Why Love Island is killing the fitness industry
by Matt Hodges
30 June 2017
…and nutritionists, make-up artists and anyone else who makes a living by helping people to ‘look better’.
See, first and fore most I must admit I am a grumpy sod at the best of times, and there’s nothing more I like better than to have a good old rant in my head about the state of play in the world these days. I say in my head, because this day and age it’s too easy to offend people, and my PR agent would kick me in the nuts if I said what I really thought.
Anyway, if you were sucked in by this funky title of an article then please, just bare with me; it’ll all be over in a few paragraphs.
Ok so, the title might have been a little misleading but I guess I’m jumping onto the trend that is currently ‘Love Island’… yeah you know, that show that everyone loves to hate but it’ll still be on series link on most people’s sky boxes.
Well, I’ve been in the fitness industry now for 12 years. A pretty long time to see trends come and go and the passing of the guard from the old skool to the new. As I reach my mid-thirties it’s the time for reflection upon an industry that was once, in my opinion, brilliant. A purist’s industry where the interest of the client was first and foremost. The ability to help people feel great about themselves, to make them move better, to make them feel confident again – it used to be the ultimate goal.
Now it’s all about what you look like, how many followers you get, how many likes you get, how good the angles are on your selfies. We even have selfie sticks and university courses on how to take the best selfies.
Let’s take that in for a second…a university course…in taking selfies. I kid you not.
Now you might be think well what’s this got to do with the fitness industry? Well see the thing is, in that 12 years I’ve seen the shift. I’ve seen the evolution of social media and in particular, the past 3 years I’ve seen the evolution of fitness (not the fitness industry) become ‘fashionable’. Now you see it’s not Love Island’s fault. Love Island and the likes of Ex on the Beach, Big Brother, Towie etc, are all gremlins that were born when social media poured water on them. We gave them the platform. We gave the average Joe a chance to show off their well-crafted bodies, and then gave them the opportunity to share this with their followers – on a global scale (add in selling online memberships, nutrition plans, training programs, mentoring, DVD’s, gym wear, teeth whitening products, strapless bra’s that lift your boobs with a string – yeah, we’ve all seen them).
I can hear what you’re thinking – at least they are changing people in a positive way, getting them moving, getting them to exercise bla bla bla. I’ve heard this rhetoric many a time before and it’s used to excuse these people who are…get ready for it (the point of this article) drum roll please…
Yep, unqualified schmos who, because of the way they look, think it’s OK to teach people how to do it and more often than not – they’ll sell a product off the back of it. Ladies and Gentlemen THIS is why it’s killing the fitness industry, killing nutritionists, killing make-up artists who have probably spent thousands on degrees or higher learning courses to obtain their qualifications.
This is the hard pill to swallow for me – I’m going to be honest with you (unlike many of the fitness ‘pros’ out there). Throughout this evolution I have kept my prices the same as they were 5 years ago. I receive more and more people enquiring, yet when they hear the price they run for the online hills. It doesn’t matter that I have more experience than many of these prawns (the body is the best bit) or that I could actually help them live better lives. Nope, they’ve seen a set of 6 pack abs on TV and they’ll buy their program for just $10 a month. JUST $10 a month I hear you say… bargain.
And so here it is folks – people have become disillusioned. The idea of fitness has changed. The instant gratification generation has changed the trend. It’s all about what you look like, what skill you have (handstands seem to be the driving force through yoga and calisthenics circles now) or how clean you’re eating and how quickly can you do it. How can this be good for anyone? The real people at the back, who are changing people’s lives, fight hard to earn a living while these charlatans profit off of people’s insecurities. It’s hard not to feel aggrieved by the state of play, but alas I guess evolution is a good thing right? (As I sigh and lower my eyes to the floor).
And that folks…is my rant over…
I brush my teeth every day…it doesn’t make me a dentist!
I changed my car engine oil… it doesn’t make me a mechanic!
I fought the bastard next door who nicked my bike in court… it doesn’t make me a lawyer!
For those who don’t, you can enrol on your new university degree here:
You never know you could be like Del Boy in Only Fools & Horses:
“This time next year Rodders, we’ll be miwwionaires”