Fitness Gimmicks

Shocker: Sex Sells Fitness

PFED UP: Sex Sells Fitness, But Does It Sell Results?

Borat did it, “Bikini Boy” Ty Hemmerling American Idol contestant did it, and Tosh does it as often as he can. Why? Although this isn’t much of a shocker, it sells because sex sells – even when it’s funny! Throw on a bikini and you’ll get attention – good or bad.

Steve and I just had the conversation this morning that he’d get more views if he wore a bikini when leading his workouts. It’s sad, but you can have a great workout led by a fully clothed professional and it won’t get half the views a chick gets in a bikini or tight workout outfit doing something lame – or worse yet, wrong.

Alfonso Moretti voiced his outrage against people dropping to the level of using sex to sell fitness in his blog “Angry Issues: Is the Fitness Industry TOO sexual” – and I agree. Although I do enjoy seeing fit physiques, it’s sad to think there is great content out there being missed out on just because they prefer to keep their clothes on.

This is the same for men. As soon as a guy takes his shirt off and breaks a sweat, the views start soaring. Yet, people like Steve, who like their shirts very much, can get overlooked in a youtube line up. Note: I do have some friends of mine that do it tastefully, but I’m totally speaking generally here and talking about the extremes. I’m not saying they are all bad. 🙂

Smart is Sexy
Although I’d LOVE to see Steve teach with his shirt off all the time (and not to say he wouldn’t do it some day if and when appropriate), I’d prefer for people to know him for his brains, not just brawn. The brawn is the icing on the cake – not the main attraction when you are selling results in my opinion.

A hot body, alone, doesn’t teach you anything (except teach you to “want that body”). Maybe I’m being harsh, but when you are learning how to workout, I think it’s important for people to know that person actually knows what they’re talking about, and it’s also important that trainer has the ability to pass that knowledge on to YOU.

Sure, if you know what you are doing, your body should look good too – however, there is a lot of stuff that can make a body look hot besides working out and eating right. Unfortunately, many people use their good genetics with steroids (yes, even bikini models) to get fit bods so they can use their bodies to bring them a paycheck. Meanwhile, they tell you how to do it the hard realistic way. Many of them don’t even care if YOU get fit – they just care if they get paid. Is that right? Is that the kind of person who should be leading fitness?

Are there awesome trainers with awesome physiques? Sure there are! Is a fit bod motivating? Heck yes! If you have the whole package, more power to ya!! I’ll try not to be jealous. 🙂 BUT, if you are looking for results, and for people to actually HELP you, don’t fall for “sex sells” – because sex doesn’t always sell results.

Until then, You just may see Steve trying on some sexy tight workout clothes and see if he can get more views. hahahahahahahaha

OK, maybe not. He does NOT make a beautiful woman. Great wig though!


What do you think?
Do you lose respect for trainers that use sex to sell fitness?
Do you trust celebrities or trainers who push gimmicks?
What do you look for in an online fitness roll model?

Inquiring fitness minds want to know! 

– B –

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


  • Kjell

    I followed bodyrocktv for awhile, and I check back in every now and again for some new ideas, but I could not and still cannot stand how sexual they were/are. And really, does she need to accentuate her fake boobs all the time? They could definitely tone it down a bit, I think, and still share their great messages.

  • Michelle

    I actually hadn’t thought about it – but yes it’s quite annoying. I actually find it even more annoying watching ppl walking around the gym half naked (some with the bodies too, most not). What are they saying about themselves? That they have so little to offer, otherwise? Basically putting all their cards on the table? I always feel like my wearing a t-shirt and tights or boardshorts (i.e. not half naked) is almost an indication of my low self esteem, but in reality, maybe I just have some self respect? Not sure.
    I would DEF not buy anything from a chick in a bikini, or a guy in a speedo. I’m not as clear about him not wearing a shirt though. 😉 I have honestly never really thought of it as ‘sex’ selling, more of seeing the muscle work… but you may have a point.

    • Bonnie Pfiester

      I think we should wear what’s comfortable. If a tee & board shorts is comfy to you, then that’s all that matters. 🙂 However, I have found the more in shape you get, the more proud of all that work you get and you’ll get a little more bold with your dress (whether in or out of the gym) – and deservingly so. Just some people go overboard 🙂

  • Sarah Jane @ The Fit Cookie

    Great article: I completely agree! Sometimes its hard not to fall into that trap when you are in the fitness industry. Even in fitness blogging and social networking, people who are nearly naked get more attention (as evidenced in BodySpace, Instagram, BodyRockTV, etc). I teach Zumba and I see it there, too.

  • ziz1


    This must be a hot topic b/c yesterday Carol Roth made these comments – see attached link

    And Here is a link to a site that is working to overcome these issues in our society – this is a link to their trailer –

    I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the the trailer.

  • Jenni

    I agree, totally! I occasionally enjoy a body rock workout because they’re short and effective, but I stopped doing them because that website doesn’t have taste since Zuzana left it. The camera man shoots the good views of the instructor (boobs and butt), not even shooting it so we can see proper form. I really admire and respect you, Steve, McDannie and the rest for staying professional!

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