Do you ever feel like ‘fitspiration’ is taking over your screen? You are not alone! We published the below post on our Facebook page and we got an OVERWHELMING response from people saying that ‘fitspo’ does not motivate them to go to the gym and in most cases has the opposite effect, making them less likely and less motivated to workout. Ironic hey! This made us very sad, but then it inspired us. We figured if ‘social media influencers,’ gyms, trainers etc are bombarding society with boobs, ass, posed selfies, partner workouts and more to sell their products and services, claiming it’s to motivate others (although clearly it’s not!) how about we do something to GENUINELY inspire people.
And this is how the #realgymselfie came about.. We asked our members to take a photo of themselves during or after a workout (it doesn’t have to be cute or pretty, the red and sweatier the better!) and post it on social media with the hashtags #realgymselfie #vibefitness247. Our goal is to get as many selfies of people doing real, honest, authentic workouts to show people who may be intimidated by the current fitspo portrayal of the fitness industry to give the gym a go. We believe that everyone, no matter what size, shape, gender, age, race, fitness level should feel welcome and comfortable in a gym environment and hope that this small act of sharing a photo will help to do just that.
Vibe Facebook Post:
**WARNING – Long post but worth reading.
Hi I’m Paula, along with my husband John we are the owners of Vibe. I’ve worked in the fitness industry for the past 9 years. In that time the industry has changed A LOT! Obviously there has been the rise of Instagram, snapchat and Facebook has EXPLODED. With that has brought a lot of new (and useful) content but it has also brought A LOT of images and videos of booty gainz, boobs, 6 pack abs, partner workouts, memes that are often offensive and of course the good old gym selfies! Now before you stop reading thinking this chick sounds like such a Nana (which I’ll admit at this point I probably do and I did just turn 30, so hey if the Nike fits!), let me just say that this post is by NO way trying to get people to stop doing these things if it makes them FEEL GOOD! After all we each look at life through our own lens, with our perspective being made up of our own experiences so although it may not be up my alley if it is up yours then full strength to you!
Now with all that being said, I want to share what IS up my alley. And honestly at this point I’m not sure whether I am riding this wave by myself or I have a full army of strong people behind me who feel the same way but just struggle to find their voice while being bombarded with ‘fitspo’ daily. But this is what I stand for within the fitness industry: I stand for striving to be the best person I can be – to ME this doesn’t mean having the best body, booty, arms or any other physical attribute, it means living a life where I strive to be kind to myself and to others. Where I strive to look after my health, meaning I look after my body, mind and soul. Where I train for fitness, meaning I work out to physically and mentally prepare myself for whatever life throws at me, including being fit to run around and look after my two incredible girls now and in the future. Where I exercise to increase my self-confidence, not because it will help me shape my body but it will show me how truly strong and capable I am for sticking to a plan even when I don’t feel like it. Where I am scared to do things but challenge myself to do them anyway because with failure comes lessons and with lessons comes wiser choices – and who knows, maybe I’ll succeed!
Not only is this extremely hard to portray in a selfie but it is also hard to ‘sell’ which is why (again) tummies, boobs, ass and legs are on our screens all the time. NOW some people can stay focused on their physical, mental and emotional goals even with all the superficial chitter chatter going on but I honestly believe that MANY people find this is HARD. And this is where I’d like your input! Do you find the current ‘fitspo’ portrayal of the fitness industry intimidating? Does it make you not want to go to a gym more or less? Do you hesitate going to the gym in fear of being judged?
I ask these questions simply because I have been told this quite a few times now and honestly as a gym owner this BREAKS MY HEART. It is the last thing I want anyone to associate to a gym! Any gym – not just my own!! I feel as though the industry as a whole is failing so many by the current way in which most gyms, fitness facilities and ‘social media influencers’ market their products and services.
The fitness industry is extremely competitive and it has only got more competitive over the past few years. Getting ourselves out there is a constant challenge in an environment where everyone wants to stand out. I think that we are seeing more and more boobs and ass because people are trying to get their piece of the pie and market the easiest or the only way they know how.. after all sex sells! But if it is coming at the expense of those we are trying to help is it really worth it? Personally I don’t think so.
I am so grateful to have an INCREDIBLE team of staff and trainers who have the same mission and vision as me.. to make every single person who steps foot in our gym feel welcome and valued no matter what age, size, fitness level or ethnicity. And now that mission and vision flows on in our community through many of our members. We acknowledge that we may not get it right every single time but we DO try. We can promise that you will never see ‘fitspo’ to promote our gym. We are not necessarily a gym for body builders nor are we a specialised gym for top level athletes. But we ARE a gym who TRULY cares about creating a positive and welcoming environment for anyone who wants to improve their health, fitness & overall wellbeing – inside and out. It may not be as easy to ‘sell’ but it is what we believe in and we will stand strong.
As I said, I don’t know if I am alone on this one or many people are feeling the same way. I would love your thoughts??? And if you have read all the way to this point then a massive high five to you!