The Fitness Industry Has Failed You
As a career fitness professional, let me be the first to apologize and explain.
Since the 1970’s fitness has been framed in our collective minds primarily as aesthetics – the visual appeal of abs, wide lats, toned arms, and a firm tush – improving health comes in second. We usually agree it should be first, but most don’t really feel that as a motivator.
Couple this primary motivator with a societal trend toward using technology to increase convenience and ease of life and you have a recipe for a mindset and behaviorset geared toward quick fixes and immediate gratification. We experience easier physical lives than all of human history, and we’re finding it comes at a price.
We rarely know what our real fitness goals are, rarely use the best techniques to get ourselves there - let alone strategize around our own unique obstacles to succeeding.
The average result looks like this:
- Intense striving during peak motivational times when we feel we’ve finally had enough.
- Tripping over ourselves within a few weeks and returning to old patterns with hopefully only emotional bruises but often physical injuries to show for it.
- We feel dejected, add another notch to our personal identity failure belt, and pretend like it’s not important to strive for bettering ourselves.
- The cycle repeats when we feel inspired enough to try again, jump to another shiny bauble diet or exercise routine, hoping that this is the time when we get it right.
This is a common pattern we see as fitness professionals.
Fitness industry spending is at all-time highs (trillions), while the health of our nation is at an all-time low. For context, a few quick stats:
- Nearly 80% of the U.S. are overweight or obese
- Nearly 40% of the U.S. are on prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications
- Approx. 1 in 2 people have an autoimmune disease - 1 in 4 have multiple
- Approx. 1 in 3 people will develop cancer in their lifetime
- We have the first generations being born in over 100 years where children are expected to live shorter lives than their parents
The reality is we are facing a dual pandemic of the body and mind. Sick and sad is becoming the norm.
People are seeking solutions but coming up empty.
It’s known that 94% of people fail to engage regularly in the top five health and wellness practices.
Yet we live in the age of Google where the collective knowledge of humanity is literally at our fingertips and in our pockets. How can this be so?
Simply put, we don’t have an information problem, we have an implementation problem.
It’s time for all of us as a nation to think differently about health, fitness, and disease prevention.
A new understanding of how our biology and psychology is built to function is critical to learning how to manage oneself to live an extraordinarily healthy and happy life in our modern age. The mismatch between our genes and biology with our modern environment, lifestyle, and diet is profound. This means that without a proactive approach to staying healthy, chronic disease has a much higher likelihood of developing, as the above stats show is happening.
The dominant way of health thinking we’ve progressed with as a society for at least the last century is called scientific reductionism and it addresses each system of our body separately. This is why you go to a dermatologist for skin issues, a gastroenterologist for stomach issues, a psychiatrist for mental health issues, and so on. Our system is based on experts ultra-specializing in one area.
We have made amazing breakthroughs in healthcare using this system. Our ability to save a person from the brink of death is astounding. We are very good at acute care, emergency care, surgery, and symptom suppression. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, please take me to a hospital!
However - it is NOT designed for optimizing health for quality of life over the lifespan, nor designed to prevent or treat chronic diseases. It’s great with acute infections and joint replacements, but sorely lacking when it comes to diabetes and autoimmune conditions for instance.
The reductionist system considers health as the absence of a disease state. I suggest we think of health as a state when every cell in our body bounces with strength, vitality, and joy.
I am not suggesting dismantling the current system, but rather take an honest assessment about what it does really well and what it does not work for - and creating a new paradigm for preventative healthcare to come alongside.
The fitness industry is well-intentioned, but falls victim to the same reductionist mentality, largely ignoring the latest breakthroughs in the last 20 years and continuing to operate business as usual. Selling quick fix products and programs to the masses, overselling gym memberships and locking in contracts because they know people will use it for a few weeks but pay for years. In short, not addressing the root causes and capitalizing on the soft spots in the majority psychology instead of actually trying to help people become and achieve more.
Over more than a decade of in-the-trenches personal training, I have noticed the patterns of the successful and the unsuccessful and learned and practiced vigorously to destroy the barriers to transformational health change for my high performing clients.
The result is the future model of the fitness industry. A model that recognizes that the human is more than just the sum of its parts – it is a self-organizing system – a complex system. The body and mind are one and the same, completely integrated, with each system being fully responsive and giving feedback to all the others.
The Fit Executive Method is the first complex systems design approach to fitness and optimum wellness. This is the same design approach that is fueling the explosive rise in other industries and exponential technologies such as deep learning and artificial intelligence.
My mission is to use TFE method to help high performers and leaders optimize their most valuable asset – themselves – to grow their businesses and life to create positive change to move our species forward.
All too often, business leaders feel (consciously or unconsciously) they have to sacrifice their health and/or family to achieve business success. Conversely, building Deep Health gives more efficiency and capacity to thrive in all arenas of life. Your health is the physical energy and stamina you have, the emotional resilience, the adaptability to change, the depth of relationships, and the sense of fulfillment and contribution you feel in your life.
In business as in life, movement is everything. You can be a shiny Ferrari, but if your wheels blow out you won’t be going anywhere.
We believe it’s time to bring 21st-century solutions to a 21st-century world because the way you do anything is the way you do everything. Busyness and convenience had made taking the low road so tempting - but health, success, and fulfillment lie on the path of the high road.
Come join me on your own quest for personal mastery to become the Fit Executive. Take the next step and sign up for the FitExec Newsletter below to get the ideas, tools, tactics, and inspiration to keep you growing towards your potential for Deep Health.