Why don’t gym ads show real people?

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Have you ever looked at a gym advertisement? Most of these ads show people who are in amazing physical shape. Many of them have achieved this because it is their full time job, and they have devoted their lives to fitness. Some of them, uh, are big fans of, uhm, high level pharmaceuticals that are designed to enhance your physique?

Those are not normal, average people. These are not the type of results that most people will attain, and it’s terribly misleading. Have you ever asked yourself, why don’t gym ads show real people? Where is the mother of 3 who only has time to take one kickboxing class in the evening? Where’s that father who goes in for 30 minutes on the elliptical? How do those people fair off at the gym? Why don’t these marketing ads show them?

These are my results after about a year and half. I work full time, have a family, and also happen to teach at 3 gyms. How did I do it? Can’t you relate to someone like this more than to one of those models? Notice, I’m still working on it, I’m not shredded, that’s the reality. You have to keep working on it. It’s not easy, it’s not fast!

My body is not perfect, it’s certainly not at the same level as this guy!

Does that make my progress any less impressive? Does that make my work any less meaningful? Does my saying this take anything away from him? I hope the answer is no on all accounts. Here’s what I do know, I’ve never, ever, ever, ever, seen that guy, or anyone who looks like him at ANY, and I mean any gym that I have ever attended. So why should he be used as the representation of the gym?

What about this one?

She’s amazing, but once again, never in my over two decades of using gyms, have I seeN a woman like her at the gym. Not dressed like that, and not at that level of fitness. Granted, perhaps they have been there, and actually dressed up? I don’t know, but the point is, why market this as the reality of the gym, when the majority of gym goers do not look like this, and no matter what they do, your average gym goer will never have the discipline, drive, will or capacity to look like this?

In my opinion, this sets people up for failure. If you go to the gym, and you expect to look like either of these two people, or even me, within 3 months, you will fail.  The gyms needs to set a realistic standard, goals that are achievable. Put up real people on posters, the ones who actually frequent the gyms, and let people meet them, learn from them, and see that they are humans just like them. Create realistic goals which are actually attainable and I think you will create a healthier America.

Finally, putting these people up is obviously fake AF, and who the hell do y’all think you are fooling anyway?


The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author.

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Also published on Medium.