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A branch of PureGym has received criticism after it posted about a new workout entitled '12 Years Of Slave' on social media.
According to Luton & Dunstable PureGym's Facebook post, which has since been deleted, the workout was designed by a personal trainer called Matt Simpson to celebrate Black History Month, which takes place throughout October.
The post said: "Entitled '12YearsOfSlave' (after the epic movie) this is our workout of the month designed by @mattsimpt to celebrate black history month.
"Slavery was hard and so is this. The twist to this is 1 rep of your 1st exercise, 2 of the second but before you move on to the 3rd exercise which is also 3 reps you must start at the beginning to move on. AND that's how the entire workout goes."
After the post was shared this morning, many Facebook users flooded the comments to say how 'insensitive' they found it.
One person said: "This is not it. You might be hoping that people pointing out your monumental error in judgement is at least 'engagement', but it is really not worth it."
Someone else wrote: "Wow, just wow, I'm gobsmacked that someone thought this was okay to post Pure Gym hope you've seen and are taking appropriate action against this.. Maybe an apology follower by some diversity training to start with."
A third added: "I don't even know where to start on this one. Wrong, insensitive and horrendous on all levels. You have no idea what Black History Month actually represents. You should be ashamed."
Trainer Matt Simpson also shared the image on Instagram, saying he posted it on the 'work social media and was ordered to remove it'.
"Apparently the wording was an issue but wasn't asked to edit it," he wrote.
His Instagram post has also since been deleted.
A PureGym spokesperson told LADbible: "PureGym apologises unreservedly for a post made today by our gym in Luton. 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 locally. We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made."
LADbible contacted Matt Simpson for comment, but he has since issued a statement on Instagram that said: "For those who are coming across me this morning for the first time I am the individual who posted the '12 Years a Slave' workout yesterday morning via the PureGym Luton and Dunstable Instagram account.
"I sincerely apologise to all whom I offended and angered in any way, shap, or form, directly or indirectly. There was absolutely no malice or ill intentions meant by the post. This was a very ill judged post which I am responsible for.
"There are no excuses for it. Only a place from which the post came. Which was a proud black man wanting to bring his history together with his passion and profession. Unfortunately as a result have been vilified and branded racist.
"The branding of PureGym as racist couldn't be further from the truth in my experience. During my time at the company I have never experienced any racial prejudice and have always been given the tools and support needed.
"This is a very hard lesson for me and wholeheartedly apologise to all affected. I am deeply sorry."
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