The Marketing of Fitness and Actual Fitness
What’s the last fitness ad you watched?
Was it a video montage of chiselled men and women sweating their asses off, doing some seemingly crazy movement?
Were they all RIPPED?
I bet they were.
Did it give you a burning desire to BE the person in that video?
My guess is only a few of you, because you’re likely all trainers.
But I daresay that many of your clients visualise themselves being that very person.
It’s nice to give someone a vision to shoot for, right?
It’s like showing someone the house that they could buy one day as motivation.
People like to work for a meaningful future.
But what if I told you that the house they’re showing to you, was purchased by someone who earnt 20-30x MORE money than them? Not only that, but the means of their money was from accruing a lifetime of wealth-building skill? Skill that might take someone DECADES to develop?
It’s not very realistic, is it?
When you sell people a vision, you have to make it clear that there is a shitload of WORK required to achieve that vision.
In the case of fitness marketing, all you see are models at their peak shape.
Many of these models train for the sake of these shoots. It’s their JOB. It’s their JOB to look a certain way, ALL the time.
Now, I’m not saying that this is a bad thing – all power to you if that is the career path you choose to put yourself down.
But let’s make something very clear.
The life of a model and the life of your client are very, VERY different.
A model needs to take care of their food, looks, and body in order to be the most captivating visual asset they can be.
Your client? They need to work at an office (or outside), be a parent, cook meals when they have the chance, and then maybe squeeze in 2-3 training sessions a week. That’s it. That’s the BEST they can do.
Are they ever going to look like the model you see on fitness ads?
I HIGHLY doubt it.
The work they put in, not to mention the differences in recovery, are already two factors that cannot be matched.
Okay so what? It’s still good to model someone that you should strive for, right?
Would you strive to look like that, all the time if you KNEW that the work required behind the scenes was unrealistic for most people?
Remember, even good intentions have unintended harmful consequences.
When we sell the vision of something that cannot be achieved, the individual will begin to lose their desire after a duration of unsuccessful tribulation.
Worse yet, the individual may resort to extreme lengths in order to achieve what they deem to be ‘good health.’
‘Good health’ that is achievable by only the top 10% of the population (sometimes even only 1%).
And THAT is the problem.
When we sell people unrealistic visions, we create unrealistic expectations, leading to very predictable failure.
I hope that one day we can sell an alternative image. I hope it can be the image of someone who LOOKS like the majority of clients that we work with, doing cool shit in the gym.
THAT seems more sustainable.