What has happened to the fitness industry?

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The fitness industry seems to have become a modelling competition with more and more people competing in ‘physique’ contests. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly admire the work, commitment and sacrifice from those who have put in the hard yards and legitimately compete. But I’ve noticed a strange trend that’s growing stronger every year. Today it seems like everybody is preparing for a contest. It’s now “in” to prepare for a show and most want to do it after only a couple of weeks in the gym.

Social media is probably largely to blame. Some people crave attention and want to broadcast themselves. They want to be told how good they look. They start to play “pretend physique competitor.” They live for their daily picture on Facebook or Instagram to see how many “likes” and comments they receive.

Admittedly, I like to look good, we all do however, I try to remain athletic and focus on challenging my body. I try to get my clients to shift their focus from ‘aesthetic’ only goals (weight loss, body fat etc) and perhaps concentrate on improving physical performance. For example, measuring and increasing strength and power, running further, sprinting faster, jumping higher, swimming quicker, climbing higher, moving without injury or pain, improving spinal alignment / posture, staying hydrated, eating good quality food, sleeping and basically moving and having fun. Your body will adapt as your performance level increases and you will have a more pleasing ‘aesthetic’ look as a consequence of what your body can actually do, PLUS you’ll be as strong as you look!

The word fitness has been bastardised unmercifully. Most people have completely forgotten the true meaning of the term.

Like I said, I believe fitness is about strength, mobility, and endurance. It’s about athleticism and being able to move freely without pain. To be fit you should be able to pick up something heavy, go for a long hike or jump into a game of something without having to dial for an ambulance.

Fitness is:

•Lifting

•Running

•Jumping

•Crawling

•Rolling

•Pushing

•Pulling

•Dragging

•Lunging

•Rotating

•Biking

•Swimming

•Martial arts

•Football

•Basketball

•Surfing

•Yoga

•Whatever else gets you up and moving

Chasing that elusive six-pack and having visible abs doesn’t make you fit. Most bodybuilders are anything but fit and healthy.

Being able to do some of the things mentioned above is what makes you fit.

If you can do all of these things and maintain low body fat as everyone should strive to do, then you’re super-fit!

Have fun, get out and play more. Don’t overthink it, in the words of Nike “Just do it”.

Happy Training…

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4 thoughts on “What has happened to the fitness industry?

  1. Great blog you’ve got! I can really relate to this article. I remember when I first started personal training I was a few weeks out from a powerlifting comp and another trainer told me that no one will take me seriously if I don’t do a bikini competition! I just laughed it off, and to this day I continue doing my powerlifting comps and Spartan Races because I would always rather train for an athletic purpose than aesthetic, and as you said – doing a physique competition does not mean I’m fit and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

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