May 8, 2017 Damon Hayhow

Appalling Fitness Australia Failure Painted as Success

In this article, Fitness Australia gushes about its success seeing “Fitness Industry Growing against Team Sports”.

Sounds great… except for the fact that Fitness is intended to be a gateway into sport; not an exit from sport.

The documented purpose of the fitness industry is to help sedentary Australian non-athletes fix their physical ailments to the minimum level necessary to a) not be clinically unfit, ill or injured, and b) able to start engaging in sport. The Aus Health Department states, in no uncertain terms, that they are committed to increasing participation in sport.

The decline of participation in sport cannot be seen as anything other than a failure of documented health priorities. It is a travesty of the highest order for Fitness Australia to claim this epic failure as a success.

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. Sports Coaching is even excluded from Fitness Australia’s own Scope of Practice! Sport is above the pay-grade of a fitness professional!

Fitness exercise is solely designed as a remedy to being sedentary. The documented standards prove it: so something physical for at least 30mins, 3x weekly; get your BMI below 25. There is literally no documented sports performance target in all of Health Department documentation. Health and Fitness 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.

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 decline of participation in sport cannot be seen as anything other than a failure of documented health priorities. It is a travesty of the highest order for Fitness Australia to claim this epic failure as a success

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.

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Damon Hayhow

Damon Hayhow has been in the body recomposition (Recomp) and bodybuilding industry for 30 years as a coach, competitor, gym owner, teacher, sponsor, show promoter, judge and MC. He has won National competitions in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, set world records, and coached others to the same success in strength sport and physique competition.

Body recomposition diet and training concepts based on logic and reason; not scientism