Dear extreme Fitness Influencers

When one contemplates an imaginary personal trainer, they likely picture a taskmaster stooped over, ready to demand more torturous repetitions and personal assaults on the victim’s mental toughness. ⁣ This is the historic depiction of the many individuals that operate in the fitness industry. And whilst this is largely inaccurate, there remains a significant portion who continue to use their authority to intimidate others.⁣ ⁣ One must remember that physicality is often part of a fitness professional's job. But also that Sara from Joburg has her own full-time job. And possibly a family... And probably a social life... ⁣ ⁣ So when Sara questions her commitment to getting results from a place of righteousness, he/she does so with ignorance. Not least because the external physical condition does not define one’s self-worth, but also because the sacrifice to achieve it is unrealistic.⁣ ⁣ There are many outstanding fitness professionals. They enact empathy and provide knowledge to nurture one’s physical and mental progression. And then there are those who inflict their own extreme physical regimen and warped idea of self-worth onto their clients.⁣ ⁣ Naturally, clients believe that their trainer is the epitome of physical prowess. That they are the depiction of health. And after all, they are the professionals. ⁣ ⁣ Morbid obesity is an extreme physical state. But so is a physical state with 8% body fat. A state which requires a lifetime of dedication to achieve. A state which 95% of the population will never achieve due to genetics. A state which is promoted by a handful of prodigious influencers to their multi-million followings - who then strive to achieve something that is as impossible as it is pointless. Alas, a perpetual cycle of alleged failure and mental torment.⁣ ⁣ As a collective industry, the time has come to recognize the detriment this message has to mass audiences, of which many are vulnerable. No industry should compromise mental health, especially one designed to improve one’s overall health