PureGym has apologised "unreservedly" after a post was shared on the Facebook page of its Luton branch advertising a new workout entitled '12 Years Of Slave'.
The post, which has since been deleted, was uploaded to the Facebook page of the Luton and Dunstable branch on Monday and said: "Slavery was hard and so is this."
According to the post, the workout was designed to celebrate Black History Month and was inspired by the Oscar-winning 2013 film '12 Years a Slave'.
The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, told the story of Solomon Northup - a black musician who was sold into slavery in the 19th Century.
"Entitled '12YearsOfSlave' (after the epic movie) this is our workout of the month designed to celebrate black history month," the post read.
"Slavery was hard and so is this. The twist to this is one rep of your first exercise, two of the second but before you move on to the third exercise which is also three reps you must start at the beginning to move on 😉 AND that's how the entire workout goes.”
The post sparked a backlash on social media, with some users calling it “tone deaf” and “offensive”.
The Labour MP for Luton North, Sarah Owen, tweeted that the "offensive advert" shows "why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important".
PureGym have since apologised for the post, saying in a statement: "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.”