Some Examples of Toxic Fitness Culture
Posted by Ilya Parker on
Check out the definition of Toxic Fitness Culture if you aren't familiar.
Some Example of Toxic Fitness Culture:
- The promotion of fitness the sole purpose of weight loss.
- The belief that fit has a look.
- Personal trainers unwilling or unable to modify exercises that support your unique body.
- The belief that you’re not working hard enough if you haven’t achieved thinness.
- Personal trainers who aren’t registered dietitians giving diet advice.
- Personal trainers who don’t believe you when you need to stop and encourage you to push through pain.
- The belief that beating your body up makes for a good workout.
- Only being seen as an “expert” because you are in a smaller body.
- Having a limited view of what fitness is.
- Believing working out is more important than listening to what your body needs.
- The belief that your body has to get smaller/toned when you engage in fitness and if it doesn’t you’re doing something wrong.
- Being coerced or shamed into working out.
- Thinking diet and exercise is the only way to take care of ourselves.
- Cultivating fitness spaces that AREN’T accessible or affirming to a diverse group of bodies.
- Making fitness overly complicated to show authority or expertise.
- Personal Training Certifications that don’t offer education on working with body diverse populations.
I honestly would love to speak with the author of this article because I completely agree, and am working to formulate a more inclusive brand/plan to encourage people to workout for HEALTH rather than an external look. I think the response by Fitizen might be pushing a bit into the realm of toxic fitness culture. I understand where Fitizen is coming from regarding encouraging people to stick to health goals, and I agree that certain percentages of body fat can lead to health issues. However, I personally came from the spectrum of people that fall under body dysmorphia and eating disorder, and I used to be absolutely plagued with overwhelming “workout” addictions because of an obsessiveness over what my body “looked” like, instead of how it FELT. I, as many people (especially in Western culture) are, was negatively rooted in toxic fitness culture. My foundation now for my fitness and health program is to focus on how your body feels during workouts, and allowing yourself to thank your body for what it CAN do for you, rather than focusing on what society thinks you should look like. “Shredded” isn’t health. I was “shredded” years ago, and was in the worst mental health of my life. Now, after realizing I had a workout addiction and an eating disorder, and have created my own workout plan that serves my mind better, I feel and look the best I ever have. Thank you to the author of this article for shining light upon a very prominent issue in our society. Fitness should start from the inside.
→The belief that fit has a look.
It does. Being “in shape” involves attaining a healthy % of body fat, which is incompatible with being morbidly obese.
→The belief that you’re not working hard enough if you haven’t achieved thinness.
People progress at different speeds, sure. But if there’s no progression at all, you’re messing up.
→Personal trainers who aren’t registered dietitians giving diet advice.
Trainers should give ADVICE (as in recommending a well rounded diet), however I am against prescribing diets without being a dietitian as they may be pernitious to certain people with underlying health conditions that may be unaware of.
→Personal trainers who don’t believe you when you need to stop and encourage you to push through pain.
If you’re referring to the “one more rep” thing, you’re wrong. That’s not toxicity at all, that’s your trainer believing and encouraging you to go a bit farther than you usually do. However pain should not be ignored when doing exercise with poor form (and the trainer should be the first to notice)
→The belief that beating your body up makes for a good workout.
If by “beating your body up” you mean working so hard you feel your muscles sore the next day, it means you did a GREAT workout. Sure, it’s unpleasant, but as the adage says, no pain no gain.
→Only being seen as an “expert” because you are in a smaller body.
Actually the larger ppl (shredded) are the experts.
→Making fitness overly complicated to show authority or expertise.
You’re actually right on this one. Fitness is simple, and weight loss is simpler.
There are one or two things I actually agree with, but I’m not going to extend this comment any longer because its already massive.