Why the Fitness Industry is Out of Shape

Do you want to be ripped? Do you want to be a lean mean barbell bending machine? Well, what are you waiting for? With 4 easy payments of $39.95, you can have the rock hard body you’ve always wanted. But wait! (insert siren) If you act now, you’re going to get a whole bunch of extra stuff to help you get in the best shape of your life in half the time; but only if you order within the next 3 minutes.


This is exactly what most, if not all fitness advertisements sound like; do you agree? And it’s not just on TV where you hear this kind of scripted selling dialog; it’s from head to toe in the fitness industry. Most of the time it’s in the form of infomercials on TV, advertisements in magazines, and social media blast, but it’s also a common trade in gyms, supplement stores, and multi-level marketing schemes.


The fitness boom over the last 12-15 years has made a lot of noise by promising to get and keep you fit, but is that noise really just a bunch of hot air? I have listed my top 5 reasons the fitness industry is out of shape. Take a look and you’ll see why the fitness industry just doesn’t “fit”.


Why the Fitness Industry is Out of Shape

  1. Misrepresentation – The biggest thing most fitness advertisements want you to believe is that the people in their advertisements are doing nothing more than using their product to obtain their high level of fitness. Even though they are required by law to put in print that there are other things involved like diet and exercise; it’s always in very small print, at the bottom of the screen, and is only on the screen for about 3-4 seconds. Believe me, there is much more at work than just their product. By the way, this happens with personal training, gym membership sales, and supplement sales as well; all leading to misrepresentation. The fix? Keep your eyes open and do your research about fitness programs and products before you buy them. And always remember; if it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is!
  2. Bad Fitness Advice and Instruction – I know; I’ve covered this a time or two, but it’s one of the biggest problems we have in the fitness industry. The problem- there is absolutely ZERO accountability in this industry for any kind of fitness instructor. And those certifications mean nothing if they don’t apply what they’ve learned. And believe me; the only thing most instructors are applying is their client’s credit card. So, how is this fixed? There’s only one way to remedy this problem – educate the public about what’s right and wrong in fitness. This way, the next time someone offers advice, a person will know if that advice is truly fitting, or fit for the trash.
  3. Genetic Inconsideration – Many workout programs, personal trainers, supplement companies, and wellness programs have a cookie cutter approach to fitness and consider very little about an individual’s genetics. When in fact, there’s nothing more important to consider. Just because a certain program or exercise method works for a few people does not guarantee it will work for anyone else. In fact, there’s no one workout program that does work for everyone; there’s always modifications needed in one way or another. The best thing I can tell you is to keep a workout journal and write down everything you do along with any changes you feel and see. If you’re not seeing changes, then changes are exactly what you need. Try modifying your program or try a completely different program all together. But either way, keep a journal.
  4. A Lack of Programs for Health Issues – This is another huge void in fitness. Did you know there are approximately 130 million people in the U.S. who suffer from chronic pain? That’s more people than have diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. The last thing a person in pain wants to do is work out and in most cases, pain is the first thing they associate with exercise. In addition to chronic pain, there are many other health issues which cause problems with a person’s mobility and they simply cannot use many of the workout programs existing today. The fix – we need more programs to address these health issues and teach people who have them that they can exercise without pain and make huge progresses; even with a severe health issue. It basically means having programs with modifications for range of motion, non-weight bearing exercises, seated exercises, stability and balance exercises, and functional movement exercises. If we had more programs like this, we would have a lot more people with health issues participating in fitness.
  5. Body Destroying Workouts – It used to be there was always those few people in the gym pounding themselves into oblivion with their workouts, but now, it seems more like the majority. For an industry built on and around good, safe, and productive exercise, it sure seems like it’s all in on the current trend of “Go Hard or Go Home Workouts”. I’m all about being intense with workouts but only if it’s safe, measured, monitored, and productive. But the over the top workouts I see all over social media, in gyms, and on TV are anything but safe. Oh well; this trend will take care of itself because when I’m 80 and still working out with healthy joints, the “beast mode” population will be counting their replacement parts instead of counting reps.


The fitness industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry with double digit growth over the last several years. With such a booming industry, new methods of exercise being advertised almost on a daily basis, and an entire encyclopedia of supplements; you would think we would be a whole lot healthier than we are. Even though we will always have a certain percentage of our population who will never exercise, we have a bigger group of people who would exercise if they were not misled, were given correct fitness advice, had exercise programs which worked for their genetics, had access to workout programs for special health needs, and didn’t think they had to almost die during a workout. For an industry that prides itself on promises of better health, there’s a whole lot of huffing and puffing going on; kind of how people breathe when they’re out of shape.


Bobby Whisnand, “The Exercise Doctor”


Disclaimer: Bobby Whisnand and his trainers are not medical doctors. They do not prescribe any medical treatment or medication and do not diagnose any health conditions, injuries, or pain. They are Certified Specialists in Exercise Therapy and can work in conjunction with doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists.