By: LISA R. WILSON

The very idea of working out in front of razor-cut men can strike fear in the hearts of portly women everywhere. For this reason, many women join women-only gyms, where they can blast their post-baby bellies and work off their holiday-padded thighs in private. So, what happens if a women's-only gym shuts down and transfers its female members to a co-ed club? In North Carolina, that very thing happened, and the gym is now being sued.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed suit against Peak Fitness after the company closed down its women's-only gym in Charlotte and refused to release members from their contracts or refund their money. Peak Fitness also allegedly failed to let consumers who were renewing their memberships know that the club was closing down and that they would have to use other Peak gyms that are designed for both men and women. Cooper says that under state law, members of a former women's-only gym cannot not be forced to switch to a co-ed gym without their consent.

"Consumers who sign up for a gym for women deserve to get what they paid for, or they should get a chance to get their money back," Cooper said.

Cooper is asking the court to cancel Peak contracts made in violation of state law and pay refunds to all applicable club members.

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