Excuse me while I let go of some pent up frustrations. I’m starting (have been) to get annoyed at what the fitness industry is devolving into – a money hungry marketing machine willing to stop at nothing to “help” you. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great fitness companies out there, but the following are my pet peeves that I think we all need to watch out for.
Women’s Magazine Covers
This has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves. As you walk through the checkout lines of grocery stores, you are bombarded with magazine covers with headlines that make outrageous claims. Abs in 2 weeks, or tone your butt with this 2 minute workout. Look, I get it, headlines like “how to lose weight healthily and slowly” aren’t going to make people hand over their money and buy the magazine (although I would).
However, these magazines do more harm than good. Some people think that anything that gets people moving is a good thing. I disagree. It teaches people bad habits from the start. Bad habits that will eventually lead to a reversion to old lifestyle habits.
Artificial Processed Food Masquerading as Health Food
The health food industry is trying to jump on the fitness bandwagon. They do their best to slap an organic label on their products and call it healthy. I’ve got news for you, a processed food is still a processed food – it doesn’t matter if it’s made with organic ingredients or not.
The same goes for protein bars. Have you looked at the ingredients in these things? Artificial sweeteners, chemicals, additives, food colors – what’s healthy about that? Oh yeah, it has 25 grams of protein and it’s low carb. Who are you trying to fool? If you want a healthier bar, look into Lara Bars. There’s usually only a few whole food ingredients in them like nuts and fruit.
Gimmicky Fat Loss Supplements
I swear, if I see another green coffee bean fat loss commercial I’m gonna devote my life to killing the coffee plant (shhh, don’t tell my wife). I see these things in my Walmart or other stores and half of them are gone. All because someone like Dr. Oz gave it an OK. Here’s the honest truth – fat loss supplements work with a great diet and exercise program, but they’re overpriced, safety untested, completely unnecessary, and might give you a 5% bump in fat loss. That’s it.
90% of the people buying these products take them and don’t change a single other thing about their lifestyle, and then they wonder why they’re back looking for the next miracle pill. Let’s cut the monster off at the head and stop falling for the hype. If there’s a rumored shortage of some fat loss supplement, it’s because everyone’s falling for the fad. Put yourself in the other 10% that think independently and with common sense.
Worthless Workout Equipment
Can you believe the shake weight is still around? I laugh my ass off at every one of the commercials I see for these things. Watch this extremely well-built man keep control of this out of control dumbbell. It’s laughable. 90% of workout equipment will never be used 6 months from now. It’s all manufactured cheaply so that you can come back and get something new. It’s become a disposable product.
I have my own gym equipment. It’s a power rack by EliteFTS. I have real olympic weights. This stuff will last the rest of my life. There are no special moving parts. The only thing that moves is me and the weight I’m holding. The rest of that specialty workout equipment that sells for $19.99 – close to worthless.
Unrealistic Weight Loss Ads
Plenty of the late-night fitness infomercials are also scams. They show fit people demonstrating exercises that they never once did to get their physiques.
In addition, many of the before and after pics can be done in the same day! That’s right, with special lighting, a change in facial expression, a little tan, body painting, and computer tricks, you too can lose 30 pounds overnight! Don’t believe me? Check out the video below! The fact of the matter is that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Blatant Marketing Towards Insecurities
I hate these commercials. I mostly hear them on the radio. They dig right down into your soul and tickle your insecurity bones. Afraid to go to the pool? Miss your high school body? Can’t lose weight no matter what you try? Embarrassed about how you’ll look in bed?
I’ve heard them all, and they’re hard to ignore. Marketers immediately search for your insecurity and then prey on it. They know making that connection with you is goal number one to sell their product. Avoid these slimeballs like the plague. If a fitness product first elicits a negative emotion, it’s not the product for you.
Personal Trainers Who Don’t Have a Clue
Don’t for a second assume that because someone is a personal trainer with a good body that they’re going to know what they’re talking about. I’ve met some pretty dumb people with great bodies. They really have no idea how they got their physiques. They just work out and eat whatever and then give advice that perpetuates just about every fitness myth out there.
I’m a certified personal trainer myself, and you know what, I don’t think it means much at all. Many personal trainers can get their certifications online with an open book! FYI, I’m certified by the Cooper Institute, and the exams are proctored (you go to a facility, empty your pockets and turn them inside out, and they stick a camera on you while you take the test to make sure you don’t cheat). This insures that you know the material on the test and aren’t just looking it up on Google real quick.
Regardless, what makes a good trainer or coach is not what they look like, or how much they know, or what certification they have, but how well they’re able to motivate and inspire change in individuals. They take them to where they need to be so that the client’s curiosity gets the best of them and they start learning for themselves instead of expecting all the answers to be given to them. You give them the tools, motivate, inspire, teach, and help them adhere to their program until they’re ready to go at it alone.
Fitness Companies Trying to Sponsor Bloggers to Make Their Products Look Better
This is a tough one to write about for me. As a blogger I understand the dilemma – you either stick to your values and make little money, or you put your brand behind a so-so product and make some good money. The problem is that the good and healthy brands are few and far between in the fitness industry, and really, they need no backing at all to sell, so bloggers are forced to sacrifice some integrity to pay the bills. It’s a tough choice we’ve all been faced with.
I’ve personally turned down offers from some pretty big brands because I would never in a million years use their products. I only write about products I personally use and recommend. I do my best to censor the ads that are shown here, but in all honesty, you can’t catch them all, and I can only hope that people learn enough to not fall for the quick-fixes. However, if I’ve written about a product within an article, it’s good to go in my opinion.
So then, what pisses you off about the fitness industry?