A woman has gone viral for her retelling of an uncomfortable encounter with a fellow gym-goer whose "shocking" comments left her gobsmacked, resulting in another person intervening to defend her.
Australian fitness enthusiast Leese, who goes by the username @leese_w on TikTok, detailed the exchange in a now-viral video that has since amassed over 253,000 views.
In the video, Leese claimed she had been working out at the gym that morning when a man - whom she branded "such a d*ck" - began pestering her about how much longer she'd be using the equipment.
"I had a guy be such a d*ck to me, I haven't experienced that at the gym before," she said.
"I was using one of the machines and he kept asking me would I be long - I said, 'Nope, I've got two more sets of 10 to do and then I'm all done'.
"He just said that he, 'Doesn't appreciate being inconvenienced by people who aren't even lifting serious weights'. And I was like, 'Excuse me?'
"I went to say something back to him but another guy standing near us, who must've heard, came up and said, 'Don't you ever speak to someone in the gym like that again'."
Leese, who uses her account to document her fitness and weight loss journey, said she had been "shocked" by the man's audacious comments, adding: "I was really shocked that people would say that, but yeah."
The comments were quickly flooded with messages of support and sympathy from viewers, with many praising the second man for stepping in to defend her.
"Bravo to the man who said something... Joey Swoll [a popular bodybuilder who promotes 'gym positivity'] would be proud. Don't take it personal, keep doing you," one viewer declared, to which Leese responded: "I'm really grateful to the other guy [for] saying something. It was kind of him and made me feel safe."
In a response to another comment, Leese admitted it had taken her a "long time" to feel comfortable in the weights area of the gym, but noted most people have been "super lovely" and "very helpful".
She also said she had informed the reception about the man's behaviour and the staff had been "really understanding" and "happy to deal with it".
"He sounds very insecure. You keep doing you," a second wrote, with a third adding: "That's not acceptable. Everyone is there to improve themselves."
"I'd now be living on that machine," another joked, while a fifth agreed: "Well now I'm doing 10 extra sets on the lightest weight possible. Parking myself here now bud."
"I'll tell you what [I'd] tell my kid... the bigger takeaway from that is that someone stood up for you," another weighed in.
Others shared their own uncomfortable experiences at the gym, including one woman who said a man told her she wouldn't "efficiently lose weight on the treadmill" before asking what she eats for breakfast.
"I unfortunately have had a terrible experience at the same gym myself with a guy making a comment about my body in front of me. Don't listen to them at all," another said.
A 2021 study found 76 percent of women feel uncomfortable exercising in public due to harassment, The Guardian reported.
A survey from Run Repeat last year also found almost 56 percent of women had faced harassment during their workouts.