]

In a follow-up video, Markus shared that he made an effort to visit the gym and have a conversation with the owners and the angry employee, about the incident.[3] Markus mentioned that, despite the gym owners being polite to him initially, the conversation did not go as he had anticipated.[4]

YouTuber Joey Swoll posted a video complimenting the bodybuilder, saying that people should respect each other at the gym regardless of their role. Bodybuilding fans reacted positively to Swoll’s video and applauded his efforts in calling out toxic gym culture.

0. “A fitness influencer claimed he was kicked out of a gym unfairly” Insider, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “A fitness influencer said he was unfairly kicked out of a gym and his fans are now spamming the business with hilarious reviews” Yahoo News, 23 Feb. 2023,

2. “Rude Gym Staff Kicking Out IFBB Pro Leaves Joey Swoll In Rage” EssentiallySports, 23 Feb. 2023,

3. “Joey Swoll Reacts to IFBB Pro Getting Kicked Out of Gym by Rude Staff Member – Fitness Volt” Fitness Volt, 23 Feb. 2023,

4. “Gym Owners Side With Disrespectful Employee in Viral TikTok” Distractify, 22 Feb. 2023,

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