Fitness

5 Reasons That You Won’t See Sports Bra Photos On my Website

You’ve seen them before, no doubt. They’re littered all over fitness and personal training websites and don’t even get me started about Instagram. I’m talking about bikini or sports bra photos to show off a woman’s physique. Typically they are used to promote a product or service, making you think that perhaps using the product or service will result in a body like the one in the photo. In many cases that is silly or unrealistic. But on a broader level, I am tired of fitness being simply about obtaining a perfect, eye-pleasing physique. Fitness is about so much more.

5 Reasons That You Won't See Sports Bra Photos On my Website.pngWhen I think fitness, I think much more broadly than cardio, lifting weights, running, yoga, or other traditional fitness pursuits. Fitness means so much more than simply being physically fit. When I think of fitness, I think about fitness in many aspects of life – mental fitness, emotional fitness, nutritional fitness, relationship fitness, fitness of the body’s functions (like heart, lungs, and other organs), and of course, physical fitness. This view of fitness cannot be summarized by a photo in a sports bra or bikini with chiseled abs and slender legs.

1. Fitness includes your emotional and mental well-being. How can a photo capture mental and emotional well-being? Simple answer, it cannot.

2. A photo also cannot depict the internal health of the body. When was the last time you say a #fitspo image that talked about heart health? Yea, I didn’t think that was a thing either. The health of your body is about more than your outward appearance. Blood pressure, fasting glucose, cholesterol, VO2 max, and other wellness indicators are not visible to the eye.

3. Many of the fitness photos convey unrealistic goals and outcomes. For most normal adults, maintaining a health body weight and a healthy, balanced diet is challenge enough. And really, why shouldn’t that be enough? Why must we strive to attain a body that requires multiple hours at the gym each and every day? For most of the models in those photos, that’s their reality. For most of us, we struggle to fit in an hour workout several days a week. And somedays, we cannot fit in a workout for a variety of reasons – you (or a family member) are sick, you have been working insane hours at work, or you did not sleep well the night before. Sometimes taking time to rest and recharge is more valuable than a workout. Balance is important and most of those photos do not convey balance.

4. Nurturing relationships with people who love, support, and care for you is another critical aspect of total fitness. Sometimes you need a girls night out complete with wine and cupcakes. Rock on, girlfriend! In fact, I think it is fantastic that you carve out time to socialize and nurture relationships with women in your life. You should do these things and they have a place in a healthy, balanced life. Find those cheerleaders in your life and engage them. In the end, they will help you achieve your goals more than some silly #fitspo photo ever will.

5. Modesty, y’all. It is noticeably absent in our culture and I do not believe that showing a photo of me in a sports bra makes me a better trainer and fitness coach, nor do I want those type of photos floating all over the internet.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments!

Be well,
Christine

11 thoughts on “5 Reasons That You Won’t See Sports Bra Photos On my Website”

    1. There are many more “looks” that are healthy. I find that often times the fitness industry portrays one standard of fitness, and don’t even get me started on the beauty industry. Thanks for your comments, Jen!

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  1. I agree and love this. I really don’t feel comfortable working out without a tank top or shirt on, personally. When I started running, it wasn’t in the safest area and I tried to stay covered up whenever possible. It is always a personal choice. I do have plenty of friends who work out in sports bras, and that is fine.

    IMHO, I would never hire or not hire a personal trainer (or buy a product) based on fitspro. Abs are not always a good indicator of health- and really, neither is the way someone looks. Even those in figure competitions and runners who weigh a certain amount for a marathon do not stay in that kind of shape year round because it is unattainable. If a personal trainer has that stuff on their website, it is almost like they want you to strive for something you cannot sustain- and that just doesn’t sit well with me.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback, Amy! I think there’s a big difference between wearing a sports bra to run and be comfortable in the hot summer months and using that look as a marketing tool.

      I definitely agree on the really specific physiques. They are much easier for some to attain than others and definitely are not a good indicator of health.

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  2. My personal preference especially if choosing a trainer or a gym is to see REAL people and know a bit more about their story. Sports bra photos don’t “sell” it to me. I think this is also something that bothers me… I KNOW that I am pretty fit and healthy but I don’t “look” it based on what various media channels portray. I think that is the most frustrating. More real people and no I don’t really need to see your abs 🙂

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Renee! I’m glad my thoughts resonated with you. I have always felt uncomfortable that the fitness industry employs a lot of visuals for sales…definitely not my style! 🙂

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  3. I appreciate your opinions here! I especially love #2 “A photo also cannot depict the internal health of the body” – that is exactly why I recently posted a sports bra picture, actually. I did it because I do not have the body that society has deemed as a fit physique, yet I take my health and fitness extremely seriously. It was some food for thought and it really resonated with people!

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    1. Hi Caitlin, Thanks for your comment and for sharing your perspective. I think you raise a valid point that there are effective ways to use them to portray true health and fitness, not just the typical stereotypes.

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  4. I agree with you to some extend. It’s true that especially Instagram is bursting with unrealistic fitness photos and unnatural poses etc. However I LOVE seeing other girls’ abs! It really motivates me! On the other hand it bothers me much more to see bums the size of a medical ball especially becuase being a photographer I know perfectly well how to pose in order to show what actually there IS NOT! I do post photos in my sports bra sometimes, but not to show off and definitely not to sell anything. 🙂

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