‘Fitness’ is not equal or better than sport; it is lower, lesser and worse. To be ‘fit’ is, by definition, the least a person needs to be before getting into sport. So why is Fitness Australia celebrating swathes of Australians reducing themselves from athletes to fitness?
In this article, Fitness Australia gushes about its success seeing “Fitness Industry Growing against Team Sports”.
Fitness is meant to be a gateway to sport; not an exit from sport. The entire purpose of the fitness industry is to help sedentary Australian non-athletes fix their physical ailments to the minimum level necessary to start engaging in sport.
The Aus Health Department states, in no uncertain terms, that they are committed to increasing participation in sport.
Once people are participating in sport, then they are assisted by professionals associated with the Australian Sports Commission; not by doctors or other health and fitness professionals. The goal, therefore, is to move people from health and fitness to sport; not the other way around.
Sport is recognised by the Health Department as contributing to health and wellness of people. But there is nothing about fitness exercise contributing to sports performance and athlete development; because it doesn’t. Fitness exercise is solely designed as a remedy to being sedentary. It is literally the ‘something’ that is just barely better than ‘nothing’. The next step up the ladder is sport. Moving from sport to fitness is literally going backwards in physical capacity.
The decline of participation in sport cannot be seen as anything other than a failure of documented health priorities. Fitness Australia selling this failure as a success is a travesty of the highest order.
Fitness Australia can only be considered as having succeeded if it has unilaterally decided to change it’s mandate to one that directly contradicts the policy objectives of the Australian Government.
In this regard, the Fitness Industry has done a tremendous job duping the public into believing that fitness is equal in achievement and aspiration to sporting greatness. If sports participation has fallen and former athletes have moved to fitness exercise, it absolutely was contributed to by the fitness industry deliberately misleading the public and even it’s own members.
The fitness industry continues to exploit and promote a gross misrepresentation of what fitness is by such actions as:
- promoting bodybuilding, powerlifting and other sports at their giant industry exhibitions
- Fitness Australia staff telling gym owners that bodybuilding and powerlifting is covered by Guild insurance when the application clearly states it is not, and Fitness Australia’s scope of practice specifically excludes all sports and sports nutrition (I have first hand knowledge of this)
- Promoting athletes as representatives of fitness
Why is the fitness industry promoting lean, muscular bodies, which directly contradict the documented body composition standards of health and fitness size and bodyfat? Probably because the documented standards of fitness body composition are not remotely sexy (eg at 175cm fitness is a 60kg @ 17% fat man or 68kg at 21% fat woman). But it is still a gross misrepresentation to highlight clinically unhealthy people as representatives of health and fitness; especially when the health professionals attending the expo are not allowed or insured to teach the sports techniques on show.
None of these actions – particularly the promotion of multiple sports at the fitness industry exhibitions – can be dismissed as trivial or accidental. Which means they are either malicious or made in total ignorance of what fitness is? Either way is disgusting and dishonest and the public needs to be made aware of it.
Fitness Australia selling the shift of athletes away from sports, and back down to fitness as a positive success is like Samsung promoting their exploding Galaxy 7 phones as excellent seat warmers. It is as offensive as it is absurd.
If you are reading this, please help spread the word. Fitness is shitness. It is not an aspirational achievement; it is a remedy to illness. That is why it is part of the health industry.