Rant- Language in the Fitness Industry

I am not normally the person to complain about anything on the internet, or to even voice too many opinions, I am normally the person who listens and keeps my views to myself unless asked or challenged.

However this is something that has been bugging me.

Language used (or misused) in fitness

Now I’m sure most people have been to a class, or seen a class or personal trainer on TV where the instructor talks about feeling pain, normally while shouting in peoples faces. That’s pretty normal because if you workout hard enough it does tend to hurt or burn, but this is a good pain, a pain that we can recognise as being the result of hard work and that can bring about a good sense of satisfaction or even well deserved pat on the back.

But at some point this was taken too far, not by everyone, but I guess some people wanting to start a business within the fitness industry felt they needed new buzzwords to spark peoples interest.

Now I want to say at this point that I would never begrudge anyone starting their own business and making a living…but surely there are some words that should stay sacred.

I went to a spin class not too long ago and it turned out it was a virtual spin class (my honest mistake) and at first I thought okay this could still work I just have to really be strong with the self discipline. I had chosen this particular spin class as the time it started fitted nicely in with my day and I had hoped the name was just a name, I wont say the name as it is not for me to be “dissing” any businesses, however, within that name was the word ‘suffer’.

It started off explaining how the video worked with little indicators in the corners telling you when to move up a gear and what effort level you should be at…this was fine. The video itself was recorded footage of people doing what I can only assume is long distance cycling, again fine, actually, a really good idea. But then cartoon-style speech bubbles started forming from the cyclists mouths and the things they were saying made me more than a little uncomfortable.

They said things about being the people of a land of suffering (Sufferlandrians) and how they here to suffer and love to suffer.

The Oxford Dictionary defines suffering as:

The state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.

When someone uses the word suffering, it is negative, you instantly think of people going through real hardship such as war, poverty or famine- not a spin class. So yes, this constant repetition of the word ‘suffering’ started to grind on me, it’s not for them to fling about as part of their franchise, it just didn’t sit right.

Then it got worse.

Two of these cyclists speech bubbles started talking about someone else…

They referred to this “other person” as a ‘Couchlandrian’ that was in their midst. This they did say negatively. As in they were looking down upon another person doing the same race as they were. That’s when I got plain angry. How dare these two (fictional) Sufferlandrian’s look down on someone else in the race?! It is the same as people looking down on those on the gym floor or in their class for whatever reason.


…That is when I left…this was about 15 minutes into the class.

Now I could have gotten it all wrong, tone is hard to convey through text, I may have misread.

But I don’t think I did, and it takes a lot for me to walk out of something.

These opinions are completely my own and I am the first to hold my hands up and admit I am wrong when that is the case.

Rant over.

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