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Does the fitness industry need a metoo push?

magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 1,120Member Member Posts: 1,120Member Member
So today I just came across discussion about Bret Contreras's private behavior. It kind of blew up around the time he was making childish responses to a research study that went against his love of hip thrusts to grow glutes - he responded with an article that was kind of DYEL to the researcher publishing it.
That lead to people bringing up his relationship with a fitness industry woman that he forced her to keep private. She around the same time moved out of the place they bought together, saying he was cheating, verbally abusive, physically intimidating, possible even physically abusive (grabbing rather than hitting), and gaslighting her about how he was cheating and flirting with these other women.

This is doubly bad optics as Bret's DYEL response article was published in Alan Aragon's Research Review. Alan Aragon himself has been trying to repair himself and his reputation for a few years because he had a problem with becoming drunk at conferences and making inappropriate advances.

I imagine the two of them are just a tip of an iceberg in terms of how many people (primarily men, but not just men) in the fitness industry that are probably horrible sexual harassers to worse. Does the industry need some kind of movement to bring more of this to light? How does this get navigated - fitness has the unique problems that at times, a person may need to touch rather private areas to guide movement, or assess activation, etc, and the industry is in large part based on critique other people's bodies.

Replies

  • mmapagsmmapags Posts: 8,649Member Member Posts: 8,649Member Member
    Yes, I think it does. The 2 people you reference are likely only the tip of the iceberg.
  • hesn92hesn92 Posts: 5,838Member Member Posts: 5,838Member Member
    I agree with others, I'm not sure this is specific to the fitness industry, is it? Also, is there a danger to people for following or using programs designed by a sexist creep who is allegedly abusive to his lovers? I don't think so... maybe to the women who he trains in person, but not really. Unless they are getting intimate with him. So I guess I'm just not sure what a "me too" movement will accomplish.
    edited March 5
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 14,144Member Member Posts: 14,144Member Member
    So today I just came across discussion about Bret Contreras's private behavior. It kind of blew up around the time he was making childish responses to a research study that went against his love of hip thrusts to grow glutes - he responded with an article that was kind of DYEL to the researcher publishing it.
    That lead to people bringing up his relationship with a fitness industry woman that he forced her to keep private. She around the same time moved out of the place they bought together, saying he was cheating, verbally abusive, physically intimidating, possible even physically abusive (grabbing rather than hitting), and gaslighting her about how he was cheating and flirting with these other women.

    This is doubly bad optics as Bret's DYEL response article was published in Alan Aragon's Research Review. Alan Aragon himself has been trying to repair himself and his reputation for a few years because he had a problem with becoming drunk at conferences and making inappropriate advances.

    I imagine the two of them are just a tip of an iceberg in terms of how many people (primarily men, but not just men) in the fitness industry that are probably horrible sexual harassers to worse. Does the industry need some kind of movement to bring more of this to light? How does this get navigated - fitness has the unique problems that at times, a person may need to touch rather private areas to guide movement, or assess activation, etc, and the industry is in large part based on critique other people's bodies.

    Others (esp. Jane, Novus) have said what I'd express about the core of this.

    Sure, egregious harassers who exploit their professional positions should be outed, and marginalized. They're bad actors, like financial advisors who embezzle. It's beyond the pale.

    To the bolded, I think those "unique problems" are more apparent than real.

    At extremes, responsible medical professionals rely on chaperoning. At more normal-to-fitness interactions, consent (in the moment) is pretty crucial IMO. Decades back, my late husband, a martial arts teacher, asked me for advice about useful directive or diagnostic touch, especially wrt female students. I suggested "point and ask 'may I touch you here?'" every single time. I still think that's best practice. It's just polite and respectful. The manner of asking, ideally, should assume a possible and acceptable "no" - though that's harder to achieve universally (because some students are less confident/assertive than others).

    Consent: It really matters!
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,576Member Member Posts: 21,576Member Member
    So today I just came across discussion about Bret Contreras's private behavior. It kind of blew up around the time he was making childish responses to a research study that went against his love of hip thrusts to grow glutes - he responded with an article that was kind of DYEL to the researcher publishing it.
    That lead to people bringing up his relationship with a fitness industry woman that he forced her to keep private. She around the same time moved out of the place they bought together, saying he was cheating, verbally abusive, physically intimidating, possible even physically abusive (grabbing rather than hitting), and gaslighting her about how he was cheating and flirting with these other women.

    This is doubly bad optics as Bret's DYEL response article was published in Alan Aragon's Research Review. Alan Aragon himself has been trying to repair himself and his reputation for a few years because he had a problem with becoming drunk at conferences and making inappropriate advances.

    I imagine the two of them are just a tip of an iceberg in terms of how many people (primarily men, but not just men) in the fitness industry that are probably horrible sexual harassers to worse. Does the industry need some kind of movement to bring more of this to light? How does this get navigated - fitness has the unique problems that at times, a person may need to touch rather private areas to guide movement, or assess activation, etc, and the industry is in large part based on critique other people's bodies.

    Yoga is no stranger to this. I am a Kripalu-certified yoga teacher and also lived at the Kripalu Center in a volunteer program for a year when I was recovering from a (non-communicable) illness and leaving my marriage. This was about 6 years after the guru, Amrit Desai, had been booted for preaching abstinence while practicing adultery and long term Kripalu-ites were still scarred from this experience.

    My teacher training program had us be much less touchy, and touchy in a less intimate way, then other styles of yoga.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrit_Desai#Controversy

    *************

    I have the documentary "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" about the man who popularized hot yoga, Bikram Choudhury, in my Netflix queue.

    https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a29857796/where-is-bikram-choudhury-now-yoga-founder-netflix-documentary/

    Perhaps it isn’t surprising that Choudhury escaped justice. Choudhury, whom many call the “Harvey Weinstein of Yoga,” was getting away with his behavior all along. The documentary suggests [his behavior] was an open secret in the close-knit community.
    edited March 11
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